How to Pause Instagram Reel: Mastering Videos on iPhone

By: Val Razo

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Val Razo

In 2023, with Instagram’s ever-evolving platform, have you found yourself engrossed in an enticing reel on Instagram and wanted to pause the video? You’re not the only one. Many have tried to pause Instagram reels or even a regular Instagram video on a desktop and realized it’s not as intuitive as one might hope. It’s quite the conundrum, especially when the video you’re watching is longer than 60 seconds and you’re eager to resume playing the reel from where you left off. But here’s the good news: this guide is your affiliate link to mastering the art of pausing. Whether you’re on your PC, IG, or Instagram mobile app, we’ve got you covered. Dive into this comprehensive guide, and by the end, you’ll easily pause any video or reel on Instagram, ensuring you catch every detail. Ready to follow these steps? Let’s jump right in!

How to pause a video on Instagram

Different Types of Instagram Videos

Regular videos

Instagram has become a hub for sharing moments, and regular videos are a significant part of that. Whether it’s a cute cat video or a friend’s vacation highlight, these videos capture memories. But what if you need a quick break in the middle of watching one? Simply tap on the video, and it will pause. Want to continue? Just tap again, and you’re back in action. Remember, though, with the recent updates, a single tap might only mute the audio, so be cautious.

Live videos

Going live on Instagram is all the rage these days. It’s a fantastic way to interact with followers in real-time. But what if you need to step away for a moment? Unfortunately, you can’t pause a live video. But you can always rewind a bit if you missed something. Just use the ➜ icon!

Instagram stories

Stories are fleeting 24-hour posts that allow users to share snippets of their day. While you can’t traditionally pause a story, a nifty trick is to tap and hold on the screen. This will freeze the story, allowing you to take your time. When you’re ready to move on, simply release your hold.

Instagram Reels

Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok – short, engaging videos set to music. They’re fun, catchy, and super addictive. To pause a reel, you can tap on it. But remember, reels are usually just 60 seconds long, so you won’t have to wait long if you miss something.

Comprehensive Guide to Pausing Videos

Through touch gestures

The most straightforward method to pause a video on Instagram is by using touch gestures. When you’re watching a video, simply hold your finger on the screen, and it will pause. Ready to continue? Just lift your finger, and the video will resume. It’s as simple as that!

Through the share option

Another method to pause a video is through the share option. When watching a video, tap on the three dots (icon) on the top right corner of the screen. This will bring up a menu with various options. Select “Share,” and a pop-up will appear. Don’t worry about actually sharing the video; just leave the pop-up open, and your video will remain paused.

Device-specific methods

Different devices offer slightly different experiences on Instagram. Here’s how you can pause videos on:

  • Android: Open the Instagram app, find a video, and tap on it to pause.
  • iPhone: Similarly, on an iPhone, tap on the video to pause it.

Special cases

There are some special cases where the usual methods might not work:

  • Pausing Instagram Live videos: As mentioned earlier, you can’t pause live videos. But you can rewind a bit if you missed something.
  • Pausing videos while making a reel: If you’re in the middle of creating a reel and need a break, simply tap on the screen to pause your recording.
  • Pausing an Instagram story without holding the button: If you’re watching a story and want to pause it without holding down, try tapping on the left side of the screen. This will rewind the story a bit, giving you some extra time.

Tap on the screen

Updates and Changes in Instagram

Instagram, like any other tech platform, is always evolving. With each update, they aim to enhance the user experience, keeping in mind the current trends and user feedback.

Recent updates related to pausing videos and reels

Over the past year, Instagram has rolled out several updates, especially concerning videos and reels. One of the most notable changes was the introduction of the subscribe feature for reels, allowing users to follow their favorite content creators more closely. This was a strategic move to compete with platforms like TikTok. Another significant update was the enhancement of the pausing feature for reels, making it more user-friendly and intuitive.

Anticipated future updates

While we can’t predict the future, based on current trends and user feedback, we can anticipate some potential updates. There’s a buzz in the tech community about Instagram working on a scroll feature for videos, similar to how users browse through their feed. Additionally, there’s talk about introducing interactive tutorials for new features, ensuring users get the most out of the platform.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Every platform has its quirks, and Instagram is no exception. One common issue many users face is the inability to pause videos.

Reasons why users can’t pause videos

There could be several reasons why users can’t pause videos. It could be due to a glitch in the app, outdated software, or even user error. Sometimes, the video doesn’t pause because of network issues or if the content is being streamed live.

Solutions and workarounds

If you’re facing issues pausing videos, here are some solutions:

  1. Ensure your app is updated to the latest version.
  2. Check your internet connection.
  3. Restart the Instagram app or even your device.
  4. If all else fails, reach out to Instagram’s support team.

Solutions and workarounds

Practical Demonstrations

For those who are visual learners or prefer a hands-on approach, here’s a practical guide.

Step-by-step guide to pause videos and reels

  1. Open the Instagram app and navigate to the video or reel you want to watch.
  2. As the video starts playing, tap on the screen to pause it.
  3. To resume, simply tap again.
  4. For reels, you can also use the subscribe button to follow the content creator and get notified of their updates.

Hidden Features and Lesser-Known Tricks

Instagram is packed with features, some of which are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Advanced methods to enhance the video-watching experience on Instagram

  1. Hack: Use two fingers to zoom in and out of videos.
  2. Keyword search: Use specific keywords to find videos related to your interests.
  3. Take a screenshot: If you want to save a particular moment from a video, you can take a screenshot. Just ensure you respect the content creator’s rights.


From its humble beginnings as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram has evolved into a dynamic space for videos, reels, and so much more. The way to pause a captivating Instagram reel or an engaging video has become an essential part of the user experience. Whether you’re diving deep into your Instagram feed, watching a video you want in the middle of the video, or exploring the web version, the ability to pause reels and seamlessly resume is a game-changer. And if you ever find yourself pondering over the faqs, remember the three-dot menu is your friend. With features like slider back and the handy simply click option, ensuring your video stays paused is a breeze. So, as you navigate your Instagram account, cherish the joy of discovering content that truly speaks to you. Here’s to enhancing your video-watching journey and making the most of every video like and pause the reel moment. Remember, it’s not just about the features but the memories and connections you create along the way. Dive in, explore, and happy Instagramming!

Three-dot menu

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I upload a video in its full dimensions on Instagram?

When you’re looking to upload a video, ensure it meets Instagram’s recommended dimensions. For reels, the optimal size is 1080×1920 pixels. To maintain the full dimensions of your video, avoid cropping it. Instead, use the pinch-to-zoom feature to fit the video within the frame.

Can I access a transkript of an Instagram video or reel?

Currently, Instagram doesn’t provide a direct transkript feature for videos or reels. However, many content creators include captions or use third-party apps to generate and add transcriptions to their videos, enhancing accessibility.

Is there a way to replay a video or reel immediately after it ends?

Absolutely! Once a video or reel finishes playing, you’ll notice a replay icon on the bottom left. Simply tap on it, and the video will start from the beginning. This feature is especially popular among users who enjoy watching captivating content multiple times.

How can I change my account name on Instagram?

Changing your account name is straightforward. Go to your profile, tap on ‘Edit Profile’, and you’ll find an option to update your username. Remember, this name is unique, so if it’s already taken, you might need to consider variations.

Why am I not able to pause some videos on Instagram?

While you can pause an Instagram reel or video by tapping on it, some live broadcasts or IGTV previews in the feed might not have the able to pause feature. For a better viewing experience, you can visit the creator’s profile and watch the full IGTV video, which typically allows pausing.

Author Bio

Val Razo

Val Razo is a skilled professional in the field of Instagram Marketing. With over five years of experience as a freelance Social Media Marketing consultant, Val has assisted numerous small and medium-sized businesses in achieving their goals.