Kim Barloso

Problem: Instagram doesn't show all the photos in the Gallery


Reader asks:

I had an unexpected problem with Instagram mobile app on Samsung Galaxy. Tried several methods suggested on the forum, but all of them didn't work. Describing the situation. Instagram, when trying to upload a photo in a post, does not display all the images in its library (or Gallery), but only a limited number of photos.

Well, let's figure it out. Have a look at our proposed solutions to this error.

Which of the methods helped you to get the thumbnails back in Instagram Gallery? Share in the comments!

Cleaner :

    CCleaner deletes image cache /files

    Let's assume you are using CCleaner to clean the junk /files on your phone. In that case, the thumbnails folder may be cleared automatically and without your knowledge. As a result, thumbnails /files for published photos won't show up in Gallery. And so you can't see them through the Instagram app.

    The solution is simple.

    1. Install WhatsApp messenger if you do not have it yet.
    2. Open WhatsApp, start a chat with someone you know or have added to your contacts.
    3. Click the paperclip icon to attach a photo.
    4. WhatsApp will open the Gallery window.
    5. Scroll through the entire gallery without sending the photo.
    6. WhatsApp will create new thumbnails.
    7. Check: whether these exquisites have appeared in the Instagram app.

    This way, WhatsApp will generate all the thumbnails from Android Gallery. Unfortunately, Instagram hasn't learned how to do this yet. It's also possible that other messengers like Viber will help you in a similar way. Please write in the comments if this method helped you.

    Open Instagram via Chrome browser

    Chrome also saves a cache on photos on your phone. This will help to recreate the thumbnails on Android that you will need in the mobile app. The method will work if you see a gray tile instead of the photos.

    1. Open the Instagram website in your Chrome browser.
    2. Click the plus button at the bottom of the page (the "Publish" button).
    3. Now scroll through the Gallery at a speed that will allow each image to load correctly.
    4. If all images are displayed as thumbnails, close the Chrome browser.
    5. Open the Instagram mobile app. The grey tiles will become thumbnails of the images.

    This method of restoring Instagram photo thumbnails is universal. You can do it with any browser or app that has storage permission and stores cache on your device.

    Android file system restrictions

    On both iOS and Android, Instagram can hide certain photos from the user. This is due to the limitations of the device's file system. In Android, some photos are in folders that also contain a ".nomedia" file. This file instructs the phone to hide any /files in this folder from other apps. This file is most often located in the /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails folder.

    If you use Android, make sure the folder you are trying to download /files from does not contain a ".nomedia" file. It might be hidden, therefore I recommend you do the following:

    1. Open a file manager like Total Commander,
    2. Go to the folder /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails, press the 3 dots
    3. Choose the option "Show hidden /files".

    Create a new folder in the Gallery

    If you open the Gallery from Instagram, the latest photos are displayed, but the old photos are covered with grey tiles. What should I do in this situation?

    1. Create a new folder in the Gallery.
    2. Transfer there your old/new/any photos to be published on Instagram.
    3. After the transfer, reopen the Gallery from Instagram by clicking on the "plus" button.
    4. The /files will be visible again.

    Often the photos become invisible in the Gallery because the file is too old.

    Load each photo one by one

    1. Go to your Gallery or File Manager* .
    2. Select the photo you would like to upload in instagram.
    3. Click on the photo and select the share option.
    4. Find the Instagram icon.
    5. Publish the photo in your Instagram feed.

    File Manager is not a good idea, it's rather taky to transfer /files to Instagram to upload or copy them manually to the Gallery.

    You have not fully scrolled through Gallery or opened the wrong folder

    1. Try to publish a post to Instagram.
    2. Try to upload photos to the post - you will see a collage list of 8 photos.
    3. Scroll down the images, i.e., scroll through them. As you scroll down, you will see an arrow and the name of the folder you are in. It is most likely Camera Roll.
    4. Click the arrow to select another folder, most likely you need the Photo Stream directory.

    Check the contents of a particular folder through the file manager or by going to the Gallery properties of the photo you were looking for when uploading to Instagram.

    The pictures in the Gallery are corrupted

    The Instagram library (stored separately from the Gallery) and actually all the pictures available in the phone memory.

    It is not uncommon for photos to be corrupted due to improper use of the device, memory card error or other circumstances.


    1. Check the memory card for read errors through PC.
    2. Try to recover the pictures and thumbnails using the DiskDigger (not likely to help)
    3. Clear the Gallery cache and recreate the thumbnails using the method above.

    “Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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    Kim Barloso