No website can avoid running into the occasional glitch and problem, and when you consider how vastly complicated many social media websites are, it’s not surprising that their users encounter lots of different errors and difficulties at various times. There are so many different aspects to these websites that things are bound to go wrong occasionally, and a common error which many Instagram users seem to come across is the Instagram 5xx Server Error. This is perhaps one of the most frustrating, as it usually won’t allow you to access the website at all, and often doesn’t give very much information besides the error code.

Instagram 5xx Error - Explanation

Instagram 5xx Error – Explanation

Instagram 5xx Server Error

The 5xx Server Error seems to be one which crops up every now and again, and has done throughout Instagram’s existence. It’s not specific to Instagram: 5xx refers to any error code 500-511, which covers server errors. These errors appear when the website’s server is failing to fulfill requests, and therefore the website cannot display the requested data. The different numbers refer to different server errors which can occur, and may tell you whether the error is temporary (for example, when a website is down for maintenance), or permanent (if a website has been removed).

How Can I Troubleshoot This?


Knowing that a 5xx Server Error refers specifically to a problem with Instagram’s servers isn’t enough on its own. There are a few different things you can try which might help you more specifically identify the problem, which may help you decide what action to take.

  • The first step is to google the specific error number you’re getting. For example, error 503 means that the service is unavailable. This is usually temporary, and may appear if a website is undergoing maintenance or experiencing problems. If see this error, you probably want to just try again later, and google whether Instagram is having issues at the moment.
  • If you’re using the app, check the browser version (or vice versa). It’s a server issue, you will probably find the same error codes with both, but it’s worth making sure of this. If one is working and the other is not, it’s likely not a server issue and you may need to do further research.
  • If you see error code 511, you need Network Authentication. This means that you are being intercepted before gaining full access to the internet, and may be the case if you try to access free public Wi-Fi without having entered the correct code. Make sure you get the necessary information, and then try again, as this error is not one with Instagram’s server, but lies with the network owner. You may need to agree to terms and conditions or log in to solve the problem.


Server issues are often caused by maintenance or problems on the website’s end, but it’s worth searching for the specific error code you see and checking what it means. You may find it’s something which can be sorted out from your phone, and at the very least may get a better idea of what’s causing the problem, even if it’s down to Instagram to fix it.

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