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How to View Old Stories on Instagram After They Disappear

Published February 25, 2024

Instagram has been around since 2010, and during its existence it has continuously released new updates to its app. One of the most revolutionary upgrades was the launch of Stories in 2016. 

An Instagram Story is a short video that lasts for just 24 hours before disappearing from public view. Additional elements and effects have been added by Instagram to make a Story more engaging and fun.

The biggest complaint about Stories is that they can’t be viewed after 24 hours. While this is by design, sometimes users want to see Stories that have already passed beyond the 24-hour window. 

If you are wondering how to view old stories on Instagram, then don’t worry. We will provide the steps to take for viewing Stories after they have disappeared.

How to Rewatch Instagram Stories

It’s possible to rewatch an Instagram Story you posted within the last 24 hours, and quite simple to do.

To rewatch a Story, do the following:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the top-left of the screen.

Once you have done this, you will automatically see the Story you have posted. It is helpful to rewatch your own Story to see if it looks the way you had expected it to. Rewatching a Story also allows you to see who viewed it, which can often be very insightful.

Note: If there are any changes you would like to make, you will need to re-upload the Story again and then make your desired modifications.

How to View Old Stories on Instagram

After your Story has expired when 24 hours have passed, you will no longer be able to view it from tapping on your profile picture. However, this does not mean that you will be unable to ever see an old Story again.

Here are the steps for how to view old Stories on Instagram that involve the Archive feature:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the bottom-right of the screen
  3. Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) located in the right-hand corner of the screen
  4. Tap on Archive in the menu the pops up
  5. Make sure Stories archive is selected

From this area, you will be able to see every single Story you have ever uploaded to Instagram, in reverse chronological order. 

You may find yourself perusing through years of Stories if your account activity goes back that far. This method for how to view old Stories on Instagram is quick and easy and can come in very handy.

How to Search Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are one of the most beloved features of the app. However, finding a Story can sometimes be a little challenging if you don’t know how. 

Here are the steps for searching IG Stories that a specific person has shared:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on the magnifying glass icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen
  3. Type in the username of the account you want to see the Stories of
  4. Tap on the person’s profile picture if there is a multicolored gradient circle around it, as this indicates they currently have a viewable Story

Note: Another way to view a Story quickly is if someone else tagged you in their Story.

IG Story FAQs

Along with knowing how to find old Stories on Instagram, there are a few other frequently asked questions, which we will answer below.

How long does an Instagram search stay for?

An Instagram search will stay forever unless you manually remove it. The app saves your search history to make it more convenient for you to search for something you already searched for, as well as to deliver similar content to what you enjoy. 

Note: Your search history is private and nobody but you will see it. 

Does an Instagram Story disappear?

An Instagram Story will disappear once the 24-hour mark has passed. Your followers will be unable to view your Story, but you can still access it using the Archive feature we shared earlier. 

Protip: You can show your Followers your previous Stories even after 24 hours have elapsed. The way to do this is to create a Highlights section on your profile where categorized Stories can be displayed for your Followers.

Can you find Instagram Stories by date?

Yes, you can view all of your previous Instagram Stories in reverse chronological order via the Archive feature. Your Stories will have a date in the top-left of the Story cover. 

Note: If you posted more than one Story in a given 24 hours, you will only see the date displayed on the first Story you posted on that day. 


Stories are one of the favorite features Instagram offers to users. This unique way to express less polished and more casual content became highly popular ever since it was first launched in 2016. However, some people are not sure if they can still view their old Stories. Now that you know how to view your older Stories, you can take a nostalgic trip through your Stories Archive and pull up any Story you have previously shared.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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