September 2, 2022

How to View Old Instagram Stories

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Social media stories have become an essential feature for all platforms. Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories stay on your feed for 24 hours or until they get deleted by the person who posted the Story. Statista estimated that there will be almost 1.2 billion Instagram users in 2023.

However, Instagram Stories don’t disappear forever after 24 hours. Yes, they disappear from your feed, but you can still have access to it. For example, if you post a story and forget to save it after a whole day has passed, you can still recover it.

Many users aren’t aware that they can get back past Instagram Stories, so it makes sense that you may not know how to access them. But fear not! This article will help guide you on how to view your Instagram Stories and save them for future use.

Why Does It Matter?


Whether you have iOS or Android, you’ll be happy to hear that your Instagram Stories will automatically be archived after 24 hours. You can also create Story Highlights, which are collections of old stories that show across the top of your profile. These highlights could include anything, from your selfies to vacation pictures or family photos.

If you have a brand you’re trying to promote, you could use these collections to highlight different products and ad campaigns.

Usually, a brand will use Instagram Stories around ten times a month. This is equivalent to once every three days. While brands with over 200,000 followers had a 34 percent drop in retention rate in rate, mid-sized brands with up to 50,000 followers were able to get a steady reach rate in 2020 just by regularly posting on their Stories

According to Social Insider, Instagram brands could post five stories a day, and even that would give their brands a 70 percent retention rate if their users watch their stories. However, users that don’t generally watch their content tend to exit after the first two or three stories.

You might wonder why this matters so much, and we have three reasons this feature is helpful for your brand:

1. Save Your Work

Archives and Highlights can help you create fun stories because you typically won’t spend time decorating your stories if they’re just going to disappear the next day. This is primarily practical for people who don’t watch Instagram Stories every day, as it may make your stories more appealing to them.

Brands can also create Instagram story highlights to create campaigns or product collections.

2. Preserve Your Storage

Gone are the days when you had to worry about Instagram Stories taking up your phone’s storage. Instagram will make everything easier for you by saving your old stories in the cloud, where you can re-download them, publicly share, or view them later. This is also helpful for older phones which have limited space.

3. Better Express Your Identity

Previously, Instagram didn’t allow you to share content that wasn’t visible on the homepage to your followers. Essentially, you would feel like you’re spamming your followers if you ever wanted to share intimidating or niche content. However, story highlights let you showcase different parts of yourself as a creator by creating separate Highlights of your food, dog, or professional life.

Instead of showcasing your stories for only 24 hours, Instagram offers you the opportunity to appeal to more people with the Archive feature. This is similar to YouTube and its new stories called “Reels,” which don’t disappear after a day.

Moreover, Instagram has confirmed that they’re working on a new feature called “Exclusive Stories”, which shows exclusive content for fan club members. This is similar to Twitter’s Super Follow subscription feature, where users pay to be club members.

How To View Old Instagram Stories


The answer is yes. Thanks to the Archive feature, you can view old Instagram Stories, automatically letting you archive expired Stories. The archived Stories are only visible to you, so your followers don’t have access to them unless you decide to share.

Accessing Your Old Instagram Stories

With Instagram Stories becoming more popular, more users have sought ways to access their Stories after the 24 hours are up. If you were one of these people, you’re lucky because Instagram added the Highlights and Archive features in 2017.

The Highlights feature allows you to group your Stories and post them on your profile like a usual post. Although these are named “Highlights,” they act like regular Instagram posts.

The Archive feature, on the other hand, lets you save your stories for future use. However, only you can access archived Stories. Your followers won’t get to see them after the 24-hour time limit. This feature is usually turned on by default. If it isn’t, you can turn it on manually in your Instagram account’s Settings by going to your Privacy Settings, then going to the Stories tab and pressing the Save to Archive option.

On the other hand, to access previously archived Stories, you must:

  • Tap the menu icon from your profile
  • Go to your profile and press on the three lines icon in the top right corner
  • On that menu, tap on Archive to access your Stories Archive. From there, you can choose to highlight or re-share your older stories

If you’re looking to view someone else’s old Instagram Stories:

Unfortunately, you can’t view someone else’s old Instagram Stories unless you have access to them. If they save it as a Highlight, though, here’s how you can view them:

  • Go to the Instagram app
  • Go to the Instagram profile of whose person’s stories you want to see
  • Below their bio, see if they have Highlights
  • If they do, you can view their old stories

But can you view someone else’s old stories if they don’t save them as Highlights? Yes, you can tap into some hacks to try to see all their Stories.

To save and download the old Story, you can take a screenshot of it. This is the easiest way to copy your friend’s Story.

If it’s your own Story, you can click on the bottom left side of the main Story screen and use the Download option to save the Stories to your camera roll.

Saving your Favorite Stories for Future Use

If you don’t want to lose your Instagram Story after the 24-hour time limit and aren’t interested in creating a Highlight or archiving them, you can also download them straight to your phone.

You can do this by opening your Story, clicking on the bottom right of the photo or video on the More icon, and then tapping Save.

To make everything more accessible, you can also automatically save your Stories to your camera roll with a few simple steps:

  • Go to your Story
  • Find Story Settings
  • Tap on the Save Story to Camera Roll option

Now, every time you share a story, the images and videos will automatically be saved to your camera roll.

Additionally, if you want everyone to access your photos or videos permanently, you can add them to your profile grid. This is simple as it only takes three steps: open your Story, click on the bottom right of the image or video, and click on Share as Post. Shortly after, they will appear on your profile grid.

Remember that whoever has access to your profile will also be able to see these photos or videos. Now that it’s on your profile, you can’t put special restrictions like you could with your previous Stories.


Save Instagram Stories With Archive

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to see all old Stories on Instagram and create Instagram Highlights, so the challenging part is over. Whether you use Instagram for personal purposes or have a brand you want to promote, you can always seek more help from professionals such as Archive.

Archive is an app you can use to save your feed posts, reels, and Instagram Stories. This is mainly helpful if you have a brand because this app automatically detects when your brand gets tagged, so you don’t have to go through any fuss to find it. Additionally, Archive allows you to download your favorite images and videos directly within the app for easier access.

The Archive app makes it easier for you to view and save old Instagram Stories. See what it can do for you and your brand by downloading the app today!

FAQs on Viewing Old Instagram Stories

Can old Instagram Stories be reposted?

Yes, absolutely! If you have a story you want to repost, you can go to the Archive folder and then click on the Story you’d wish to repost. Click on the lower left-hand corner, and three vertical dots will show up, giving you access to the sub-menu. From there, click on Repost.

If you want to repost someone else’s Story, you can tap on the paper airplane icon and share it. If you can’t see this option, the user has a private account, meaning you can’t share their stories.

Is it possible to watch a Story more than once?

Yes, you can watch a story multiple times as long as it’s within the 24-hour time limit. Although Instagram notifies the other person that you’ve watched their Story, it doesn’t tell them how many times you’ve watched it. So you’re good to go!

Can you see how many times a person has viewed your Story?

Similarly, while you can see who has viewed your Story, you can’t see the number of times they’ve viewed it. Some people may be relieved by this information because no one wants others to know they’ve watched the Story of a random user six times in a row, especially not if it’s your crush’s Story.

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