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How to delete a story on Instagram

It's not uncommon to regret your posting from time to time.
By
December 7, 2023

Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours, but you might have a reason to pull your story sooner than that. Maybe it was posted after a few too many drinks, or you suddenly feel you’ve revealed something you shouldn’t. In any event, the process couldn’t be easier. Here’s how to delete a story on Instagram and a few other helpful tips.

QUICK ANSWER

Here are the steps to delete an Instagram story:

  1. On your home feed, select Your story and choose the image or video you want to delete.
  2. Tap More in the bottom right of the image or video.
  3. Hit Delete and then confirm.

JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to delete a story on Instagram

It only takes a few taps to get rid of your Instagram story. Here are the steps:

  1. From your home feed, tap on Your story in the top left corner where your profile picture is.
  2. If there’s more than one image or video to choose from, select the one you want to remove.
  3. When viewing the photo or video in the story, select the More option in the bottom right. It’s represented by three vertical dots.
  4. On the following menu, hit Delete.
  5. You’ll be given one more prompt to confirm. Press Delete.

How to delete archived stories on Instagram

The archive is where your stories go once they are no longer live. Stories here aren’t visible to others, but you may decide that you want to delete them anyway. Here’s how to delete archive stories on Instagram:

  1. From your home feed, click on your Profile. It’s the icon in the bottom right corner with your profile picture on it.
  2. Hit the Profile menu in the top right of your profile, represented by three horizontal lines.
  3. Tap on Archive.
  4. Select the story that you want to delete.
  5. On the story, tap More in the bottom right corner, represented by three horizontal dots.
  6. Hit Delete.
  7. On the confirmation prompt, hit Delete again.

How to delete story highlights on Instagram

Highlights are the collections of your favorite stories that you’ve chosen to remain pinned at the top of your profile. Given that these last longer than just posting a story on its own, you might have more reason to chop and change them now and again. Here’s how to delete story highlights on Instagram:

  • Go to your Profile as detailed in the previous section.
  • You’ll see the highlights underneath the Edit profile button near the top of your profile.
  • Tap and hold the highlight that you want to want to delete. You’ll be presented with a pop-up menu.
  • Select Delete highlight.
  • On the confirmation pop-up, hit Delete.

Can you recover a deleted Instagram story?

Perhaps surprisingly, you can recover a deleted Instagram story as long as you deleted it within the last 30 days. Instagram has a Recently deleted folder where stories you delete will remain for a month in case you change your mind. Here’s how it works:

  1. Head back to your profile and hit the Profile menu in the top right corner, represented by three horizontal lines.
  2. From that menu, select Your activity.
  3. Next, tap Recently Deleted in the Removed and archived content section of the menu.
  4. You’ll see any stories that you’ve deleted in the last 30 days. Select the one you want to recover.
  5. While viewing the story, tap the More icon in the bottom right. It has three vertical dots.
  6. Hit Restore.
  7. You’ll see a pop-up asking for confirmation. Press Restore again.

If your deleted story was posted within the last 24 hours or was in your highlights, it will return to being live or featuring in those highlights. Otherwise, it will be restored to your archive.


FAQs

A story stays viewable by others on Instagram for 24 hours. After that, it is still on Instagram but in your archive and not viewable by others. The exception is if you add the story to your profile highlights, in which case it will stay there until you remove it.

You can see who viewed your Instagram story. To do so,  just open your story and swipe up on the screen. You’ll see the usernames of the people who have viewed each photo or video in your story.

No, unlike some social media platforms, you won’t be notified if someone screenshotted your Instagram story.