Screenshot Instagram Story: What You Need to Know

December 4, 2023 • Devin Partida


Many consider screen grabbing another’s photo or story a social media no-no. Others, not so much. No matter where you are in the demographic, it’s good to know social media etiquette. Here’s what you need to know about the screenshot Instagram story fiasco.

What is the Deal With Screenshotting an Instagram Story?

Instagram is a global phenomenon when it comes to social media platforms. People can share snippets of their personal lives with followers through photos, videos and reels. The photo-sharing app caters to 1.38 billion daily active users, trailing behind Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp in global rankings.

With that many users, getting lost in a sea of content is easy, but sometimes you’ll find something interesting you may want to share with friends and followers in your network. This is where screenshotting comes in.

While there are other ways to share content with people in your network, screenshotting a post is easier since it allows you to capture and share an image regardless of the original poster’s privacy settings. A single tap on the screen, and you’re done. You can send the fresh screengrab via a post, reel or direct message (DM).

The big question is: why do many people believe it’s bad to screenshot someone else’s post, reel or story? It has something to do with social media etiquette. Some people post content to only share with a limited number of people, like friends and family. This is the reason why many Instagram users set their profiles to private. Screenshotting a post goes against that sense of privacy.

When you screenshot a person’s post or story, they may see it as unethical social media behavior. They might think you’re talking about them behind their back, which can signify bullying, shaming and other toxic behavior. People also feel suspicious about others who screengrab their posts or stories because they view the act as inappropriate or malicious.

Does Instagram Notify Users When You Screenshot Their Story?

This is the question that most people keep asking. Does Instagram notify users when you screenshot their posts or stories? The quick answer is no. Well, not anymore. For a time, Instagram did have a notification feature that lets users know when someone screenshots their post or story.

You can screenshot anyone’s posts or stories with confidence. For now, that is. Instagram changes its policies regularly to keep up with user preferences and trends.

The app also has policies to protect users and prevent harmful use. Users can report inappropriate content that violates user guidelines and block close connections and followers from seeing their posts and interacting with them over privacy concerns.

When Does Instagram Notify Users of Screenshots?

Instagram will notify you if someone takes a screenshot of your message in Vanish mode or of a disappearing photo or video content you sent via DM. And it goes the other way around — your connections will receive a notification if you take a screenshot of disappearing photos or videos and messages in Vanish mode.

Depending on who you ask, it’s a neat way to see if anyone is taking a snapshot of your privately sent messages and other content. This can be a hassle for people who like to keep receipts of everything they’re doing online. On the other hand, the notifications feature will seem trivial to people who don’t mind other users screenshotting their messages.

How to Screenshot Instagram Story of Others Without Notifying Them

Screenshotting can be a convenient tool if you like sharing funny or exciting stories with your friends or want to keep digital snapshots of the content you see daily. Here are different methods of the screenshot Instagram story hack and avoid being detected.

Capture a Screenshot Using Your Browser

Logging into Instagram to capture a screenshot will bypass the notification feature. You can use this method to avoid being detected when you want to take a screenshot of a story or a disappearing photo or video. Here are the steps.

  1. Log into your Instagram account.
  2. Go to the story you want to screenshot and wait for it to load.
  3. Hit the screenshot key. The shortcut will depend on the computer you’re using.
  4. You can use screenshot apps like Lightshot to create screenshots with links.

Use a Screen Recorder on Your Phone

A screen recorder also allows you to take screenshots of Instagram stories without being detected. Unlike streaming services like Netflix, it’s one of those workarounds that still works with the photo-sharing app. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to Instagram.
  2. Head to the story you’d like to capture.
  3. Use your device’s built-in screen recording tool or preferred screen recording app.
  4. Record and save the footage. 

Take a Screenshot While in Airplane Mode

Putting your phone on Airplane mode will disconnect you from networks like cellular data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and disconnect other wireless devices. Coincidentally, it’s also a way to screenshot any Instagram story without being detected. Here are the steps.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  2. Head to the story you want to screenshot and wait for it to load. This is essential since you need it to load before you turn on Airplane mode.
  3. Turn on Airplane mode.
  4. Return to Instagram and tap on the story you want to capture.
  5. Take a screenshot.

This method also works with disappearing photos and videos on your DMs. Screenshotting a story or disappearing photos will be undetected if you’re in Airplane mode.

Always Practice Social Media Etiquette

Generally, it’s best to avoid screenshotting sensitive content like private conversations or anything incriminating. Be mindful of what you consume on social media, whom you share it with and what you do with it after. If you feel uncomfortable with people sharing your personal content without your consent, chances are many people share the same sentiments.

Many still think Instagram notifies users when their content is captured via screenshots or screen recordings. It was an experimental feature the popular app eliminated in 2018 after a trial run. 

While it’s no longer functional, people believing the feature still works may be a good thing. People become more wary about the consequences of their social media habits and are less likely to screenshot sensitive content that could harm themselves and others.