Is It Possible to View Someone’s Instagram Stories Anonymously?

Instagram doesn’t make it easy to view others’ Stories anonymously, but it is possible if you use one of these handy and simple tricks.

Abi Travis - Author

Jul. 9 2020, Updated 12:34 p.m. ET

view instagram stories anonymously
Source: Getty Images

It’s hard to believe now, but when Instagram first added the ability to post Stories, some people were kind of outraged about it. They said Instagram was just copying Snapchat — which, to be clear, was a fair criticism at the time. Now, though, Instagram Stories is a key part of most people’s Instagram viewing experience. We’re betting that when you first open the app, you go straight to the Stories rather than scrolling through the feed.

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One of the most interesting (and somewhat controversial) aspects of Instagram Stories is that people can see a list of everyone who has viewed their Story (hopefully you knew that already!). But, obviously, there are sometimes Stories you want to view without alerting the creator that you’re watching them. Is it possible to view Instagram Stories anonymously? Not exactly. 

anonymous instagram stories view
Source: Twitter
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Is it possible to view Instagram Stories anonymously?

In an ideal world, you could Insta-stalk your ex’s new beau with complete impunity (hey, humans are naturally curious!). But in the current world, if you Insta-stalk your ex’s new beau’s Stories, they’re gonna know about it. Unless you can think of a way to do anonymously.

First of all, there’s no official setting within Instagram itself that allows you to view Stories anonymously. People can see if you’ve looked at their Story even if your own account is set to “Private.”

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One thing you can do is use the Airplane Mode trick. Go to the person’s profile page, wait for their Stories to load (you’ll see the pink and orange ring around their Story icon), then put your phone into Airplane Mode. This will allow you to view their Stories, but they won’t be able to see that you’ve viewed them. You should be sure to leave their profile and close the app before leaving Airplane Mode, though. Otherwise, your view might register on their “Seen” list.

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One other way to view Instagram Stories anonymously is by making a fake, anonymous Instagram account. Instagram allows you to switch between multiple accounts without having to completely log out and back in again. The trick is just making sure that you remember to switch to your “burner” account before watching the Stories.

There are also some third-party apps that claim to let you either download Stories or just view them anonymously, but as with all third-party apps, they’re not something you should be adding to your phone willy-nilly. Be sure to do your research and be wary of apps that may collect additional data without your knowledge. 

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Does Instagram notify people when you screenshot their Stories?

Ever since Stories first came out, people have wondered whether taking a screenshot of someone’s Stories sent that person a notification. After all, Snapchat does it, and Stories is a very similar product.

Instagram actually did alert people when others screenshotted their Stories back in February of 2018, but they got rid of that feature a few months later after they faced some backlash. Whew! Rest assured, you can screenshot Stories to your heart’s desire — but you will still end up on the list of people who have viewed the Story, so keep that in mind!

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