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Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Story

by Jimmy Rodela

Oct 11

9 min to read

Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Story

Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story?

The quick answer is, sometimes (explained in sections 1-4 below). 

Knowing if someone screenshots your Instagram content is easy, but it doesn’t always work. 

Continue reading to find out why.

Table of Contents

  • Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story?
  • Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a Reel?
  • Does Instagram notify people for user profile screenshots?
  • Does Instagram notify users for DM screenshots?
  • Why would you want to screenshot an Instagram post?
  • Alternatives to screenshotting on Instagram
  • How to avoid getting your posts screenshotted
  • Instagram screenshot notification: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Curate and reuse IG content with Vista Social

Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story?

The short answer is no—Instagram doesn’t notify users whenever someone grabs a screenshot of their Instagram Stories. 

Instagram users can freely and discreetly screenshot any public Story you share. At the same time, you may take a screenshot of any Story that you can access using the native Instagram app. 

The Instagram app will not send screenshot notifications in any of these cases. 

It’s worth noting that Instagram tested a feature that sends notifications whenever users take a screenshot of another user’s Stories. Instagram introduced this feature back in 2018, but it was cancelled just a few months later.

Instagram never gave an official explanation for the decision. As such, it’s still possible that Instagram might reintroduce an identical feature in the future.

Here are some of the reasons Instagram might bring back screenshot notifications: 

  • Growing privacy concerns by users
  • Ever-changing data privacy and security regulations
  • A single, impactful event that raises questions about screenshotting

Does Instagram send notifications when you screenshot a Reel?

No—Instagram also doesn’t notify users if someone takes a screenshot of their Instagram Reels. 

That’s one of the key similarities between Instagram Reels vs Story.

When publicly uploaded via the Instagram app, anyone can take a screenshot of Reels, Stories, and regular Instagram posts. Doing so won’t notify the original uploader of these pieces of content.

Does Instagram notify people for user profile screenshots?

Instagram doesn’t send notifications for user profile screenshots. Creators also won’t get notified if someone takes a screenshot of their individual posts. 

As long as the user profile is publicly available, the feed posts, Reels thumbnails, bio, and tagged content can be captured via screenshots. 

Does Instagram notify users for DM screenshots? 

When it comes to Direct Messages (DMs), Instagram notifies senders in certain situations in certain situations: 

  • Sent videos: In direct messages, Instagram will show a screenshot indicator if the other user took a screenshot of a shared video. 
  • Vanish mode: Instagram will always send a screenshot notification whenever the recipient takes a screenshot of DMs in “Vanish Mode.” 
  • Disappearing media: Instagram will also send a screenshot notification if the recipient took a screenshot of a disappearing photo or video. 

Senders can see the screenshot indicator for sent videos by opening the associated conversation. This icon will appear next to the “Video” chat bubble of the clip that was screenshotted.

Icon indicating a screenshot is taken
Image Source: Instagram app

Instagram will also show you a notification straight from the DM list. Look for the words “took a screenshot” next to the Instagram username of the person who took a screenshot.

Instagram  app showing notifications from DM list
Image Source: Instagram app

In Vanish Mode, Instagram shows screenshot notifications for anything—be it text, photos, or videos. 

Activate Vanish mode by swiping up from the bottom of the DM page.

How to activate vanish mode
Image Source: Instagram app

When in Vanish Mode, everything disappears once someone leaves the conversation or turns reverts to normal mode. 

Screenshot notifications in Vanish Mode will appear in the DM thread as soon as the recipient takes a screenshot. The Instagram app will also send a push notification to make sure the content’s owner is duly notified.

Vanish mode view of notifications
Image Source: Instagram app

Finally, when you send a disappearing message, Instagram will also show a screenshot indicator next to the chat bubble containing the disappearing media. 

Disappearing photos and videos can be sent from your camera roll or captured using the camera tool.

Instagram screenshot indicator
Image Source: Instagram app

Outside of these situations, Instagram won’t send notifications or even show indications that screenshots are taken from a DM thread. 

If you want to receive screenshot notifications, remember to use DMs to send videos, use Vanish Mode, or send disappearing messages using the Instagram app. 

Will airplane mode still recognize Instagram screenshots? 

Activating airplane mode will temporarily put Instagram screenshot notifications on hold. However, the sender will still get notified once you go online. 

Long story short, airplane mode will not prevent senders from knowing about DM screenshots. It may serve as a temporary workaround, but the app will immediately notify senders as soon as your connection is restored. 

Why would you want to screenshot Instagram content?

Instagram users, brands, and marketing agencies may take a screenshot  on Instagram for the following reasons: 

1. You want to combine multiple photos into one story or post

Taking and compiling screenshots is one of the fastest ways how to add multiple photos to Instagram Story

Just take a screenshot of the photos, create a new Story from the Instagram mobile app, and select the images. Instagram will automatically create a multi-page Story for you. 

2. You want to compile posts into a Reel

Apart from Stories, you can also compile screenshotted images into an Instagram Reel. You just need the right tools and the knowledge of how to make a Reel with photos.

If this is your goal, you only need to worry about screenshot notifications if you’re trying to capture: 

  • Videos sent via DM
  • Content sent through Vanish Mode
  • Disappearing content

3. You’re trying to share Instagram tips with your audience 

Instagram brands that talk about social media marketing may need screenshots from the app when sharing tutorials or tips. 

Let’s say you’re sharing the best questions to ask on Instagram Story. A sensible strategy is to obtain screenshots of existing Stories with questions, including those uploaded by other users. 

In this case, you don’t have to worry about screenshot notifications. However, consider notifying the users you’ll feature since you’re using their Instagram Story questions for your content. 

4. You need to repurpose old content

Screenshotting and re-uploading old content lets you quickly repurpose it into something else. This method is especially useful if you want to include Instagram elements in the photo, like the menu, user engagement numbers, or usernames. 

5. You want to do commentary on another user’s post

Screenshotting Instagram content allows you to re-post it along with your feedback and opinions. 

Let’s say you want to use another account’s post as an example. Just take a screenshot, add annotations or text overlays, and upload it to your feed, Story, or Reels. 

As a courtesy, tag the captured content’s original uploader. Also, write a description that clearly states or insinuates you’re merely sharing commentary on the original post. 

6. You just want to save a copy of the IG content

You may save screenshots to your device if you simply want a copy of the Instagram content. 

Again, just be wary when taking screenshots from the Instagram chat. 

Avoid problems by asking for permission to screenshot content. Don’t rely on Instagram’s screenshot indicators or the “took a screenshot” notification to inform the original content’s owner. 

7. You want to utilize user-generated content

Taking screenshots of user-generated content (UGC) will give you heaps of media assets for marketing. 

UGC is any piece of content created and uploaded by non-brand users. Some examples are reviews, tutorials, and videos that directly or indirectly promote a product. 

Use a platform with a social media listening tool like Vista Social to find UGC on social media networks. It’s also helpful in finding customer reviews on websites like Trustpilot and Yelp.

8. You want to save useful information 

Capture screenshots of Instagram content that contains useful information, such as hashtag ideas, contact information, instructions, and other details. These can be found on user bios, feed posts, Stories, and Reels. 

If the Instagram user sent you the information via DM, it’s already implied that you can take a screenshot. 

Alternatives to screenshotting on Instagram

Although screenshotting is often done for legitimate and non-harmful goals, certain users may find it “creepy” even if you take a screenshot from a direct message chat. 

The worst case scenario is losing followers on Instagram, especially if there’s any hint of you violating their privacy. 

That said, here are four simple alternatives to Instagram screenshotting:

1. Share content as links instead

Use the link sticker feature for Stories to share content from other Instagram accounts instead of screenshotting. 

Other than Instagram content, the link sticker lets you share content from other third-party apps and social networks. This is useful for curating content, sharing positive reviews, using content as examples, and promoting your existing posts.

Share content as links instead
Image Source: Instagram app

Must-read: How to share a YouTube video on Instagram Story

2. Use the screen recorder

If you use an iPhone, use the built-in screen recording tool to capture Instagram Stories, Reels, and video posts without worrying about notifications. 

Instagram also doesn’t send screen record alerts for shared videos via DM. However, the app will notify senders if their disappearing DM is recorded. 

For Android users, third-party apps like AZ Screen Recorder and Mobizen Screen Recorder achieve the same effect.    

3. Save Instagram content

Use the “Save” feature for Instagram content to help you find them later. 

Save content by opening them on Instagram and tapping the bookmark icon in the bottom-right corner.

Save Instagram content
Image Source: Instagram app

Take note that saving Instagram photos don’t download them to your device. Rather, they only get added to your collection, which can be accessed through your profile page. 

4. Use the Remix feature

To easily share your thoughts on existing Instagram content, use the Instagram remix feature. 

Instagram remix is designed to let users react or add context to posts published by someone else—no need to save or screenshot the actual content. This works on Reels, public photos, and public videos. 

Remix is Instagram’s version of TikTok’s “Duet,” which enables users to participate in challenges and be discoverable to the trend-loving community. 

5. Downloading and reposting your content 

Download Instagram content from a profile you manage if you want to repurpose it.

Remember, screenshotting requires you to manually crop the image to remove the Instagram user interface. But if you download the image properly, the app only downloads the actual image automatically. 

You can also download Instagram videos as long as you have access to the owner’s profile.

Once downloaded, feed your content into tools like Snapseed, Canva, InShot, or Photoleap. Downloaded images and videos can also be imported into slideshows, blog posts, and other social media networks like TikTok and YouTube shorts.  

How to avoid getting your posts screenshotted

Prevent other users from screenshotting your content by switching to a private account. 

To do this, go to your Instagram profile and tap the burger menu icon in the upper-right corner. From there, tap ‘Settings’ and go to ‘Privacy.’

Set profile to private
Image Source: Instagram app

On the “Privacy” page, tap the ‘Private account’ toggle to switch to a private account. 

A private account prevents strangers from seeing and screenshotting your Instagram content. However, it drastically diminishes your content’s marketing potential. 

You can also prevent other users from remixing your content by disabling the feature for specific content types. 

From the “Privacy” page, tap ‘Reels and Remix.’ Use the toggles to disable remixing for Reels, feed videos, and photos.

Use toggles to disable remixing
Image Source: Instagram app

Instagram screenshot notification: Frequently Asked Questions

Does airplane mode screenshot still work?

No, Instagram will still send a notification if you screenshot a DM the moment you go back online. Android users may try force quitting while iPhone users can try uninstalling or reinstalling the app before disabling airplane mode, but it’s not a guaranteed workaround. 

How do you screenshot on Instagram DM without them knowing on iPhone?

Instagram direct messages per se don’t send screenshot notifications—as long as you’re not capturing a video, disappearing message, or anything in Vanish mode. Otherwise, senders may know that you took a screenshot via a notification or a screenshot indicator. 

Can I see if someone screen recorded my Instagram Story?

No, there’s no way to tell if someone uses a screen recorder to save your Instagram Story. If you want to prevent strangers from saving a copy of your IG Stories, switch to a private account. 

Curate and reuse IG content with Vista Social

Screenshotting, remixing, and downloading Instagram content have plenty of applications in social media marketing. 

You can use it to maximize the value of content, experiment with different posting times, generate user engagement, and more. 

Make the most out of Instagram screenshots with Vista Social—an all-in-one social media management tool. It features optimal posting time suggestions, hashtag recommendations, user engagement analytics, and cross-scheduling across 14 social networks and reputation management platforms. 

Get started with a free Vista Social account today.  

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