See, we all use Instagram when we probably shouldn’t. We open the app and scroll through the feed or spontaneously tap through stories – even when we’re around other people and need to do it in silence. It used to not be a problem – on the iPhone, just hold down the mute switch and Instagram will remain silent. Except, it doesn’t anymore.
No, it’s not just you: Instagram doesn’t stay silent anymore, even if you have your mute button on. Annoyingly, if you turn off your phone while in the Instagram app, it stops the sound for a while, but the next story you load or video you scroll past will go back to blaring sound. And you know, a lot of the audio on Instagram isn’t very subtle (thanks, TikTok).
Okay, so how can you fix it permanently? Well, here’s the problem… you can’t. At least we haven’t been able to find out. Trying all the usual steps like uninstalling and reinstalling the app, logging out and back in, or restarting your phone only fixes it temporarily.
The only way to prevent Instagram from playing audio is to manually lower your phone’s system volume. To do that, just pull down your Control Center with a swipe from the top right corner of your screen and slide the volume slider to the bottom so it shows a speaker with a line through it. Alternatively, you can use the volume down button on the side of your phone to do the same – as long as you don’t have your phone set to change its ringtone volume with the volume buttons instead.
Chances are, we’ll just have to wait impatiently for Instagram to fix the problem. Given that this bug apparently appeared without an Instagram app update, there’s a good chance the company will be able to fix the problem server-side — rather than pushing out an app update. Whatever they’re going to do, I hope they do it soon – I’m going to go back to watching Reels while I act like I’m paying attention to something else.