Snapchat, as a platform, centers on the peculiar selling point of giving people temporary access to pictures and videos. There are many reasons why the app is attractive, chief among which is this very transience of content.
Snapchat focuses on encouraging people to create content as much—or more—than they consume it. The notion that we aren’t creating a permanent record with Snaps is comforting to most of us. However, sometimes you might wish to revisit a moment or memory that you, or someone else, shared. Even if it isn’t the intended use case, you’ll learn how to see older Snaps in Snapchat from this article.
Recovering Old Snaps in Advance
Broadly speaking, there are two methods that you can use to retrieve old Snaps. Which one you’ll need will depend on the Snap you want to retrieve. If you’re trying to be proactive and keep the Snaps that you’ll receive or create in the future, you’re taking the path of least resistance. Keeping a record of Snaps is just a matter of downloading an app made expressly for that purpose.
Screenshotting a Snap is not a terrible alternative, but it’s also not great—and you can’t save Stories with a screenshot. Snapchat informs people when their snaps are captured, but if you want something more discreet that the sender won’t know about, try one of these apps:
- SaveStory – This app doesn’t require a Snapchat login and won’t alert Snapchat in any way that it’s being used. You can use it to capture images or video so you’re not as restricted as you are with a screenshot. This app is exclusive to Android.
- iOS Screen Recorder – This is not specifically meant for Snapchat, but it gets the job done just as well. The app records your screen and creates a video file that you can access later. It has a very simple setup after which you simply record your snaps as you view them and you’ll have a record of the entire thing. This app is exclusive to iOS.
Recovering Old Snaps on Android
Odds are that you’re reading this article because there is a specific Snap that you want to revisit but has already expired. You can do that, but it takes a little more effort. As much as Snapchat insists that Snaps are deleted once they expire, that simply isn’t the case. Snaps get buried deep in your phone’s cache but they’re not entirely eliminated.
Finding your old snaps is not difficult, but making use of them does present a challenge. Connect your Android device to your computer via USB and open the phone’s drive. In the phone’s storage, you’ll find the “Data” folder, probably in the “Android” folder. The Data folder contains cache data for all your apps. The folder labeled “com.snapchat.android” should have a cache folder in it. Within that cache folder, you will find yet another folder labeled “received_image_snaps.”
The received_image_snaps folder contains all the snaps you received which are still in the cache. You can access them but their file type is modified to the .nomedia extension. To see and reformat .nomedia files you’ll need to download a third-party application. StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager is a pretty straightforward app that can help you reformat the files.
Recovering Old Snaps on iPhone
If you’re on an iPhone, you can use a recovery tool to find your old snaps. Probably the best utility to do this is UltData. This utility is available for both Windows and MacOS and it features three different ways to recover data.
Once you download and install the utility, plug your phone into your computer and launch it. The utility has a very simple interface—at the top, you will see three options: Recover from iOS device, Recover from iTunes backup file, and Recover from iCloud backup file. For this purpose, choose Recover from iOS device. The app will let you choose where to look for files, which speeds up the recovery process. You can safely tell it to avoid things like Call History which obviously won’t contain your Snaps.
Once you click “Start Scan” the process shouldn’t take more than a minute. Browse the files that were recovered until you find your Snaps. Once you find them, select them in UltData’s explorer window and click “Recover” to save them to your chosen location.
Download Your Snapchat Data
This isn’t exactly a way to recover old Snaps themselves, but you can see the relevant data of Snaps directly from Snapchat’s servers. You can receive a lot of data from Snapchat simply by “asking” for it. Your search history, Snap history, chat history, friends, and many more are all saved by Snapchat.
To download your data, Log into Snapchat and Tap your Profile icon at the top then navigate to your Profile, tap the gear at the top to access the Settings. In the Settings, you’ll find an option labeled “My Data.”
Click on the “Submit Request” option. You will receive an email with the download link. Click on it to go to the download location. Finally, click on the download link.
What Goes Around Comes Around
These are only a few ways to access expired Snaps and Stories. There are more complicated methods of extraction which you can use if all else fails but make every effort to avoid them. The best way to see old Snaps is really to save them. Using screen recording apps, or apps designed to save Snaps, you’ll be sure to have easy access to snaps even after they’re gone.
Do you think Snapchat should have an option to save Snaps? How would this impact its status among the users?? Share your thoughts in the comments below.