The interchange instability of solar magnetic flux tubes and possible stabilization mechanisms are reviewed. Special attention is paid to the influence of magnetic tension forces and the internal atmosphere, both of which were neglected in earlier studies of this instability. It is found that whirl flows with velocities of only 2.2 km s–1 are strong enough to stabilize the flux tubes. However, their absence or the excitation of other instabilities might lead to a shredding of the tubes. The observability of such a scenario in the infrared is briefly discussed.