How to Solve Instagram Challenge Required Error?

Updated on: November 10, 2022
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Instagram is a popular and addictive app that people use for entertainment, business and communication. But sometimes, it seems to break down for some users as they get locked out of their accounts, while it works fine for others. In this article, we will look at what the "Instagram Challenge Required" error/bug is, how users experience frustration because of it, and what are its working fixes.

What is the Instagram Challenge Required Error?

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There is an annoying bug or error "Challenge Required" that many Instagram users experience. It happens unexpectedly where they try to open Instagram as usual, but instead get the "Error: challenge_required" dialog message. They get locked out of their accounts in this situation. It can be very disorienting and frustrating to deal with the Instagram Challenge Required Error. Many users try different logical fixes but end up not solving the problem. They go on the Web looking for solutions from other users on Youtube, Reddit, blogs, and social media. Others are magically able to fix this issue, by doing different things. So they share those solutions with others, which seem to work for some and not for others.

Normally, whenever a user does something problematic, causing a restriction on them, the flow of screens is streamlined to guide the user for solving this situation. The first big reason that makes this very frustrating is the vague nature of this feedback message from the app. It lacks the information for guiding users about what went wrong, why it happened, and what can be done to solve it? We can observe the varied experiences of users and the wide range of solutions being discussed on the Web. By doing so, our guess is that there may be a number of reasons behind the "Challenge Required" error message.

What is the root cause of the Instagram Challenge Required Error?

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Unfortunately, there is no official documentation from Instagram or Meta regarding this error. Our educated guess is that there are multiple possible reasons why some users encounter this error. Firstly, the vague nature of error message reveals that this is a catch all generic message for many different bugs and errors. Here's the list of possible causes for the Challenge Required error:

  • Network security protocol handshake doesn't happen as intended.
  • User performs some suspicious actions that looks like bot activity, spamming, or hacking attempt.
    • Sometimes, users can follow, like or message a lot of times in a short while. This looks like automated actions of bots.
    • If users use a new device, internet connection, or new location for logging in to Instagram, safeguards are triggered automatically to protect the account from hacking. Use of VPNs can sometimes mimic this behavior as well.
  • When a new version of the app is released, but the user is on older versions, there is some incompatibility in the codebase that makes the app to break down.
  • Some undetected bug in the Instagram codebase causes many user accounts to be affected.
  • Any social media platform has a huge number of accounts, and algorithms are used to classify good and bad behavior. Sometimes, there can be false negatives in these algorithms. In simple words, even if you don't commit any bad behavior as per community guidelines, your behavior pattern can get marked as negative by the imperfect algorithm. While this doesn't happen for most people, due to the large number of active users, it is still a large number that can fall in this false negative classification.

What are the possible solutions for fixing Instagram Challenge Required Error?

Judging by the various possible reasons behind this vague and mysterious error, the possible solutions that work for other users are also many. We will try our best to list the possible fixes in an optimal order, so that you will solve the error in minimum steps.

  1. Toggle your various network settings on the mobile phone OFF and ON. These include your WiFi, Mobile Data, Airplane Mode.
  2. Restart your smartphone or tablet.
  3. Update the Instagram app.
  4. Uninstall and Reinstall the Instagram app.
  5. Make sure you have enabled Camera Access and other basic permissions that Instagram app asks.
  6. Try to use the Forgot Password option on the Login screen. You will receive an email with a code and/or link to reset the password.
  7. Report Problem using Instagram app or website:

    1. Below Login, you see Get Help Logging In.
    2. Enter your username, email or phone number. Then choose Can't Reset Your Password.
    3. Choose Need More Help? and follow the instructions given on the screen.
    4. You can select either your Email or Phone number, depending on what you have access to and prefer. Then choose Send Security Code. If you receive the security code on your email/phone number, you can use it to verify yourself and login successfully.
    5. However, sometimes there is no security code sent to your email or phone number. You can choose the option I can't access this email address or phone number shown below the Send Security Code.
    6. You will be asked to send photo or video selfies, and/or screenshots, along with text description of your problem. A customer rep will manually verify your inputs. After this human review is successful, you will receive an email or SMS confirming the solution.
  8. Patience, Detachment & Resilience:

    1. Many users are able to solve the Instagram Challenge Required Error by trying one or a few of the above solutions. But on the other hand, some users do not even try anything, they simply wait for 24-48 hours, and the next time they try using Instagram, everything works just fine.
    2. However, there are still some who cannot yield any positive results after trying all solutions and even after waiting longer than 2 days. This is the most frustrated and disappointed category of Instagram users. It is possible that a bug is locking out a large number of users from their accounts. In such events, there are not enough moderators and customer service reps to assist everyone immediately in the account recovery. So the long queue is the reason for the delay in getting a fix. You can either wait for some more days, or opt to begin a new account on Instagram. Many keep backup accounts so they can continue to use Instagram and interact with their friends & followers.

Final Words

The Instagram app can produce the error message with the vague string "challenge_required". For many Instagram users, this error feels like the "blue screen of death" error in Windows. This is because they have to go through many frustrating and fruitless attempts in recovering access to their account. For other users, it is very simple and fast to recover from this error and resume their browsing & interactions on social media. We have seen the possible root causes behind Instagram Challenge Required Error in this article. And then we have listed logically the various possible solution attempts so that you can fix this error quickly. What has your experience been with this challenge required error on Instagram? Which solution worked for you and how long did it take you? Let us know your insights about Instagram error "challenge required" in the comments section below!

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