Troubleshooting/Instagram Cancel Upload

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How To Stop a Video Upload to Instagram

My wife tried to upload a video to Instagram from her Android (Galaxy) phone but it stopped uploading at 12% and stayed that way for hours.

She has two Instagram accounts and can't swap between them because an Instagram message says an upload is in progress.

So, how do we stop it and cancel the upload?


Possible Solutions

I tried these steps first.

Restart the Phone
A good idea that fixes a lot of things but made no difference. When the phone restarted the Instagram app continued to try to upload the video file.
Stop Instagram
From Settings, Application Manager I selected Instagram and clicked on Force Stop. When I opened the Instagram app the video upload was still there but had the word 'Failed' highlighted in red. A step forward, but not for long. There is no way to delete the video or cancel the upload from that screen and clicking on it just tried to restart the upload.
Clear the Instagram Cache
By this time, my wife had deleted the video from the phone. The upload was never going to work! So, thinking that Instagram might have cached it I went to the Application Manager again, selected Instagram and cleared the cache. For good measure I also restarted the phone. Unfortunately it made no difference.


What Worked

The best idea came from a number of sources, all of whom suggested disconnecting the phone from the Internet. Turn off your wireless modem. Disconnect wireless on the phone. Or, even better - turn on Flight Mode. That is best because if you disconnect from a wireless network the phone may switch over to mobile data and maintain an Internet connection.

After turning Flight Mode ON and opening the Instagram app the status of the failed video upload was different. Now there was an option to Delete it. Well, that was a no-brainer, and after deleting the failed upload I turned Flight Mode OFF, Instagram re-connected to the Internet, and the problem was gone.

My wife was also able to switch accounts. Problem solved!


Why This Worked

There are probably many reasons why the upload failed initially. A problem with the file itself, or the network connection, or even the app. Failed uploads are common.

What the Instagram app fails to recognise is the cause and it keeps trying to do something that is doomed to fail - because it can. While it has an Internet connection it will keep trying.

The one problem the Instagram app can recognise is if it can't continue an upload - because there is no network connection. So selecting Flight Mode forces the app to respond by giving you the choice - you don't have a connection so would you like to delete the video now? Deleting the video stops the process, the task is over, and everything will be back to normal when Flight Mode is off.


In 2018 Instagram enabled a feature called Instagram TV which allowed upload of longer videos than previously. Failed uploads are more likely as the file size increases. I hope the solution described here will be helpful to you.