Instagram stories started as a copy of the popular Snapchat story feature, but over the years, it has become a unique and incredible experience in its own right. You can now even use them to conduct polls or ask your followers questions.
With so much to love, it can be a major disappointment when you have a great story post, then forget to save it before it is deleted. No need to worry though; unlike their Snapchat counterparts, Instagram stories aren’t just gone forever after their twenty-four hours expire.
That’s right, you can recover your old Instagram stories. Plus, sometimes, you can rewatch some older stories from other people. Let’s look at how you can do these things:
Finding What’s Already There
Unlike other Instagram workarounds like viewing stories anonymously, recovering your old stories is less about knowing the tricks and secrets and more about understanding the interface. Instagram has a ton of features that most of the user base isn’t aware of because Insta never bothers to let people know all of the things it’s capable of. You either have to stumble into some of them yourself or hear about it from someone else. For example, you might not have ever known you could look at old stories if you didn’t find this guide on it.
The craziest part of this whole thing is that you’ve been able to do it for years. Instagram added the Highlights and Archives features way back in 2017. These are the places you go to find records of some of your best content, including old stories that you might not have manually saved. On top of that, you can compile old story highlights and post them again on your profile as a regular post.
Archiving is similar to Highlights, old stories and such go there, but they are only for your use. Stories getting saved to your Archives is an optional feature, and should be on by default. But, if you feel inclined, you can turn it off to make sure your stories are gone for good after their twenty-four-hour life span.
Once you get there, it is pretty easy to figure out how to view the old stories and do some other fun things with them. So, how do you find your Archives and Highlights page?
Navigating to Your Archives and Highlights
Starting from the home screen right after you open the Instagram app, navigate to your Instagram account screen. Once you get that far, look for the three horizontal lines in the top right corner -- sometimes called a “hamburger icon.” Tapping on this will bring up a menu.
On the menu, find the “Archive” listing. Depending on your device and the version of Instagram, it should be fairly close to the top of the list. As you could guess, this will then take you to your Archive, and from there, you should be able to figure out everything you’d want to do on your own.
Knowing how to recover your old Instagram stories is cool, but at the end of the day, it’s not all that exciting because you’re just learning about an existing feature on Instagram. If you want to learn about something cool that you aren’t supposed to be able to do with Instagram, keep reading to see how you can view other people’s old Instagram stories.
Viewing Another Instagram Account’s Expired Stories
Part of why stories are so successful for influencers, especially in terms of engagement, is that people are subtly encouraged to stay up to date on story posts because of their fleeting nature. This is good overall and helps the stories feel special. That being said, what if you want to go back and view some of your favorite stories from other Instagram users? Luckily for you, there are some ways that you can view old Instagram stories from other people’s accounts, you just have to be a bit proactive.
Saving Other User’s Instagram Stories
This is the opposite of looking back at your own stories in that you aren’t doing something Instagram itself is capable of. You’re not taking advantage of a lesser-known feature, you are using outside tools to create new features for your user experience -- in this case, the ability to save other Instagram stories. It is similar to how you can manually save your own stories to Highlights.
Be able to save other people’s stories is a fairly common desire among Insta users, so you can find plenty of software options to get the job done. As far as the simplest and fastest way to go about it, we recommend Storiesig. All you have to do is enter the account name of someone whose story you want to save, find the story post in particular you want, and select “Download.” If you find a similar service you prefer, that’s also fine; they are all kinda the same anyway.
Screen Recording is like a screenshot if you could just take a video instead of a picture. Most up-to-date iOS and Android devices have screen recording functions built into them. If not, this may be another case where you have to download some third-party software. However, you get your hands on the ability to screen record, you can always screen record your favorite stories while you watch them.
This method will appeal to people based on how much easier it can look at first, but keep in mind you’ll end up with a lot of video files on your desktop or smart device. Navigating these in the folders will be much less convenient than having them all collected in one place like the Highlights tab.
Reviewing Someone’s Highlights
Unfortunately, neither of the last two methods can salvage old Instagram stories that expired. But, you aren’t completely out of luck. If the person who originally posted the story saved it to their Highlights, you’ll be able to go back and review them. Then, you’ll be able to employ one of the previously mentioned methods for having the story saved more on your terms.
All in all, there isn’t a way to look at an expired story without the help of the person that first posted it, but if you are savvy and willing to put forth a bit of effort, you can save your favorite stories for as long as you want to keep them.