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How To Delete an Instagram Story

Posted by Jamie on June 19, 2019

Instagram Stories are probably the most popular part of the app and certainly the part most of my friends use. They were introduced to halt the rise of Snapchat and work amazingly well. They are almost identical in intent but work within the image-based social network very well indeed. But what happens if you post something and then change your mind? Can you delete an Instagram Story?

Yes you can. You can remove anything you publish.

Even though an Instagram Story is only live for a finite amount of time, that’s still long enough for people to see it, spot a mistake, become horrified or surprised or whatever you didn’t want them to become. If you do need to delete an Instagram Story, you had better move fast. Some users will spot and access something new in less than a minute!

Instagram Stories are discoverable. This means people who don’t follow you can see them on the app through search or from their feed.  You had better act fast if you don’t want it seen.

Deleting your Instagram Story

Deleting an Instagram Story, like most things on the app, is actually very straightforward. With a couple of taps, your Story will be deleted for good. That’s something to remember when doing this. There is no draft mode and you cannot unpublish something. You can only delete it so once done, it’s gone. You still have a copy of it in your Story Archive if you need it though. If you’re okay with that, here’s how to do it.

  1. Open your Story in the app.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon in the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Select Delete and then confirm with Delete again.

Your Instagram Story will now be removed from live. If someone had it open at the time, that copy will not be deleted. When they close that Story or move on, it will no longer be viewable in the app.

Delete an Instagram Story from your archive

If you’re cleaning house or removing evidence, you can also delete an Instagram Story from your archive. Every Story you post is saved as a copy in your Story Archive. If you’re housekeeping or removing evidence, as well as deleting your Story from live, you also need to delete it from your Story Archive.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your Instagram profile and select the timer icon.
  2. Select the Story you want to remove.
  3. Select the three dot menu icon from the bottom right.
  4. Select Delete and Delete again to confirm.

Where deleting a Story from live left you a copy here, deleting from your Story Archive means it’s gone for good. All copies of the Story will be removed from Instagram completely.

Delete an Instagram Story from Highlights

Instagram Highlights are your way of keeping a Story around for longer than 24 hours. It’s a permanent list of Stories that you can access from your profile. It is also somewhere else you need to delete a Story from if you’re cleaning house. As well as live and your Story Archive, if you saved it as a Highlight, you may need to delete it from there too.

Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to your profile and select Story Highlights.
  2. Select the Story you want to delete and long press it.
  3. Select Delete Highlight.

You can also select the Highlight and use the three dot menu icon to access the delete command as above too.

Delete an Instagram post or video

As we’re in a cleaning mood, I may as well show you how to delete a post or video just in case you don’t know. It uses the same methodology as Stories and is just as easy.

  1. Select the post or video you want to delete.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon.
  3. Select Delete and Delete again to confirm removal.

If that seems a little drastic, a post has an option that Stories doesn’t, an unpublish option. You can archive an Instagram post that will remove it from live so nobody can see it but keep it on your app so you can access it when needed. It’s a feature we could do with for Stories as it is a private archive and not a publicly accessible one. Any archived post is for your eyes only and is not accessible by any other user, friends or otherwise.

Here’s how to archive a post:

  1. Select the post you want to archive.
  2. Select the three dot menu icon in the top right.
  3. Select Archive.

To view your archived posts, go to your Instagram profile and select the clock icon in the top right. This takes you directly to your archive where you can see any stories or images you have added.

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