Instagram Reels audio not working – how to fix that! [Updated]

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Instagram Reels keep you scrolling when you don’t watch out and more and more creators and brands are using this new Instagram feature – which is basically TikTok on Instagram. But now the Instagram Reels audio isn’t working. That’s a problem as most, if not all, of the 15-second clips are best with audio on.

Let me show you how to easily fix this problem.

Instagram Reels rolled out in early August. I shared my initial thoughts on this episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast.

Where to access Instagram Reels

There are currently two places. One is by clicking on the magnifying glass on your Instagram home screen. The top item on the next screen will start an endless stream of Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels from main screen

You can also access it from people’s profile by clicking the below image. That’s showing if they have uploaded Reels.


Read next: Can you run Instagram ads without being on Instagram?

How to fix Instagram Reels audio

I noticed that sometimes the audio isn’t playing when I scroll through my Reels. That’s kind of weird about Reels, too. You scroll down as opposed to swipe – which is the way to look through Instagram Stories.

Read next: How to do live Q&A sessions on Instagram

Instream video with sound on Instagram
Example of in-stream Instagram video.

I tried the volume buttons on my phone but that didn’t do anything. I restarted my phone. Nothing! I returned to the main Instagram stream and started watching some videos there without sound! Maybe the two were related. I turned the volume on to listen to the in-stream video.

For in-stream videos, that’s done by clicking the volume buttons.

Then returning to Instagram Reels the audio is now on there as well. Problem solved!

It’s not quite the perfect way to turn audio on and off, but that seems to be the only way to do that for now.

This redesign seems to fix it, too

Instagram also seems to be rolling out a redesign that’s taking care of the problem. I currently only have that specific redesign on one of my accounts-my travel account. But not my content marketing account.

Here’s how the re-design looks.

The Reels button is directly in the bar at the bottom which floats when you click into Reels. This problem seems to not exist in this version. Audio worked on all tries for me.

Here’s how the previous design looks and how it still looks in my other account.

Why brand social media managers need to know about this?

At some point somebody will ask you about it or you might even stumble across this issue yourself. Being able to explain it to them and knowing how to fix it is helpful.

Originally published Sept. 11, 2020, and updated Oct. 9, 2020. 

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