July 24, 2024

Can Someone Tell if you Screenshot a Story or Post in Instagram

Do you like to take screenies of other people’s Instagram posts? Or, maybe you are an Instagramer that is tired of having their life stolen in snapshots? The anonymity of doing this has come to an end.

That’s right. You can’t take screenshots of stories or posts in Instagram anymore. No, Instagram hasn’t taken control of your phone’s OS, but they’ve done the only thing they can do: enable a tattle.

How It Works

Is this fully implemented yet? No. But since its announcement in early 2018, many users have already received notifications that their stories and posts were recorded or captured.

How will it work? Instagram can detect if you are doing funny things with your phone screen. When this happens, a little icon appears next to your name.

What exactly triggers the notification? It can be one of three things:

  • Taking a screenshot of an Instagram post or story
  • Recording a screen while checking out someone’s Instagram
  • Recording a screen while looking at a story that includes a video

Though it’s not widely used yet, it will eventually be remotely enabled. This means that it may already be on your version of Instagram.

How will you know when it’s in use? The first time you take a screenie you’ll get a courtesy warning from Instagram informing you it’s in use.

Instagram posters will know you are the one that tried to immortalize their temporary event by checking out the “Seen By” list in their account. Next to your name will be a circular icon that looks a bit like a sun, or a camera shutter.

To be clear, Instagram users who have their posts captured won’t receive an immediate notification. However, if they are curious they can see that it’s you by scrolling through their “Seen By” list.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Snapchat users have had this notification system for a while, and it’s where Instagram got this idea.

This is only one step further for Instagram’s notification system. They already notified users when a private direct message was screened. The testing for this new notification system is another way Instagram is attempting to protect user privacy.

Finally, this issue isn’t without some controversy. And some users are slowing down their browsing, if not leaving the platform altogether, because of the impending launch of this new feature.

Notification Work Arounds – Legitimately

Can’t stop screencapping what you see on Instagram? There are a few ways to work around the notification if you happen to be one of the parties affected.

Airplane Mode

One way to avoid the notification badge is setting your smartphone to Airplane mode and take a screenshot while your device is offline. When you’re ready to continue browsing, turn off Airplane mode and continue on.

The downside of doing this is that you will only see one or two posts because your phone is offline. If you’re a habitual screenshot offender, this one may not work for you.

Use a Web Browser on your PC or Laptop

Alternatively, you can check out Instagram via your PC browser and take a screenshot that way. Apparently, Instagram does not have a way to track screenies taken from your browser window if you use a laptop or PC.

You can try accessing Instagram through your phone browser instead of using the app, but it’s not foolproof. You may still get caught and tagged with a notification.

Chrome Browser Extension: Chrome IG Story

This one is easy to use if you are already a Chrome user.

Step One – Download Extension

First, download Chrome IG story for your browser.

Step Two – Download Available Stories

The default settings already enable privacy mode. What this means is that users won’t know if you’ve seen their stories.

Right-clicking on a user’s profile will yield a Download icon. This downloads all their available posts and stories in a convenient zip file. Downloads also include all of this user’s posted videos.

Step Three – Read Via Extension and Save

Additionally, you can also view the stories in the Chrome extension. If you see something you want to keep, just right-click to save it.

Take a Picture with Another Camera

You may also want to try this low-tech way of taking Instagram screenshots: grabbing another camera and taking a pic of your screen. You may even grab your friend’s phone and take a pic of your screen. As long as it isn’t your phone activating the screenshot, the notification won’t be sent.

It may be low quality, but if you really want to capture that screen without a notification, this may be a good option.

Third Party Apps

Finally, if you are desperate to take screenshots of your latest crush’s Instagram, you can try a third party app. These apps let you look at Instagram stories, screenshot, and save anonymously.

Some apps take the URL for the image or video and use that to save posts. From there, you can view your saved stories in overview mode and repost if you want.

Other apps do all of that and allow you to repost as one of the save steps. The ease of use may vary between apps, and the free ones may be peppered with ads.

It’s not illegal to use these apps, but it may go against Instagram’s Terms of Service agreement. If you really need that screencap though, you can still try these apps out without repercussion.


Will these notifications deter people from taking screenshots of Instagram stories? Maybe not completely. However, in keeping with the ephemeral purpose of Instagram, they are attempting to keep these fleeting stories and posts from gaining immortality from saves and reposts.

Whether or not you decide to bypass the notifications, or ignore them altogether, is a question of individual morality. But you shouldn’t feel bad if you are saving and reposting stories from public figures. After all, that’s what they are there for. On the other hand, you may have to temper your stalking habits unless you want to get caught.

Reposting restaurant reviews may not be so bad, but saving an ex’s posts may be a little creepy. And with this new feature, now they will know.

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