How to View Old Instagram Stories
The way that Instagram Stories are set up—they only last 24 hours—gives the impression that they are gone after that time period, but that’s not entirely true. The notion of expiring content was introduced by Snapchat and it proved to be very popular among social media users.
Stories don’t actually go away, they’re just removed from your feed after 24 hours but they remain archived. Keep reading to learn how to view older Instagram Stories and some options for seeing other people’s expired Stories.
Accessing Your Expired Instagram Stories
Ever since the Stories feature was introduced, users have lamented the inability to keep their stories past the standard 24 hour period. 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 normal post. They’re labeled as Highlights but they behave the same as a regular Instagram post.
The other feature, Archive, saves your stories for future use. It’s important to note that your stories get archived for your use only. For other people, they behave normally and will disappear after 24 hours. 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.”
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. 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.
Seeing Other People’s Expired Stories
By design, Stories are only accessible for a 24-hour period. There’s really no way to bypass this, as it’s built into the app. 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.
If you’ don’t know the poster, or simply don’t have that kind of rapport, you could try a slightly underhanded way to go about it. Everyone loves a compliment and if you make note of how impactful their Story is maybe you can convince them to Highlight it. Remember, Highlights can be interacted with and saved.
In terms of seeing other users’ Stories that have already expired, that’s about as far as you can go. The feature was never intended to be used as a permanent record. However, if it’s a recurring issue for you there are some options you can use for future Stories.
Saving Other Users’ Stories
The good thing about Stories—as opposed to Snaps—is that they last a whole 24 hours. This gives you plenty of time to decide whether you want to save one.
There are websites that are designed for the purpose of saving Instagram Stories. The most minimalist and approachable of these is storiesig. All you need to do is enter someone’s username and the website will detect all their active Stories. From there, just select the Story you want to save and click “Download.” This isn’t the only option, as there are many other websites that 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 and iOS. 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.
Tell Me a Story
That pretty much sums up the resources you have when it comes to viewing and saving Instagram Stories. Your own stories are automatically 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.