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Can Someone Tell If You Screenshot a Story or Post in Instagram?

Can Someone Tell If You Screenshot a Story or Post in Instagram?

While Instagram Stories are meant to be temporary, users often decide they want to save a certain picture or video from someone’s Story, whether officially or unofficially. To do this, a lot of people take screenshots of the Story image(s), which goes against the whole idea of a Story.

Because of that, Instagram decided to start alerting users when screenshots were taken by putting a star-like icon next to the handle of the person that took the screenshot.

It looked like this:

However, in 2018, Instagram announced that this feature was being eliminated. As such, people can no longer tell that you have screenshotted or screen recorded their Instagram Story.

However, there are some instances where people can see when you screenshot something on Instagram.

When Does Instagram Give You Screenshot Alerts?

Even though Instagram removed the ability for people to tell when you screenshot their Stories, Instagram does notify users when you screenshot disappearing photos. If there’s something you really want to share with another person, but you’d like to know if they capture the content, this is an alternative.

Instagram’s Disappearing photos are photos that people send through direct messages on Instagram and they’re only viewable for a limited time. They disappear once the recipient has viewed them. You can only set photos to disappear if you take them within direct messages by pressing the camera button. You can’t send a temporary photo from your camera roll.

There are two ways that Instagram notifies someone that you have screenshotted their photo. Neither is an actual notification; no one will receive a popup notification on their phone when you screenshot their Instagram post. These are simply little indicators that you have taken a screenshot.

The first is more subtle. After you screenshot a temporary photo on Instagram, a little starburst shape will appear next to the photo, like so:

There’s no way to get rid of this little icon, so if you screenshot someone’s photo, be prepared to live with this icon forever.

The second way is less subtle, though there is a way to bypass it. When you screenshot someone’s disappearing photo on Instagram, they will see this message in their list of direct messages:

Someone may not know what the starburst symbol represents, but it’s safe to assume that everyone will immediately know what this bit of text means.

If you want to screenshot someone’s photo without them seeing this little message, you can get rid of it by sending them another message immediately after you take the screenshot. The word Screenshot that you see above will be replaced by Sent you a message. They will still be able to see the starburst icon, but it’s a step in the right direction.

How Screenshots Used to Work On Instagram Stories

When the screenshot notification feature was in place, Instagram would use software to detect the activation of the screenshot feature on a smartphone. The notification was triggered by one of three things:

  • Taking a screenshot of an Instagram post or story
  • Recording a screen while checking out someone’s Instagram
  • Recording a screen while looking at a story that includes a video

Instagram didn’t actually send a message or notification to users whose Stories were screenshotted or recorded. Rather, the star icon would appear next to users who had taken a screenshot of a post or Story in the “Seen By” list for that posting.

If this system sounds kind of familiar, that’s because it’s a straight copy of the way that Snapchat (an app that DOES notify users of a screenshot) handles their notification.

While you can’t currently see when someone screenshots your story, Instagram could bring back this feature at any time. As a result, we are preserving the record of how to bypass this functionality in this article.

How to Avoid Screenshot Detection

Even though Instagram won’t currently show you screenshot notifications with most functions of the app, it’s still a good idea how to prevent them for the day they do make a comeback. There are several methods you can use to avoid screenshot detection on Instagram.

If Instagram ever decides to reintroduce the screenshot detection feature, you can use any of the solutions outlined below to bypass it.

Avoid Screenshot Detection Using Airplane Mode

One way to avoid the notification badge is to set your smartphone to airplane mode and take a screenshot while your device is offline.

The downside of doing this is that you will only see one or two posts because your phone is offline. If you take screenshots of Instagram stories often, this one may not work well for you as it would be pretty annoying to do this repeatedly.

Follow the instructions below to set your device to airplane mode:


  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen using two fingers.
  2. Locate the airplane mode icon.
    Airplane mode
  3. Tap it to activate airplane mode.
  4. Take a screenshot of your desired photo


  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhone 8 and older (Touch ID) or down from the top right of your screen on iPhone X and newer (Face ID).
  2. Locate the airplane mode icon.
    Airplane Mode
  3. Tap it to activate airplane mode.
  4. Take a screenshot of your desired photo

When you’re ready to continue browsing, repeat the instructions above to deactivate airplane mode.

Avoid Screenshot Detection Using A Web Browser

Alternatively, you can check out Instagram via your browser and take a screenshot that way.  Instagram does not currently have a way to track screenshots taken from your browser window if you use a laptop or PC.

While you probably don’t use Instagram on your browser very often, this is a quick and easy way to work around the screenshot notification feature.

Tools to Help Save Stories

If you don’t mind using Instagram on desktop, the IG Stories for Instagram extension for Chrome is a great way to easily view and download Instagram stories from your browser.

Just follow these steps to get started:

  1. First, download the IG Stories for Instagram extension for your browser.
  2. From the Instagram desktop website, run the extension. An interface will be presented around your queued stories, permitting you to view them live or download them.

That’s all there is to it. This extension makes it super easy to archive any stories you want right from your desktop.

Avoid Screenshot Detection Using Another Camera

If all else fails, you can try this surefire, low-tech way of taking a screenshot of an Instagram story.

Grab another camera and take a picture of your screen. As long as it isn’t your phone activating the screenshot, the notification won’t be sent. It may be low quality, but if you really want to capture that screen without notification, this option works.

Avoid Screenshot Detection Using Third-Party Apps

Finally, if you are desperate to take screenshots of your latest crush’s Instagram, you can try a third-party app. These apps let you look at Instagram stories, screenshot, and save anonymously.

Some apps take the URL for the image or video and use that to save a post. From there, you can view your saved stories in overview mode, and re-post if you want. Other apps do all of that and allow you to re-post as one of the save steps. The ease of use may vary between apps, and the free ones may be peppered with ads.

It’s not illegal to use these apps, but their use may violate Instagram’s Terms of Service. If you really need that screenshot though, you should not expect any repercussions for using these apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

My notification is saying there was a screenshot. Could this be a glitch?

Some users have reported that Instagram sent them a screenshot alert but the recipient denies having taken a snapshot of the content. Although these glitches are incredibly rare, they are possible. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure.

If you’re concerned about someone taking a screenshot of the content you’re sending, it’s best to simply not send it.

Will Instagram notify me if someone takes a screenshot of a DM?

We actually have an entire article that outlines everything related to taking screenshots of DMs here.

Essentially, if you’re trying to sneak a screenshot of a DM you might get away with it. The screenshot notification only appears when you’ve captured an image or video message. So, if you want to screenshot a funny joke someone sent you, have at it. But if you want to capture an image or video, beware that the sender will receive a notification.

Final Thoughts

While Instagram used to notify you when someone took a screenshot of your story, that’s not the case anymore. But that doesn’t mean Instagram won’t bring back this feature in the future. To date, this feature has not come back nor has Instagram made any statements that it will be back in the near future.

So, just in case it does come back, be sure to keep these tips for bypassing the screenshot notification feature in mind.

If you use Instagram a lot (or want to), then you should definitely check out our library of helpful Instagram articles and tutorials.

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One thought on “Can Someone Tell If You Screenshot a Story or Post in Instagram?”

Sophie says:

I just saw under details that my friend who I sent a disappearing photo to screen shot it. Apart from she swears that she didn’t, and I believe. She even checked her photo stream to check she hadn’t done it accidentally. Also, strangely, it said it was a screen shot of a video, but it was a photo that I sent. Is it possible there’s glitches/bugs to cause this?


jiss says:
She probably lied.

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Robert Hayes

May 24, 2021

144 Articles Published