Primary Navigation

This Song Is Currently Unavailable on Instagram [Quick Fixes]

Getting “This song is currently unavailable” on Instagram could be caused by the following:

  1. Copyright disputes/Licensing conflicts.
  2. Regional permission limits.
  3. Commercial use limitations (for IG Business accounts).
  4. Outdated Instagram Firmware.
  5. Random glitches on Instagram.

It can be difficult to understand why certain songs are aren’t available on Instagram, especially if you’ve successfully used them in the past. It also doesn’t help how vague this warning is, leaving users scratching their heads on what, exactly, has changed.

We’ll give you a short rundown on some key factors that go into IG music availability, and hopefully provide you with some context on how the platform makes these decisions.

Why Is This Song Currently Unavailable on Instagram?

Copyright Disputes over the Music

Copyright law being contested over the phone

If you’re getting the message “This song is currently unavailable” on a track that you’ve used before, there’s a good chance that copyright disputes got it pulled off the catalog.

Licensing Agreements

This commonly happens due to licensing agreements expiring. Instagram buys the rights to certain songs from labels and other music distributors for their userbase to enjoy.

These contracts are temporary and need to be renewed once contract duration lapses. If negotiations fall through, the song ends up unavailable on Instagram. Any reels that previously used the track will be muted, and the creators won’t even be notified of this change!

Popular songs tend to command higher worth, which can slow down contract negotiations as the parties involved work towards an acceptable compromise.

If the track that won’t play happens to be listed in the Billboard Hot 100, for example, expect its availability to be a little irregular on Instagram.

Music Rights Changes

The Music industry is complex, with multiple different stakeholders involved even for individual songs. Figuring out what a song is worth in these cases can be tough – in fact, just figuring out who to pay for the music permissions can become a headache!

For this reason, it’s standard practice to pause the distribution of contested tracks until the rights holders have sorted things out internally. If you want to look into why a specific song isn’t available on Instagram, check out their current rights holder – they may be embroiled in a legal battle or trying to renegotiate with their talents. 

If you aren’t sure if a certain track is fair to use on an Instagram reel, play it safe and archive it for the time being – you can always unarchive your reels on Instagram whenever you please.

Regional RestrictionsGeo-restrictions separating content permissions by region

Unfortunately, songs may also be unavailable on Instagram due to regional limitations.

When a company buys the rights to use music, distribution scope is constrained to whatever regions its contract stipulates. Having a song accessible for all users on Instagram, regardless of region, is quite costly (outside of royalty-free music catalogs) and extremely rare.

To test for this possibility, try watching a reel with a VPN active. VPNs work by encrypting your location data, allowing you to access region-locked content. If you’re getting the song to work with a VPN, it means that the track’s distribution scope didn’t include your country.

Do note that Instagram doesn’t take kindly to VPN use. While testing out song availability in other people’s feeds is fine, using it to utilize region-locked songs for your own reels may lead to copyright strikes or account suspension – especially for monetized content!

Commercial Use Limitations (Business Accounts)

It’s quite easy to overlook, but business accounts on Instagram actually have a slightly smaller music catalog than personal accounts. Certain songs might be permitted for casual Instagram use, but barred in commercial (for-profit) contexts due to licensing constraints.

Try to find the song you want on a personal Instagram account – if it shows up there but not on your business profile, it means that this particular song can’t be used commercially on Instagram. This caveat only affects the content you post on the business account, though.

You can still use the song on your personal Instagram account, and your feed won’t filter out instances of the song in other people’s content. It’s rarely an issue that comes up, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re using a business account on Instagram.

You Need to Update to the Latest Version of Instagram

Getting “This song is currently unavailable” on Instagram is usually a legal rights issue, but in the rare instances it shouldn’t happen (i.e. with royalty-free music) it might be thanks to firmware instability issues with Instagram.

How To Update Instagram

Follow the video above to ensure that Instagram is updated to the latest version available.

Outdated versions of the app could cause UI conflicts, unintended interactions, or even straight-up break certain features on the platform! If the update doesn’t work, try disabling the app and re-enabling it – this should clear most server-side issues. If that still doesn’t work, try reinstalling Instagram from scratch.

Instagram Is Just Bugging Out

Lastly, Instagram is an expansive service that caters to millions around the globe – sometimes things just bug out in unexpected ways.

It’s not out of the question for certain tracks to randomly end up unavailable on Instagram, especially if their servers are struggling with the traffic.

Since the issue is on Instagram’s end here, you’ll unfortunately have to wait until they resolve things. It could take a couple of days for them to deal with it, so you’d probably be better off looking for a different track to use in your reel.