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How to View Old Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have become one of the most popular features of the social media platform, Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories only appear on your feed for 24 hours, or until the person who posted the Story deletes it.

However, unlike Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories don’t actually disappear completely after this 24 hours. While Instagram Stories do disappear from your feed after 24 hours, they remain archived in the app. So, if you post a story but it expires before you get a chance to save the video, don’t worry, you can still recover it.

Like many users, you may not know that this feature exists, let alone how to access it. Let’s take a look at how you can view old Instagram Stories.

Accessing Your Expired Instagram Stories

As Instagram Stories increased in popularity, more and more users started asking Instagram for a way to access their stories outside of the regular 24 hour time limit.

In response to this, Instagram added the Highlights and Archive features back in 2017. Highlights allow you to group story elements and post them on your profile as a regular post. They’re labeled as Highlights but they behave the same as a regular Instagram post.

stories

The other feature, ‘Archive’, save your stories for future use. It’s important to note that your stories get archived for your use only. For other people, they will disappear after 24 hours like normal.

The archiving feature should be turned on by default, but if it isn’t, you can turn it on in your Settings. Find the “Stories” panel in your Privacy Settings and toggle on the option that says “Save to Archive.”

archive

Tap the menu icon from your profile

To view your older Instagram Stories, navigate to your profile screen, and tap on the hamburger icon in the top-right corner to access the menu.

Tap ‘Archive’

From that menu, you should tap on “Archive” to access your Stories Archive. From there, you can re-share, highlight, and otherwise interact with your Stories. That’s the gist of accessing your old Stories, but seeing other people’s old Stories is an entirely different matter.

Can You View Someone Else’s Expired Instagram Story?

By design, Stories are only viewable for 24 hours, and there’s not really any way around this. However, if you’re acquainted with the person who created the Story, you could request that they share it with you by saving it from their Archive.

instaglass

In terms of seeing other users’ Stories that have already expired, that’s about as far as you can go. This feature was always intended to be ephemeral, just like Snapchat Stories.

However, if you frequently find yourself wanting to view other users’ expired stories, there are a few proactive steps you can take.

Saving Other Users’ Stories

The good thing about Stories is that they last a whole 24 hours. This gives you plenty of time to decide whether you want to save one.

Some websites are designed to save Instagram Stories. The most minimalist and approachable of these is Storiesig [9]. All you need to do is enter someone’s username and the website will find all their active Stories. From there, just select the Story you want to save and click “Download.” This isn’t the only option, as many other websites can do the same. However, this is the most hassle-free way to do it.

This won’t give you access to expired Stories, but if you catch them within the 24 hours since they were published, you’re good to go. This website also works on mobile devices, but there is another option for your phone. You can get a screen recorder app and simply record the story. AZ Screen Recorder is a good option for both Android [10] and iOS [11]. All you have to do is start recording, view the Story, and then save the recording.

Again, these methods don’t give you access to past Stories, but they do allow you to retain active Stories on your device for future use.

Screen Recording Instagram Stories

If you’re looking to save someone else’s Instagram Story for future reference you can always screen record or screenshot the content during the 24-hour active period. You may wonder if Instagram will notify another user that you’ve captured the content.

There is a lot of debate about this, but as of right now you’re in the clear to take undetected screenshots of Instagram Stories. This won’t work with DMs, and Instagram has changed this several times through the years so you’ll want to test it on another friend before taking a screenshot of someone who you’d rather your activities stay anonymous.

Once you’ve captured the story on your iPhone or Android, you can revisit the story in your camera roll as many times as you’d like.

Viewing Stories Saved as Highlights

Thanks to the highlights feature on Instagram, you may get lucky and revisit your favorite content as much as you’d like by visiting your friend’s profile. When a story is created, the account owner has the option of saving the story as a “Highlight.”

The story will remain on their profile until the user deletes it. It’s a permanent option for displaying the best content. To check if your favorite stories were saved as a highlight do this:

  1. Tap on the magnifying glass icon or tap on the following option from your profile to locate the account you’re interested in.
  2. Locate the story under the ‘Following’ and ‘Message’ icon – these highlights are round icons with an image
  3. Tap on the story

That’s all there is to it. If you don’t see any stories here they either weren’t saved as a highlight, you’re not an approved follower, or their account is set to private.

Final Thoughts

That pretty much sums up the resources you have when it comes to viewing and saving Instagram Stories.

Your own stories are archived for future use, but the Stories posted by other people are a little trickier. You can’t really see them once they expire, but you can save them while they’re active. Use a website made for saving IG Stories or a screen recorder on your mobile device.

How often do you feel like saving a Story you see on Instagram? If you could easily view old Stories at will, do you think it would defeat the purpose of Stories altogether? Let us know what you think in the comments below.