How To Archive or Unarchive Instagram Posts

Posted by Jamie on November 29, 2018

Earlier this year Instagram introduced the archive. It didn’t get much fanfare and was missed by a lot of users, including me. It was only when I was discussing the subject of rage-quitting and anger deletion on social media with a friend that I was informed it even existed. If you missed it, here is everything you need to know to archive or unarchive Instagram posts.

The Instagram archive makes good sense for the social network. Rather than users deleting content and losing the company potential revenue, they offer a way to save it for later when a cooler head may prevail. We have all been there. We upload a post thinking it’s the best thing ever only for it to be misunderstood or fall flat. Usually we log in and delete the post to avoid any more fallout or negative comments. The archive seeks to change that.

Rather than deleting the post completely in a fit of emotional ire, we can now archive the post to take it away from public gaze. You will still be able to view the post privately to use at a later date but nobody else will.

The Instagram archive

The Instagram archive is for those posts that you don’t want to lose forever but also don’t want to keep on your profile page. This obviously won’t be suitable for everyone or every post, but enough to make using it worthwhile. Archives are also useful for those who want to keep a timeline of their lives online. While there are easier ways, if you regularly post to Instagram anyway, it’s a good way to keep memories intact instead of just deleting them.

Where it will prove popular is for businesses who use Instagram to promote themselves. If the direction or climate changes and posts are suddenly not quite so cutting edge or reflect a now negative view, they can be archived and saved for later use.

Using the Instagram archive

The Instagram archive is an opt-in feature so you have to manually archive posts to use. Older posts are not automatically archived like other systems.

To archive a post on Instagram:

  1. Select a post you want to store.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon at the top of the page.
  3. Select the Archive option.

The Archive option is a command so Instagram will immediately archive it within your account. It will remain there until you either manually delete it or unarchive it. As far as I can tell, you cannot create folders or order your archive in any way, it is a single folder that features everything you save.

To access the Instagram archive:

  1. Open Instagram on your profile page.
  2. Select the clock icon in the top right.
  3. View your archived posts on the Archive page.

As mentioned above, the archive is for you only and is not publicly viewable. Images and posts are no longer sharable and effectively disappear from public gaze.

Unarchive Instagram posts

If you want to bring a post out of hibernation and back into your profile, it is very straightforward. You just need to go into your Instagram archive and select the option to show on your profile again.

  1. Open Instagram on your profile page.
  2. Select the clock icon in the top right.
  3. View all of your archived posts on the Archive page.
  4. Select the post you want to unarchive and select the three dot menu icon.
  5. Select Show on Profile at the top of the popup box.

The post will be made live once more and publicly viewable.

If you would prefer to delete your archived post instead of make it public again you can. Just select Delete instead of Show on Profile and confirm your choice at Step 5 above. Your post will then be deleted forever and will not be recoverably. Sometimes that’s a good thing!

The Instagram archive is a neat idea that takes some of the temporary out of social media. While we are gradually adjusting to the temporal nature of online life, there are some things that are worth keeping longer term. If you don’t keep those memories close, at least you can keep them on Instagram.

For social media savvy businesses, this is a way of using posts and media multiple times or for seasonal offers that repeat annually or regularly. Why create a Christmas offer each year if you can just archive and tweak it and then make it public again?

Do you like the Instagram archive option? Have you used it? Tell us about your experience below!

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