Stealthy Ways To See Instagram Stories

Profile photo of Heidi Lang, author

Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Dec 29, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

When someone shares an Instagram Story, the app lets them see who views and engages with it. However, sometimes, you may wish to see a Story anonymously without letting the users know. 

Maybe you want to perform market research and take a peek into competitors’ Instagram strategies. Or, you intend to keep it on the down low. Whatever your motive, there are ways to see Instagram Stories anonymously. 

This article will walk you through easy yet effective ways to see Stories discreetly and more.

Four influencer friends posing for a Story in the sea.

What Is an Instagram Story?

Instagram Story is a cool in-app feature that lets you share photos or videos that vanish in 24 hours. They show up in vertical file formats and are quick, memorable, and fun.

When you share a Story, a colorful ring pops up around your profile pic. This tells your IG followers to tap and check out your latest post. Your profile picture also lands at the top of your followers’ home screens, grabbing their attention first.

IG Stories are fantastic for brands to play around with diverse content. Unlike your carefully crafted feed, Stories disappear after a day. Small businesses get creative, sharing everything from raw videos of daily life to snaps of new products. Brands use Stories to give shoutouts to their customers by reposting their followers’ posts and Stories in their brand Stories.

Two content creators watching IG Stories anonymously on a laptop.

Can You See Instagram Stories Anonymously?

Instagram currently doesn’t have a built-in feature to view Stories anonymously due to its policy. However, you can still see Stories anonymously using workarounds. If you want to know how to see Instagram Stories anonymously, read the following steps.

Here is how you can view any publicly shared Story without someone noticing you or using your real account.

Create a New IG Account

You have to create a secondary IG account to watch Stories that don’t show your ‘real’ identity. It’s one of the most straightforward ways to view Stories anonymously. Not only that, but you can perform various other activities where you want to remain anonymous.

Although it’s incredibly easy to create a new secondary Instagram account, we recommend using mobile data or a VPN. This way, this social network app won’t be able to flag your page. Once you create the new account, you can spy and view IG Stories anonymously using that account.

Use Airplane Mode

Another effective method to see someone’s Ig Stories is through airplane mode.

Instagram preloads multiple Stories automatically to enable “instant viewing.” So, even if you don’t have a reliable internet connection or Wi-Fi, you can see Stories anonymously theoretically. Are you wondering how? Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the person’s profile in the Instagram app.
  2. Turn on airplane mode on your phone. This stops them from seeing that you view their Stories.
  3. Go back to the IG app and enjoy watching the Stories in secret.

Just a heads up, if a person posts various Stories sequentially, not all of them may load in airplane mode.

Slide and View From Adjacent Instagram Stories

Instead of tapping directly on a story, try this smart technique to stay under the radar. Since Instagram arranges Stories sequentially, you can use this method effectively.

Here’s how it works:

Seeing the “First Frame” Of the Next IG Account’s Story:

Swipe left instead of clicking on a Story you wish to watch. This takes you to the ‘first frame’ of the next account’s Story. You get a quick look without your username added to the ‘Seen by’ list. This trick helps you stay anonymous while still checking out the content.

Viewing the “Last Frame” Of the Story:

To see the “final frame” of a user’s Instagram Story, tap on the first IG Story of the next account in line. Then, swipe right to return to the previous account’s “last Story.” Keep in mind that this method only lets you watch the last and first frames—not the middle ones.

Create a “Close Friends” List

Instagram has several interesting features for users. One such feature is the “Close Friends” list. It gives users more control over their privacy and lets them share content with a select group of friends.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works:

  1. Add Close Friends To the List: Make a list of your closest and most trusted friends or connections on Instagram. Don’t worry, it’s a private list, and no one else can see who’s on it.
  1. Share Exclusive Stories: When you post a Story, you can choose to share it exclusively with your ‘close friends’ list. This means only the people on your list can view Stories, keeping them hidden from your wider group of followers.

Two girl influencers are setting up a portable changing room for their next IG Story.

See Instagram Stories Without Account: Use Third-Party Online Web Tools

What if we tell you there’s an effective way to see Instagram Stories without an account?

Many third-party apps claim to let you watch Stories without them knowing and without requiring you to log in. The advantage of this approach is that it’s free. Also, you won’t have to make a new Instagram account, download the app, or sign in to the platform.

Download or view Stories from a public Instagram account on your device using these anonymous Instagram Story viewers. Keep in mind that these tools only work for public accounts.  You can’t access private accounts’ Stories. 

Make sure to have enough storage space to download the Stories. You can always free up space by deleting your IG Stories after you view them.

However, using third-party services involves a privacy tradeoff. It conceals your identity from the account owner, and your web browser shares personal information. This includes IP address, cookies, and other browsing details.

A content creator shows their friends who have viewed her IG Story. 

Can You See Who Views Your Instagram Stories?

Are you wondering how you can see who views your Instagram Stories? It’s easy to find out within the app.

The list of viewers is visible for 24 hours while your Story is live, plus an extra 24 hours afterward. After 48 hours, both viewer lists and view counts disappear. To stay on top of who views your IG Stories, make sure to check your account analytics daily.

Nevertheless, if you want to see the viewer list, just tap into the Story and swipe up. You’ll see two options: viewer list and analytics. Tap the “eye icon” to see who views your Story.

On top of the screen, you’ll see all your existing Stories horizontally — tap each story to see your viewers listed. This allows you to identify who watched your Stories until the end and who dropped off. Keep the Insights screen open to easily swipe across and tap on other Stories you want to watch. You can also see viewer counts on thumbnails.

As you analyze the Stories, take note of which ones received more views and the content they contain. This information will be valuable for your future Stories on your feed.

Can You See Who Viewed Your Deleted Instagram Story?

Instagram Stories have a shelf life of 24 hours. If you don’t manually delete them, they automatically disappear after 24 hours.

If you missed seeing who viewed your Story before it vanished, there is no need to fret. You have an extra 24 hours to catch up before the content is gone for good.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open your IG account.
  2. Tap on the hamburger button (three lines) in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Choose Archive.
  4. You can easily scroll through the Stories archive.
  5. Tap on the Story you recently posted (within the last 48 hours).
  6. Now, follow similar steps as we mentioned in the above section to see who sees your Story.

You might be wondering if you can track who sees your Instagram Story highlights. Once the 48-hour window is up, you won’t be able to see the list of viewers for these Stories. This holds even if you save photos from Stories as highlights.

An Instagram user explores if she can view who screenshot her Stories.

Can People See if You Screenshot Their Instagram Story?

Do you want to know if people can see if you screenshot their Instagram Story? 

No, they can’t. Instagram doesn’t alert people if you take a screenshot of their regular posts or Stories. However, it may notify users if you screenshot their disappearing photos or videos sent in direct messages.

In addition to Stories, Instagram doesn’t send notifications for screenshots you take in other parts of the app. This includes a user’s profile, their follower list, or other screens. The same applies if you take a screen recording of a user’s video post.

Can You Restrict a Follower From Seeing Your Story on Instagram?

You can hide your Instagram Story from users if you don’t want them to see it. Here’s how you can restrict your followers from seeing your Stories:

  1. Tap your profile image in the lower right corner to access your profile.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click on more options and then select Settings.
  3. Tap on Story, and then choose Privacy.
  4. Next to “Hide Story From,” tap the number of people you want to hide it from.
  5. Tap Done (iPhone) or Return (Android) to conceal your Story from the selected individuals. To reveal your Story to someone, tap to deselect them.

When checking who views your Story, you can also hide it from specific individuals. Choose “Hide Your Story” from the more options menu (iPhone) or more options (Android) next to their name.

Note that hiding your Story is different from blocking someone. It doesn’t prevent them from viewing your profile or other posts. Your account’s privacy settings determine where your Story appears.

Let Path Social Help Scale Your Instagram Profile

Instagram is all about open social connections, but if you want to keep things low-key, there are a few tricks. You can see Instagram Stories anonymously using airplane mode, third-party apps, or by making a secondary account.

If you’re an influencer, a business, or a user who wants to elevate their Instagram accounts, choose Path Social! We have a range of tailor-made tools and strategies to help you refine your account. We help you realize the true potential of your Instagram profile, increase followers, and get more views.

Don’t wait to leverage Instagram Stories to get more followers – let Path Social help you. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!