Can People See If You Screenshot Their Instagram Story?

It can be hard to be sneaky on social media. While technology makes it quick and easy to take professional-quality photos, that same technology can backfire on us if we're trying to secretly scroll someone's entire feed. Who among us hasn't accidentally liked an Instagram image on a page we were quietly stalking? 


As entertaining (and, let's admit it, time-sucking) as Instagram can be, even co-founder Kevin Systrom isn't sure his former tech baby is on the right path, telling the "On with Kara Swisher" podcast: "I think we've lost the soul of what made Instagram Instagram. My biggest regret, I think, at Instagram is how commercial it got." [28:43] 

It's no longer a platform primarily known for keeping up with far-flung friends and family, the same as Facebook's early days. Now, Instagram is an ad-heavy app with many carefully curated feeds that barely resemble real life for most people. Not surprisingly, users may want to screenshot their favorite celebrities' every post, reel, and story. And outside of famous faces, users may also want to screengrab images and videos of people they know. But will the person on the other end find out if you do?


They won't get a notification that you screenshotted their story

People have various reasons for wanting to screenshot another person's photos and stories. It's one thing if you screenshot a friend's image, but it's quite another if you're trying to snag a screengrab of your ex's new SO. The last thing you want is for your former partner to know you're stalking their page! The good news is you can safely screenshot someone else's Instagram stories and they won't get a notification about it.


This is different from Snapchat, where users will get a notification whenever someone screenshots their content. Of course, there's always a site out there telling users how to get around these annoying tech issues. Sometimes, they suggest viewing content on a web browser; other times, it's supposedly as simple as putting your phone in airplane mode.

For Instagram, however, you don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops if you screenshot a story. In 2018, Instagram briefly tested a feature that did notify users when others took screenshots of their stories. However, the feature was soon abandoned, and as of this writing, has not been reactivated.

DMs are another story

Now that you know you can safely screenshot someone's Instagram story without worrying they'll find out about it, here's the bad news: if you screenshot an image in a private message, the person on the other end of that message exchange will be notified. The same applies to conversations in "vanish mode."


Maybe you're on the other side of this issue and don't want certain people to see your stories at all. In this case, you can adjust your settings to hide your stories from specific users.

As a final note (and perhaps warning): Technology changes rapidly, and brands like Instagram make changes to keep up with the times. Sometimes, users love the updates, while others get panned. Although you can safely screenshot someone's IG story without them knowing about it as of now, it may be a different story tomorrow. It's definitely worth keeping up with the current guidelines on all the social media apps you use. You don't want to be caught snooping or screenshotting when you least expect it.