How to Save and Download Instagram Stories

How to Save and Download Instagram Stories
October 22, 2023
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Instagram Stories are a popular way for an Instagram user to share memorable moments with friends and family in an engaging way. As of 2019, 500 million users post Stories every day on the social media platform, so most people are fine that they disappear after 24 hours.

However, there may be circumstances where you would like to download Instagram Stories and keep them around longer. You should know how to save and download Instagram Stories if you have a keeper. They might be your own or other people's Instagram post, so you would have to know how to save Stories under different situations.

Before anything else, you should know that Instagram Community Guidelines discourage any Instagram user from posting someone else’s photos or videos without consent. There is no in-app way to do so, although there are workarounds.

Nevertheless, if you download something you want to post under your Instagram username or on other social media platforms, be sure to get written consent from the original poster before hitting the download button.

Okay, let's dive into why people save and download Instagram Stories and the different ways to do it. Note that screenshots in this article are for Android devices. You may have a slightly different experience if you use an iOS device.

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Why Do People Save and Download Instagram Stories?

People download Instagram Stories for a variety of reasons. Assuming you’re not a stalker, people post Stories for the following reasons:

Save Memorable Moments

Back in the day, people would take photos and videos of memorable moments, such as their baby's first step, first haircut, wedding day, and graduation. Technology has made it possible to take and share these moments in real-time on platforms, such as Instagram Stories, but they disappear unless you save & download them. It will be a shame if those moments are lost forever. Fortunately, Instagram has made it possible to automatically save your Stories to the Instagram Archive (more on that later).

Preserve Funny, Insightful, or Striking Experiences

Have you ever noticed how many funny, insightful, or striking things you experience by being in the right place at the right time? It could be a misspelled sign, a child helping an older person, or a terrifying cat.

Your Story might not be Pulitzer material, but the photos or videos you capture may encapsulate real life in many weird and wonderful ways. You want the ability to save and download Instagram stories, share those on other platforms, and perhaps preserve them for posterity (or for a few days, anyway).

Teach a Lesson

You've probably heard old folks say "back in my day" when talking about how they or things had been better in their youth. How better to show how the world was and how you dealt with everyday things than with Stories? If you download Instagram stories, your kids won't be able to roll their eyes at you as we did with our parents. Or maybe they might have more reason to do so. It's a toss-up.  

Promote Your Business

Instagram Stories about how your business started, what happens backstage, reviews, and testimonials are excellent ways to connect with potential customers. It also helps keep a portfolio to show investors why they should put their money into your business. Whether they are your Stories or someone else’s, user-generated content (UGC) is marketing goldmine. You should take whatever steps necessary to save Instagram Stories and download them.

Download Instagram Stories Saved From Your Own Account

Whatever your reasons for downloading active Stories, you will be glad to know that you don’t actually have to do anything if they are your own Instagram Stories. Instagram automatically preserves all Instagram Stories you created in your account’s Archive before it expires. Please note that if you remove a video or photo from your Story or delete the Story itself before the 24 hours is up, it will not be saved in the Archive.

Instagram does not save posts automatically, as they do not expire. However, you can also choose to save Instagram photos manually in Archive, but it will no longer be publicly available.

Instagram introduced the Archive feature simultaneously with Stories Highlights in 2017. Your Instagram Stories still expire after 24 hours, but they all go to Archive unless you disable the feature. The Archive has a separate repository for posts and Stories originating from your Instagram account. You can choose to keep them or delete them as you like.

Stuff in the Archive is only visible to you until you choose to return them to active service. You should know that Archive tools are only available on the mobile Instagram app on your Android or IOS device. You can share archived Stories to Your Story as a direct message to select people or in Highlights.

Download Your Stories Automatically to Camera Roll

Instagram automatically pulls Stories from your feed to your account Archive once it expires. However, if you want to have a copy of all your Stories on your phone, you can set that up automatically. Here's what you do:

1. Log in to your Instagram mobile app.

2. Click on your profile at the bottom right of the screen.

3. Click on the hamburger menu at the top of the screen.

4. Go to Settings > Privacy. Click Story.

5. Scroll down to Save Story to Gallery.

6. Enable the feature by toggling the option.

You’re done! Instagram will download all your Stories to your Gallery when they expire unless you disable the option.

Download Individual Clips or Photos in a Story

The automatic saving of Stories in Archive preserves the entire post in your Instagram account, not your phone. But what if you don't want the whole Story but just bits of it? You can save photos and save videos found within a Story individually. You can do that by doing the following steps:

1. Select the Story that has the clip or image you want. Let it play.

2. When you get to the clip or photo you want, select “More” (three dots) on the lower right corner of your screen.

3. Choose “Save Video” or “Save Photo.” The app will send your saved photo or video to the Camera Roll under Video or Photos.

That's it! You now have a snippet of your Story ready for reuse in another Story or post.

Download From the Archive

The Archive gives you the option to download and reuse the Stories you created in the past. When you want to download a Story, here’s how to download a story from Instagram Archive:

1. Log in to your Instagram mobile app.

2. Click on your profile at the bottom of the screen.

3. Click on the hamburger menu at the top of the screen.

4. Click on “Your activity.”

5. Scroll down to “Archived.” Click it. You will automatically go to the Stories Archive.

6. Click any Story.

7. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You should see a minimized aspect of the Stories Archive where all your saved Stories are in a carousel.

8. Swing to the Story you would like to download.

9. Click on the download button. You will now see a copy of that Story in your Camera Roll.

Save Stories Using Highlights

Instagram launched its Stories Highlights features simultaneously with the Archive feature. Highlights allows you to create a collection of stories, videos, and photos you want to--well, highlight. Unlike Stories, Highlights do not expire, so it is an excellent way to have your favorite Stories live permanently in your profile and available to the public.

You want to have an overarching theme for your Highlights in most cases. For example, you can have a collection of all the Stories you made about your high school reunion. Another good use of Highlights is to create a collection of customer testimonials.

Here’s how to preserve Instagram Stories in Highlights:

1. Click on one of the current Stories on your profile or an archived Story.

2. Click “Highlight” at the bottom of the screen.

3. Click on an existing Highlight to add the Story or Click New to create a new Highlight in your Instagram profile.

4. If creating a new Highlight, give it a thematic name.

5. Click Add. You will find your new Highlight on your profile page and your other Highlights and Stories.

6. Highlights stay on your profile until you delete them, which you can do by long-pressing a Highlight and selecting Delete Highlight.

Download Instagram Stories From Another Account

Suppose you find a Story in your feed or while browsing the platform that you want to save for whatever reason. For instance, a family member or friend posted a great Story that includes you or has meaning for you. In that case, it would be perfectly fine to tap save.

However, unlike your own Instagram Stories, there is no in-app tool to do that. You will have to use workarounds, as described below.

Manually Record Each Story

One easy workaround to the no-saving rule for Instagram Stories from another account is to record the screen as the Story unfolds. Here’s how to do it for iOS users:

1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.

2. Find Screen Recording. Add it to the Control Center by pressing the + sign.

3. Open the Instagram app.

4. Open the Control Center by swiping up (iPhone SE or lower) or swiping down from the upper-right corner (iPhone X or later).

5. Tap on the Story you want to record and let it play.

6. Press the red box on the top-left of the screen to start recording.

7. Press Stop when the Story is done playing. Your iOS device will automatically save the video to your Camera Roll.

Most Android device users have a Quick Tools panel that includes Screen Recording by default. You might have to enable sound by going to Settings > System Apps > Screen Recording. Enable “Allow Sound Recording.”

To manually record a Story, do the following:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Tap the Story you want to record.

3. Do a swipe from the right to access the Quick Tools panel and click Screen Recording. There is a three-second delay before it starts recording.

4. Tap on the Stop button (red box) on the right of the screen to stop recording. You will see the screen recording on your phone’s Screenshots folder.

Use Instagram Story Downloader Apps

Let’s say you’re not big on using the Instagram app on mobile because the screen is so small. You can save Instagram Stories from another account by using any number of free downloader web apps. The account holder won’t even know you’re doing it in most cases.

The issue is not how to download Instagram stories to your computer but how to repost them. With these downloader apps on a PC or Mac desktop, you still need to upload them to a smartphone or mobile device to repost them on Instagram. That is provided you can get permission from the account holder to download their UGC, let alone repost them anywhere.

Use a Third-Party App

Another workaround for saving Instagram stories of other people to your mobile device is to use a third-party app. Most apps will automatically download the Story you want. All you have to do is choose them.

Most of these third-party apps are free to use, but they typically come with branding or ads, so that's a bummer. However, if you have no plans to repost a Story and only want to keep a copy for your personal use, these should not bother you.

Another drawback with a free third-party app, such as Story Saver, is you need to manually pick Stories to download. That can take a lot of time and effort if you want to find Stories with brand mentions or testimonials for your business.

A better option for business research and marketing purposes is to use Archive App that automatically finds and saves all mentions and hashtags of your brand, product, or service on Instagram--including Stories--and TikTok.

Did you know? Instagram wasn't available on Android until almost two years after its launch on iPhone.

Downloading Instagram Stories Is Easier With Archive App

Instagram has made it easier to learn how to download and save Instagram Stories (or parts of them) on your account with Archive and Highlights. However, you need to use workarounds to save Stories from another account, especially a private account. The method you employ will depend on why you are keeping them in the first place.

If you have personal reasons for downloading and saving other people’s Stories, manually recording them or using a third-party app will serve the purpose. However, if you are an e-commerce brand looking to curate UGC on Instagram for sentiment analysis and social proof, you need something a lot more powerful.

Archive makes community marketing software and automation for e-commerce merchants. Its most helpful tool to date is Archive App for Shopify store owners, harnessing the UGC and creativity from communities to help make digital marketing more cost-effective.

You can use Archive App to automatically save Stories (not just feed posts) and other UGC from Instagram and TikTok that mention or tag your brand. You can browse your Archive App library to find and filter the saved content and download any preferred content.

Archive App has a free version for Shopify subscribers. Download it from the app store and try it now!

Downloading Instagram Stories doesn't have to be difficult. Getting Archive app is all you need!

FAQs on How to Save and Download Instagram Stories

Can you download live Instagram Stories?

Yes, you can use any methods described above for both live and archived Instagram Stories.

Can you embed IG Story Highlights on your own site?

Currently, Instagram does not have in-app functionality to embed Highlights on websites or allow third-party tools to sync Instagram Highlights directly with websites. You must use a third-party app to generate a downloaded and saved Highlight that you can display on your website.

Is it okay to download stories from other people's IG accounts?

You should not download Stories from another Instagram account without the owner’s consent. It is against the Community Guidelines imposed by Instagram.

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With Archive, taking control of UGC is fast & easy.

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars scavenging for UGC across all platforms; you can do it for free with Archive.