Instagram stories are temporary images or videos that disappear after 24 hours. It’s only natural that you would want to screenshot one of these fleeting snaps for a variety of reasons. But does Instagram notify the user that you’ve done so?

Perhaps you want to save a snap from your best friend’s stories or screenshot a picture of one of your favorite Instagram business accounts. Maybe your friend sent you a disappearing direct message that you want to keep. No matter the reason, it’s very common these days to screenshot content on Instagram and other social platforms.

Despite this, most people still want to know if the person on the other end knows they took a screenshot or not. So, let’s take a look into the exact instances in which someone will receive notifications when you screenshot their content on Instagram.

Does Instagram Notify People When You Screenshot A Story Or Post?

A few years back, Instagram did launch a feature that notified users when you would screenshot their story. But, due to privacy reasons, they retired this feature. 

Currently, Instagram does not notify users when you screenshot a story, post, or most other content. This includes screenshots of another user’s profile or page, story, posts, as well as permanent direct message threads.

Regular photos or videos seen on your explore page and your personal feed are also safe from screenshot notifications. 

There is, however, one exception to this. Instagram does send a notification to users when a disappearing photo or video direct message (DM) is screenshotted by the person receiving it.

Instagram users are able to send disappearing messages through a DM. These exist for a limited time and disappear once the recipient has viewed them. As you aren’t able to access your camera roll when using the disappearing mode feature, they are generally live images. 

So, even though Instagram has removed all indications that someone has screenshotted your stories, people can still tell when you screenshot a disappearing video or image sent in a private DM thread. 

does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story

Let’s Talk More About Direct Messages 

Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a private message? The answer to this question is both yes and no. As mentioned, there are certain disappearing messages that will notify the user when screenshotted. 

When it comes to screenshots of direct messages and other non-disappearing content, no notifications will be sent. This includes text messages, hashtags, or other posts from feeds. You can happily screenshot people’s stories or conversations in your DM thread without anyone knowing!

But remember, Instagram will send a notification when you screenshot a disappearing video or photo in a DM thread. 

What is most important to take note of is that Instagram’s rules and regulations do tend to change. 

Previously, Instagram used technical software to detect people screenshotting your content with a smartphone. These notifications triggered when someone screenshotted your Instagram post or story as well as if they recorded the screen while checking out your Instagram account.

So, while there are updated rules now, they could very easily change again in the future. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to check Instagram’s screenshot notification policy from time to time. Just to keep in the loop!

How To Know If Someone Screenshotted Your Disappearing Content?

There is a way that Instagram notifies you when someone screenshots one of your photos or videos sent in private DM. But, there isn’t an actual notification. 

There is no pop-up or push notification sent to the user when you screenshot their disappearing images or videos in a DM. Instead, there are small indications to look out for.

Though it may be subtle, it’s still easy for users to notice when someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing message. 

There will be a small, spiral-like starburst icon next to the image or video that has been screenshotted. 

Much to many users’ dismay, there is no way to get rid of this icon. So, once you screenshot that image, you can be sure that the person who sent it will likely find out. 

Phone with Instagram logo

How To Avoid Being Detected When You Screenshot Something

While you can mostly screenshot to your heart’s content on Instagram, there are ways to avoid detection. If Instagram ever reintroduces the screenshot notification feature again, you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid it!

Airplane Mode

One of the main ways to avoid being caught screenshotting is to use your phone’s ‘Airplane Mode’. By setting your smartphone to Airplane Mode (offline mode), you will be able to take a screenshot freely – without the user being notified.

However, since your phone will be offline, you can’t view multiple posts and stories. So, this method isn’t great if you frequently take screenshots. 

Web Browser

Another way to avoid being caught screenshotting is to access Instagram through your desktop or laptop web browser. 

Currently, there is no way for Instagram to detect screenshots taken off laptop or desktop browsers.

Another Smartphone Camera Or Device

If you prefer a more conventional approach, grab another smartphone or camera and take a picture of your screen. While you won’t end up with a great quality image, this is a sure-fire way to avoid any notifications being sent. 

Third-Party Applications

This option is for those who really want to be discreet. Certain third party applications will allow you to look at those disappearing images and videos and screenshot and save them anonymously. 

While it isn’t illegal to use these applications, it is important to ensure that they do not violate Instagram’s Terms of Service.

The Bottom Line

For those of you who want to know the answer to the question ‘does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story?’, the simple answer is no. Instagram will only notify someone if you screenshot a disappearing image or video sent to you in a private DM thread. Other than that, you can screenshot pretty much anything else without anyone knowing!

Adie Marais
Author

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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