[Solved] Instagram not working with VPN

Elena Constantinescu
by Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Elena started writing professionally in 2010 and hasn't stopped exploring the tech world since. With a firm grasp of software reviewing and content editing, she is always trying new things to improve her skill... Read more
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  • Instagram is blocked in several countries, but people can still access it by using a VPN to hide their IP addresses and spoof their geographical positions.
  • It becomes problematic when Instagram is not working even on a VPN. But you can troubleshoot this issue with a bit of time and patience.
  • Get started by dropping your free VPN service in favor of a premium VPN that actually does its job well.
  • Change your DNS servers, disable your ad blocker, switch to more secure VPN protocols, and use more solutions.
fix Instagram not working on VPN

Many countries ban or temporarily limit access to social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

It’s why many users turn to VPNs. They help not only with hiding your IP address and protecting your online privacy but also with accessing blocked sites.

However, if Instagram is not working even after connecting to a VPN, it becomes truly problematic.

You shouldn’t give up, though. Instead, try troubleshooting this issue and make the social media platform accessible on a virtual private network.

Check out more than 12 possible solutions to get Instagram up and running again when staying connected to a VPN server.

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How do I fix Instagram not working on VPN?

Avoid using free VPN

don't use free VPN

If you’re using a free VPN to access Instagram, you shouldn’t be surprised if the website doesn’t load.

Free VPN services rarely do a good job of concealing your online identity. Besides, they’re filled with adware, which exposes you to various risks of malware infection.

Furthermore, free VPNs typically monitor, collect, and share your VPN traffic with third parties, such as marketing agencies.

Use a reliable VPN service

PIA is connected to a US VPN server
  1. Sign up for a premium VPN subscription (we recommend PIA)
  2. Download and install PIA on Windows 10
  3. Click the PIA icon in the systray
  4. Press the big power button to connect
  5. Try to access Instagram now

When it comes to commercial VPN services with unblocking powers, we think that Private Internet Access is the best in the business.

It features more than 23,500 VPN and proxy servers across 99 locations and 77 countries. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in a country that doesn’t ban Instagram.

More about PIA:

  • Works with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • No logs or leaks
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
  • Pay with a credit card, PayPal, or crypto
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Free VPNs are dangerous, but a premium VPN is worth it. Use PIA to access blocked sites like Instagram.

Check priceBuy it now

Change VPN servers

PIA VPN countries

It’s possible that Instagram blocked access to a range of VPN IP addresses, including the one you’re connected to. This often happens when trying to use a free VPN to bypass firewalls.

That’s because free virtual private network solutions usually resort to free and public VPN IP addresses, which can be quickly detected and blocked by the remote host.

Connect to various VPN servers to test this theory and see if you can get your VPN working with Instagram.


Is your VPN getting blocked on Windows 10? Our article shows how to quickly fix this problem.


Change your DNS servers

use PIA DNS
  1. Click PIA’s icon in the systray
  2. Go to Settings > Network
  3. Set Name Servers to PIA DNS
  4. Try to connect to Instagram now

Private Internet Access and other top premium VPNs have private DNS servers to reroute and protect your DNS requests from ISP monitoring.

Make sure you’re using exclusive DNS instead of the operating system’s automatic DNS servers, which are set by your ISP (not secure).

However, if your VPN doesn’t have private DNS or if Instagram blocks your VPN’s DNS servers, the next best thing is to configure custom DNS servers.

Feel free to use the following DNS servers, which are public and secure:

  • Google Public DNS
    • 8.8.8.8 preferred (IPv4)
    • 8.8.4.4 alternate (IPv4)
    • 2001:4860:4860::8888 preferred (IPv6)
    • 2001:4860:4860::8844 alternate (IPv6)
  • Cloudflare
    • 1.1.1.1 preferred (IPv4)
    • 1.0.0.1 alternate (IPv4)
    • 2606:4700:4700::1111 preferred (IPv6)
    • 2606:4700:4700::1001 alternate (IPv6)
  • OpenDNS
    • 208.67.222.222 preferred (IPv4)
    • 208.67.220.220 alternate (IPv4)
    • 2620:119:35::35 preferred (IPv6)
    • 2620:119:53::53 alternate (IPv6)

Disable the VPN’s adblocker

disable PIA Mace
  1. Click PIA’s icon in the systray
  2. Go to Settings > Privacy
  3. Disable PIA MACE

A few premium VPNs like PIA, NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN have a built-in feature to protect your browsing sessions from malware and ads.

However, this may cause Instagram to stop loading content properly. But you can easily test this by turning off the VPN’s adblocker.

If your VPN doesn’t have one, then disable your web browser’s adblocker.

Visit our Ad Blocker & AntiSpam Hub to find the best software tools for your PC.

Use more secure VPN protocols

configure PIA connection settings

Some VPNs still support old protocols like PPTP because it’s fast, bypasses most firewalls, and is compatible with all devices.

However, PPTP has a low level of security and can be easily hacked.

If you created a manual VPN connection with PPTP, you should drop it and switch to a more secure protocol like OpenVPN, WireGuard, or SSTP.

For example, Private Internet Access (buy here) uses OpenVPN by default. But you can easily switch to WireGuard.

Use Tor over VPN

use PIA with Tor for Instagram
  1. Connect to a PIA VPN server
  2. Download Tor Browser and set it up on your PC
  3. Start Tor Browser
  4. Visit Instagram

If social media and VPNs are blocked in your country, then you should take extra steps to preserve your online anonymity and bypass the Instagram block by joining the Tor network.

On its own, Tor already offers a high level of online security and privacy.

You can use it without connecting to a VPN, but you can also use Tor with VPN simultaneously.

Keep in mind that this might take a heavy toll on your network connection since it involves multiple layers of encryption.

Discover the best VPNs for Tor to increase your online privacy and security.

Connect to obfuscated VPN servers

Some users reported that Instagram has started blocking their VPN connection. In that case, you must hide the fact that you’re using a VPN by turning on obfuscation mode.

Basically, it makes your VPN traffic look like regular HTTPS traffic, so it won’t be blocked by Instagram.

Few premium VPNs support obfuscated servers, such as NordVPN (buy here) or Surfshark (buy here).

Disable default gateway on the remote network

deselect disable Use default gateway on remote network
  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start button
  2. Go to Network Connections > Change adapter options
  3. Right-click your VPN connection and select Properties
  4. Switch to the Networking tab, select IPv4, and click Properties
  5. Click Advanced
  6. Disable Use default gateway on remote network
  7. Click OK
  8. Restart your VPN client and connect to a server
  9. Try to access Instagram now

Using the default gateway on the remote network is a safe option, but it might result in a slower Internet connection. You can also have trouble accessing certain websites, such as Instagram.

As such, you can get your VPN working properly again by disabling this option, thus forcing all network traffic to use the local default gateway.

Change the VPN media status

change the VPN media status in Windows 10
  1. Go to Network Connections > Change adapter options
  2. Right-click the VPN connection and choose Properties
  3. In the Networking tab, select Client for Microsoft Networks
  4. Click Configure and switch to the Advanced tab
  5. Select Media Status and set Value to Always Connected
  6. Click OK

Check the hosts file

remove Instagram from the Windows 10 hosts file
  • Run the Windows 10 Notepad as admin
  • Press Ctrl + O, open the dropdown menu next to File name, and select All Files (*.*)
  • Click inside the address bar and paste the following:C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  • Open the hosts file.
  • Save a copy of the hosts file as backup.
  • Delete any lines of code that contain instagram, such as:

0.0.0.0 www.instagram.com
0.0.0.0 instagram.com
0.0.0.0 l.instagram.com
0.0.0.0 help.instagram.com

  • Save changes with Ctrl + S.

The Hosts file is a system document that contains the TCP/IP configurations. If your computer was used by someone else, they might have deliberately blocked access to Instagram using this file.

In that case, you can’t access Instagram no matter what you do, not even with a VPN. To fix this issue, you have to delete any lines of code associated with Instagram.

However, you need administrator rights on your PC. If you need to restore settings and block Instagram again, just replace the current hosts file with the backup.

If you’re worried about messing up network settings, find out about how to correctly edit the Windows 10 hosts file.

Flush DNS and reset Winsock

how to flush DNS and reset Winsock
  • Launch Command Prompt as admin
  • Paste the lines (press Enter between each line):

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
NETSH winsock reset catalog
NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log
NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log
exit

  • Restart your PC

Check out more details about how to fix DNS issues in Windows 10.

More solutions

use Instagram

If Instagram is still not working over VPN, despite your best efforts, here are more solutions you can try:


Having VPN connection issues on PC? This complete guide shows how to fix them.


Conclusion

All aspects considered, there could be numerous reasons why your VPN connection gets blocked by Instagram.

However, if you have a bit of time and patience, you can get to the root of the problem and try fixing it using the workarounds we provided above.

No matter what the issue is, keep in mind that you need a trustworthy VPN with high-speed VPN servers and excellent security features.

And we can’t think of a better VPN than Private Internet Access (buy here).

Did you manage to fix your VPN and regain access to Instagram? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, you can use a VPN to access blocked sites like Instagram.

  • Yes, you can get tracked on VPN in particular cases. For example, if you use a VPN to access Instagram, you will expose your true online identity once you log in with your Instagram account.

  • Any website can ban IP addresses, including Instagram, especially if there are too many connections originating from that IP. But you can get around this problem by connecting to another IP address using a VPN.

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