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Pausing a Reel seems like a basic feature you’d expect from any video platform, right? Well, with Instagram, it’s not as straightforward. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this article to help you out when you need to hit pause on a Reel for whatever reason.

Can You Pause Instagram Reels?

Yes and no. On the one hand, there isn’t a built-in feature specifically designed to pause Instagram Reels.

However, there is a workaround that allows you to pause Reels temporarily, which we’ll explore in the following sections. If you need a closer look or want to read something in the video, it shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

Why isn’t there a specific pause button for Reels?

Instagram Reels look similar to features found on other platforms, which raises some concerns about copyright laws. This could be why there’s no dedicated pause button for videos on Instagram. However, there’s been no official confirmation or statement about this.

Will Instagram ever consider adding a pause button for Reels?

It seems highly unlikely, but you can still submit a feature request with Instagram to make this a possibility in the future. It may be hard to get in touch with the support team, but Quora users have a few suggestions.

Can you stop Stories and video posts on Instagram?

Sure, you can apply the same techniques mentioned earlier to pause Stories and video posts. Whether it’s Reels, videos, or stories, they all share the same playback features on Instagram.

How to Pause an Instagram Reel on Mobile

Here’s how to pause Instagram Reels with the mobile app:

Credit: Instagram
  1. Open Instagram on your phone.
  2. Hit the Reels button in the lower menu.
  3. Keep scrolling until you find a Reel that interests you.
  4. Press and hold your finger on the screen. Lift your finger when you want it to start playing again.

Keep in mind that if you tap and quickly let go, it’ll only mute the Reel. So, keep your finger pressed to pause it.

How to Stop Instagram Reels While Browsing on Desktop

If you’re using Instagram on your computer, pausing a Reel works a bit differently. Here’s how:

  1. Open your web browser and go to Instagram’s website.
  2. Keep scrolling through your feed until you see a Reel you want to stop.
  3. Tap the middle of the video to pause it. You’ll notice a white play icon appearing in the center of the Reel.
  4. To resume playing the Reel, tap the play icon.
Note: unlike the mobile app, Reels on the desktop version of Instagram are mixed in with your regular feed.

How to Pause Instagram Reels Without Holding

Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in feature for that.

A few have learned that tapping and keeping their finger on the screen is the only reliable thing that does the trick for now. Hopefully, Instagram will consider adding a pause button in the future to make the user experience better..

Alternatively, you can take a screenshot of the moment you want to pause and look back at it later. Or you can screen record the Reel or part of it, then pause and replay it from your camera roll. While not perfect, these options can help you mimic a pause-like function.

Not good enough? Then try this trick to pause Instagram Reels:

  1. Open Google Chrome (or another web browser) on your phone.
  2. Go to and log in if needed.
  3. Find the Reel you want to pause and tap on it.
  4. Tap the play icon to start the Reel.
  5. When the Reel starts playing on a loop, tap anywhere on the video (ideally in the middle) to pause it.

Pausing Instagram Reels on Facebook

As you can guess, the process differs depending on whether you’re using a mobile phone or a PC.

Here’s how you can do it on mobile:

Credit: Meta
  1. Open Facebook on your phone.
  2. Tap on the Watch icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select Reels at the top.
  4. Pause the Reel you want by finding it and tapping your screen.
  5. You’ll also see a seek bar at the bottom to scrub through the Reel as needed.
  6. To resume playing, tap on the Reel again.

If you’re on PC:

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. Click on Reels at the top of the page.
  3. Find the Reel you want to pause and click to open it.
  4. Click on the playing Reel to pause it. You’ll see a play icon in the upper right corner once it’s paused.
  5. To resume playing, click on the Reel again.

Can You Skip Forward or Backward in Reels or Other Videos on Instagram?

Unfortunately, you don’t have any playback controls when viewing Reels on Instagram. You could previously pause Reels by tapping and holding on the screen and then sliding up. Sadly, this bug has since then been fixed by Instagram.

User Feedback About Reels Lacking Pause Button

People who use Instagram Reels have been sharing their thoughts about it. Many of them have pointed out that the experience can be frustrating.

On Reddit, users discussed their struggles with pausing Reels, with some finding the tap-and-hold method not very obvious. They also mentioned accidentally muting the Reel because they didn’t hold the screen long enough.

People also talked about their attempts to pause Reels on the desktop version of Instagram. They generally found the click-to-pause feature easier to use than the mobile app.

Overall, users’ feedback shows that Instagram should think about bringing back a special pause button for Reels to make it easier for everyone. Until then, use the tips mentioned in this article.