My Instagram Feed Stopped Working, or is Displaying an Empty Feed with no Posts

If your Instagram photos aren’t loading and all your see is a loading symbol then there are a few common reasons:

Diagnosing with Developer Tools (Advanced)

Here’s how to Diagnose common issues with Chrome developer tools. To use Chrome developer tools, right-click on a page with the Instagram Feed on it on your site and select “Inspect” or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+i on Windows or ⌥⌘i on Mac. Switch to the “console” tab to check the javascript console.

a) No errors in the console

Add the command sbi_init(); to the console and execute it (press enter).

If you trigger an Uncaught ReferenceError sbi_init is not defined, most likely the javascript file for the feed is missing from the page. See #3 below referring to “wp_footer”. If you’re using a plugin that optimizes/concatenates/minifies JavaScript files (such as autoptomize), you may need to reset it.

If the feed appears, you are probably using an ajax theme. See this page. It’s also possible that you are using a javascript concatenator/optimizer/minifier plugin that needs to be refreshed.

If nothing happens (no additional posts are displayed) and there isn’t a spinning icon, your feed settings might not be returning any posts possibly due to filtering with “Only show posts containing“, or all posts made to the hashtag feed are private. See #5 below. It’s also possible that the CSS file is missing from the page. See #3 referring to wp_head(). You may also want to make sure that your access token is valid if you are getting the message “Unable to display Instagram photos”.

b) There are one or more javascript errors appearing in the console.

Add the command sbi_init(); to the console and execute it (press enter).

If the feed appears, the error is coming from other plugins or your theme and is preventing the feed from loading. Try disabling other plugins and/or your theme to figure out which is causing the error.

If you trigger the error jQuery is not defined, either your theme or a plugin is loading jQuery too late or possibly removed the jQuery file from the source of the page.

If you trigger the error “Access to XMLHttpRequest at … has been blocked by CORS policy: No ‘Access-Control-Allow-Origin’ …” your “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” may not match the page that the feed is on. This includes the protocol (“http” vs “https”). These settings are found under the General menu item in the dashboard.

If you trigger the error “jQuery.ajax is not defined” you may be using a “slim” version of jQuery. Slim versions do not contain the ajax method our plugin uses to retrieve posts.


To resolve the issue please try the following:

1) Review the “Potential Causes” section below to see whether any apply.

2) If not, then try loading the Instagram Feed JavaScript file before other files using the “Enqueue JavaScript in header” setting OR using the “AJAX theme loading fix” setting both found on the Instagram Feed > Settings > Advanced tab.

3) Disable the following setting: Instagram Feed > Seetings > Advanced > JavaScript Image Loading

Potential Causes

1) There’s an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using

You can obtain a new Access Token on the plugin’s Settings page by clicking the Add Source > Connect button.

Occasionally the Connect button does not produce a working access token. You can try this link as well.

2) Your access token is incorrect for the feed you are trying to display

As of April 4th, 2018, you will only be able to display user feeds from accounts that you have a matching access token for.

3) You are displaying a Location, Coordinate, or Single Post feed

As of December 11th, 2018, it is unfortunately no longer possible to display Location, Coordinate, or Single Post feeds. Please see here for more information.

4) You are displaying a Hashtag Feed but haven’t connected a Business Profile

As of December 11th, 2018, it is required that you connect an Instagram Business Profile in order to display Hashtag feeds. Please see here for more information.

5) The plugin’s files aren’t being included in your page

This is most likely because your WordPress theme is missing the required WordPress functions for adding CSS and JavaScript files to the top and bottom of your pages. All themes should include the wp_head and wp_footer functions which are required for plugins to be able to add their files to your page. You can add these by doing the following:

  • Open your theme’s footer.php file and adding the following directly before the closing </body> tag: <?php wp_footer(); ?>
  • Open your theme’s header.php file and adding the following directly before the closing </head> tag: <?php wp_head(); ?>

6) There’s a JavaScript error on your site which is preventing the plugin’s JavaScript file from running

You find out whether this is the case by right-clicking on your page, selecting ‘Inspect Element”, and then clicking on the ‘Console’ tab, or by selecting the ‘JavaScript Console’ option from your browser’s Developer Tools.

If a JavaScript error is occurring on your site then you’ll see it listed in red along with the JavaScript file which is causing it, as shown below:


For more information about debugging JavaScript errors on your site see this WordPress article.

7) The feed you are trying to display has no posts

If you are trying to display a feed that has no posts made to it, a loading symbol may be all that shows for the feed or nothing at all. Once you add a post the feed should display normally

8) The shortcode you are using is incorrect

You may have an error in the shortcode you are using or are missing a necessary argument. For example, instead of using:

[instagram-feed hashtag="#myHashtag"]

Try adding the default shortcode by clicking the “Embed” button in the feed settings:

[instagram-feed feed="1"]

Then ensure you have the settings for the feed set up under Instagram Feed > All Feeds > Feed options (pen icon) for this feed.

9) You are using an outdated version of jQuery

The Instagram Feed Pro plugin requires at least jQuery version 1.7 to run. Some themes may disable WordPress’ default jQuery file and load their own which may cause this error. Contact the theme developer to see if they can update the file for you.

10) You are using an outdated Access Token

If only the last 20 posts from your own Instagram account seem to be available you need to update your access token. See this FAQ: Updating Your Instagram Access Token

11) You have a browser extension or add-on that is causing a problem

Certain browser extensions and add-ons cause problems with the feed. Try disabling them to see if the feed starts to display.

12) You are filtering out too many posts

If you are using the setting show/remove posts that contain these words or phrases, otherwise known as the “Do not show posts containing” / “Only show posts containing” filtering options, you may be filtering out too many posts for the feed to display any. Instagram does not send posts from a specific user that also have a specific hashtag so the plugin will request all posts from the user account or hashtag feed and then will filter based on “Do not show posts containing” / “Only show posts containing“. See this post for some possible solutions to work around this.

13) Only a “carousel” feed isn’t working

Your theme may be loading jQuery twice. WordPress loads jQuery version 1.12 by default. If you are using a custom version of jQuery, make sure to dequeue the default script.


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