Can People See When You Screenshot on Instagram?

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 24, 2024

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We’ve all been there. You are mindlessly watching Instagram stories when you spot a funny Internet meme, a delicious-looking meal, or a useful graphic about how to sell on IG. You immediately want to save it for later or share it with a friend. After you click your phone’s buttons to take a screenshot, one thought quickly comes to mind. Can people see when you screenshot on Instagram? This question always seems to be up for debate. So, let’s dig deep and settle it once and for all. But first, we’ll need to take a few steps back to better understand a few things. Just what exactly is a screenshot? How do you take one and what can you take one of? Keep reading below for all the answers.

Person holding smartphone and wondering if people can see when you screenshot on Instagram.

What Is a Screenshot and How Do You Use It on Instagram?

A screenshot is a picture that is taken of whatever is displayed on your screen. It lets you easily save things you want to revisit later on, including Instagram DMs in vanish mode. In fact, screenshots are automatically download Instagram photos to your phone’s photo albums. If you’ve never taken a screenshot before, allow us to walk you through the steps. Afterward, we will dive into the question at hand: can people see when you screenshot on Instagram?

To take a screenshot on your iPhone, press the side button and the volume up button at the same time. Next, quickly release. A thumbnail will temporarily appear in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. Tap on it to quickly edit, share or delete the image. If you don’t immediately click on the thumbnail, it will still save to your camera roll.

To take an Instagram screenshot on an Android, press the volume down and power button at the same time. Hold down for a couple of seconds, and your phone will take a screenshot when you release the buttons. On the majority of Android devices, you’ll see a toolbar pop up at the bottom of the screen. This lets you quickly edit, share or delete your new screenshot.

Can You Screenshot Instagram Stories?

You’re all caught up on how to take a screenshot. Now, you’re probably wondering where and how to use this feature inside Instagram. Before we answer the question of whether people can see when they screenshot on Instagram, let’s talk about what you can screenshot. For instance, can you screenshot Instagram ads? Yes. Can you screenshot Instagram stories? The answer is yes. You can easily screenshot an Instagram story as well as a post. Since a screenshot is, well, a shot of your screen, you can take one of anything that is currently shown. Keep in mind that Instagram stories are constantly moving, so you will need to act fast. If you miss your intended shot, simply tap or swipe to the left to revisit the previous story.

Can You Screenshot Instagram Videos and Reels?

You may also be wondering about videos you see on Instagram, whether you view them in reels, posts or stories. Since a screenshot produces a still image, it won’t capture the live action. However, when it comes to videos, you have another option. Let us introduce you to the screen record function. To use this feature, open your Instagram app. Next, you’ll want to simply swipe down from the top of the screen to open the control center. You’ll see a square icon that indicates screen recording. You’ll get a 3-second countdown before the recording starts. Don’t worry about getting back to the exact story, you’ll be able to edit the recorded clip later. To stop recording, swipe down again and tap the screen recording button once more. The clip will automatically save to your photo library, where you can edit, share or post it.

Woman using smartphone, looking to see if people can see when you screenshot on Instagram.

The Truth: Can People See When You Screenshot on Instagram?

Now that we’ve covered how to take a screenshot on Instagram, let’s get right to the pressing question at hand. The answer you’ve been waiting for. Can people see when you screenshot on Instagram? You can sleep easy knowing the answer is a resounding no. Another user cannot see when you screenshot their feed posts on Instagram. And, at this time, it doesn’t seem like the social media app has any plans to change that. However, you may be wondering about other types of Instagram content. What about Instagram stories, for instance? Don’t worry, we’ll cover all that below. 

Can You See if Someone Screenshots Your Instagram Story?

When it comes to Instagram, people are always wondering who can see what. In addition to wondering if can people see when you screenshot on Instagram, they also ponder the opposite. That is, can you see if someone screenshots your Instagram story? Currently, the answer to the Instagram screenshot policy is no. If someone takes a quick snap of your story, you will not be able to tell.

However, you can see some information. Are you eager to learn how to find out who views your Instagram story? To access this feature, simply pull up your story. When it is on the screen, you’ll want to swipe up. This shows you the total number of people who have viewed each part of your story, along with their usernames. If you missed checking before your story expired, don’t worry. You can still view this for up to 48 hours by accessing your posts and stories archives. And rest assured, you are the only one who can see this information.

Person looking upward towards an Instagram notification.

Instagram Screenshot Notifications and Settings

Chances are, you are familiar with the Instagram notifications that pop up on your phone from time to time. A new friend request, a direct message, or a tag – the social media app keeps you up-to-date with it all. Of course, you can easily turn these notifications off at any time. You can also mark your Instagram direct messages as unread. Want to check your current settings or make some changes? Pop on over to your profile and select the three lines icon from the upper right-hand corner. Next, tap settings then notifications. This will give you full control over what notifications you receive and from who. But what about screenshot notifications? Does Instagram have a screenshot notification feature? And, if so, can people see when you screenshot on Instagram? Keep scrolling as we break it down below and answer all your questions.

Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Post or Direct Message?

At this time, there is no Instagram notification when a screenshot is taken on the app. This rings true for both the person taking the screenshot and the account of the content being captured. The main notifications in regard to a feed post are for when someone likes it and when someone comments on it. You’ll also receive a notification if someone tags you in another post. Remember, all these notifications are easily customizable to fit your needs and wants. So there you have it. The answer to the question does Instagram notify you when you screenshot a post is no.

Instagram screenshot messages are also not visible to the original Instagram account and are saved to the photo library of the Instagram user that took the screenshot. If you want to delete Instagram messages, feel free to screenshot them first because you cannot undo deleting them once it is done. If you are wondering how to read Instagram messages without being seen, that’s another matter. It requires more tricks and taking advantage of airplane mode on your device. But for the answer to can you screenshot an Instagram DM, the answer is yes. Will the person know that you took a screenshot of your message thread — no.

Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Story?

Now that we’ve got posts out of the way, what about stories? Does Instagram notify you when you screenshot a story? Just like the question of can people see when you screenshot on Instagram, the answer is no. Neither party will receive an Instagram notification if and when someone takes a screenshot of a story. However, as mentioned above, an account will be able to see the Instagram handles or usernames of Instagram story viewers. This is definitely something to keep in mind next time you are scrolling through the app so you don’t accidentally view someone’s IG story.

Now you can focus on how to get on the Instagram Explore page and grow your IG account’s visibility. At Path Social we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and a proprietary AI targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we reach organic users who are targeted, interested, and engaged. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.