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2021: How to Pause an Instagram Reel.

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Have you ever tried to pause an Instagram video and realized you were doing it incorrectly (only turning on and off the volume)?

Since the introduction of reels on photo-sharing platforms, one issue that people have encountered and continue to encounter is how to pause a reel while watching one on a phone or laptop.

Instagram introduced the reels feature in August 2020 to combat the fluency and facilitate how viral videos should go on the platform. TikTok inspired the creation of this reel feature after the latter surpassed Instagram and many other apps as the most downloaded and used video-sharing platform. As a result, more internet users are attracted.

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Now, I’ve had issues with pausing the reels on the platform as well, but I never considered it to be a major issue until someone messaged me asking how to pause an Instagram reel. Then I realized there had to be more people out there who were having trouble with the feature.

That’s how the article you’re about to read came to be. In case you’re experiencing the same issue. If you read to the end, you’ll know how to pause an Instagram reel on both your phone and computer.

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Previously, pausing a video (not a reel) on Instagram was as simple as tapping on the video or the pause sign, which was always displayed at the bottom of all videos.

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However, since the introduction of the reels, you must tap and hold on to the video to pause it, and when you lift your fingers from the active screen, the video resumes playing. Yes, it is that easy. Tap and hold on to the screen to pause the video. If you want the video to continue, press the release button.

Note: Instagram removed the native rewind (fast forward / backward) feature from the reels because they thought it was too short (15 seconds) to have a winding feature. However, you can do it on Instagram for live videos or longer videos by tapping and holding, then dragging backward or forward.

There is also another personally intuited method of pausing an Instagram reel on phone. That is done by tapping the three dots in the lower right corner of the video.

Though pausing the video is not its natural function, as it also allows you to report, remix, and remove the reel from your feed, you can use it to pause the video and keep the screen alive for as long as you want, and your video resumes play by tapping on the screen again.


Surprisingly, pausing an Instagram reel on a laptop is much easier than you might think. It functions similarly to a phone video. A tap on a reel on the phone mutes or unmutes it, but it pauses it on the laptop. Simply move your cursor over the video and click it. That’s all; your video has been paused. At the bottom right corner, there is a speaker sign and a mute and unmute button.

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Yvone Kendi
Yvone Kendi
Writer by heart. Lover of life and technology. Helping you with simple life hacks using technology. Contact me at [email protected]

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