XX min read

How To Save Stories On Instagram

Published on
March 16, 2024
There are different ways to save and download Instagram stories. Discover how you can do that through this guide.

The sheer amount of content created on social media platforms is astonishing. From LinkedIn and Snapchat to Facebook and Instagram, from Twitter to X to whatever it will be called next, user-generated content is here to stay. But for social media managers, some of the hardest types of content to work with are the ones that disappear.

Instagram reels and Instagram posts stick around for the long haul. But if someone posts an Instagram story about your brand and you miss the 24-hour window before it expires, it’s gone forever. Stories are important content for brands, but the pressure’s on. That’s why we put together this guide all about one of the most popular UGC categories out there, with all the best methods for how to save instagram stories.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Instagram stories are some of the most popular and valuable types of UGC today.
  • You can save Instagram stories both inside the app and using external processes.
  • To get more out of IG stories and save them effectively, brands need purpose-built tech tools.

Never miss another story

Stay ahead of the game with Archive. Automatically capture every Instagram Story, Feed Post, Reel, and TikTok Video your brand is tagged in.

Why Brands Need To Know How To Save Stories on Instagram

Instagram is an incredibly popular social media platform, but when it comes to saving stories, Meta doesn’t offer a lot of options. There are a million reasons brand managers, influencer marketers, and social media managers might want to save stories on Instagram and work with them after they expire:

  • To catalog your own brand’s creative output
  • To repurpose photos and videos for ad campaigns
  • To feature user-generated content in investor decks and media kits
  • To track influencer marketing programs and manage influencer partnerships
  • To showcase social proof and improve conversion on e-commerce websites, etc.

Instagram stories are very valuable to brands, so saving them is a high priority. But on top of making it hard to save and download them, Instagram doesn’t make it easy to turn those IG stories into usable content. 

At the same time, there’s the privacy question. Many Instagram users know that having public accounts means there’s a chance their stories will be screenshotted (with private accounts, security is even more of a concern). The ethics of downloading other users’ Instagram stories can get complicated. If you’re a brand, it’s always better to tread carefully. Before you repurpose any UGC, you need permission from the original creator.

Instagram doesn’t offer any functionality to embed Instagram stories or story highlights on your website, either. If you don’t have a way to easily display your Instagram stories and all the rest of your short-form video UGC on your e-commerce website, the process can be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. And without it, brands are leaving money on the table.

5 Ways To Save Stories on Instagram

Here are the five most popular ways to save stories on Instagram.

#1: Check the Instagram stories archive

Saving your own stories in the Instagram app is incredibly easy; it happens automatically, so you don’t need to do anything! That’s thanks to Instagram’s in-app story archive. Any story you post to your own Instagram account immediately becomes a part of your story archive inside the Instagram app. As long as you don’t delete your story before its 24-hour lifespan ends, it will be saved in the story archive.

Instagram’s story archive is a totally private section. Although you’ll be able to see your own stories saved there forever, no one else can see your stories after they expire. From the stories archive in the Instagram app, you can repost expired stories to your feed, add them to your story highlights, or send them as DMs.

For most users, the story archive is automatically turned on when you download the Instagram app for your Android device from the Google Play Store or for your Apple iPhone and iOS operating system in the App store. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to double check that your stories archive is active:

  1. Tap the ☰ menu in the top right corner of your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap Archive and make sure you’re in the Stories archive (not the posts archive or live archive).
  3. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the screen (Apple users should look for horizontal dots and Android users should look for vertical dots).
  4. Tap Settings and turn on the Save story to archive option.

#2: Create story highlights

If your main goal for saving stories is to keep them active on your profile, Instagram story highlights are the way to go. The private story archive and public highlights feature are some of the most popular Instagram features. Highlights don’t expire, so they’re the best way to keep Insta stories active and visible to the public beyond that 24-hour window. 

Brands use highlights in all sorts of interesting ways, since each one can be about literally anything. Some are organized to tell a cohesive story, others focus on different products or even cities. You could create separate highlights for press coverage, customer testimonials, and big launch events, for example. The sky’s the limit. (We’ve written a lot about how to create, manage, and rearrange highlights on Instagram on the Archive blog!)

#3: Lean on your camera roll

If you want to save stories from Instagram for your own use, you may fall down the path of taking screenshots. There’s no good way to save other users’ stories inside the Instagram app, and if you’re on the hunt for UGC about your brand chances are that’s your main focus. Without platforms like Archive (we’ll come back to that in a minute), taking screenshots and screen recordings may even seem like the only option for capturing stories before they disappear.

Instagram does offer an automatic download feature if you’re focused on your own stories, though. Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Tap your profile photo in the bottom right corner of the app to open your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the ☰ menu in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to the Your app and media section and tap Archiving and downloading.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, turn on the Save story to Camera Roll option.

This will automatically save Instagram videos and photos you post in your story to the camera roll on your phone, including any media you add like stickers and emojis. But screenshots and manual downloads aren’t a very good option for saving stories on Instagram, regardless of who posts them. If you don’t manage to screenshot or save the story before it expires, it’s gone forever. And on top of that, you end up with a cluttered camera roll and will quickly run out of storage space on your phone.

#4: Use third-party downloader apps

Third-party apps have cropped up all over the place to make it easier to save Instagram stories with a simple download button, regardless of who posts them. Using storysaver or downloader apps is a clunky process that forces you to find every story you want to save and manually put it through the system to finally end up with a file you can save. But that isn’t even the worst part of third-party story downloaders.

It’s incredibly hard to make sure third-party apps are secure and malware-free, and that some bad actor won’t just steal your log-in information. On top of that, Instagram has been known to disable or deactivate accounts that use third-party downloader apps because they go against Instagram’s community guidelines. All of those factors make using downloader apps risky. Even if you get away with it, using a third-party app to download Instagram stories is still slow and ineffective.

#5: Let Archive do it for you

If you’re ready for the next generation of social media tools, there’s a much better way to save stories on Instagram. Use Archive! Archive automatically captures all the Instagram stories your brand is tagged in and saves them in a beautiful customizable library. You don’t have to worry about scrolling around the clock to make sure you don’t miss anything because we automatically save all your IG stories for you. (Don’t forget we collect Instagram feed posts, reels, and TikTok videos too...)

Disappearing content is a pain for social media managers and influencer marketers, but it doesn’t have to be. When you use Archive, those stories stay active in your library forever. Archive’s usage rights feature makes it easy to get permission to reuse those IG stories and all your other UGC. And when you’re ready to display your best short-form video content on your e-commerce website, we’ve got you covered with Shoppable UGC Feeds.

Ready to do more with your Instagram stories? Get started today with a free trial of Archive.

Elevate your UGC management from chaos to artistry with Archive
Begin using Archive for free and discover the amount of time you can save with its powerful capabilities at your disposal.

Join Archive's Newsletter

Subscribe to Archive's newsletter for exclusive insights, tips, and industry trends delivered to your inbox.
Awesome, you're in! Get ready for some epic updates!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.