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Instagram Notes not showing? Here's how you can try to fix it

In some circumstances, it may be a question of human error.
By
November 21, 2023

Notes may be a relatively niche function of Instagram, but if you use them regularly, you probably depend on them — they’re a handy way of passing info onto followers without having to put in the full effort or exposure required for a story, reel, or regular post. If Notes aren’t working, here’s what may be going on, and what you can do to try to fix it.

Why are Instagram Notes not showing?

Instagram on Nothing Phone 2 showing Android Authority account
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Before you worry about any technical issues, there are some inherent restrictions on Notes that you need to remember. They’ll only ever appear above your DM (direct message) list, and they can only be viewed by people who follow each other or belong to a group profile. On top of that they only last for 24 hours, so you may need to check in daily to catch them.

Otherwise, it’s most likely that Activity Status is off, or that there’s some temporary app or account glitch in the way. Alternately you (or whoever’s sharing a Note) may have chosen the wrong audience to share with.

How to fix Instagram Notes not showing

Run through the steps below as a checklist. If you reach the end and nothing’s worked, it’s probably time to report a technical problem to Instagram, though we wouldn’t count on a quick fix or even necessarily an immediate response. Your feedback should at least contribute to a solution down the road.

  • Make sure Activity Status is on. Begin by tapping on your profile icon, then the More (triple-line) button. Under How others can interact with you, choose Messages and story replies. Next tap Show activity status, then flip the appropriate toggle if it’s not on already.
  • Check that Notes are being shared with the right audience. Whenever you create a Note, you have three options for your target audience: Followers you follow back, Close Friends, or the members of a group profile you belong to. If you (or someone else) chose the wrong one of these, people who don’t fit that criteria won’t see the Note at all. If you’re not seeing a friend’s Notes, make sure you’re following each other, and ask to be added to their Close Friends list if you feel it’s appropriate.
  • Update the Instagram app. Meta may have fixed related software bugs and/or changed the way Notes works. Either way, updating Instagram will keep you current.
  • Clear the app’s cache. If you’re on Android, you can try purging Instagram’s cache in case that’s preventing Notes from appearing properly. There’s no equivalent option for iPhone users, so the closest they can come is force-quitting the app or rebooting their device.
  • Restart your phone. This shouldn’t usually accomplish anything different than clearing your cache and/or force-quitting the app, but it’s worth a try on the off chance of a deeply-rooted software issue.