What Does “This Story Is Unavailable On Instagram” Mean? [+ 10 Quick Fixes]

What Does “This Story Is Unavailable Instagram” Mean

It’s like catching a glimpse of something interesting, only to be disappointed before you can see the whole picture. When you see “This Story is Unavailable” on Instagram, this frustrating message can leave you wondering what went wrong and if you’ve been blocked (cue the social media paranoia!).

But don’t worry, This is not because your Instagram stories are not working. There are a few reasons why you see this message and I’m here to reveal them all for you! Let’s start and see why your Instagram story is unavailable.

Why Does Instagram Say This Story is Unavailable?

The notification “This story is not available on Instagram” means that the particular story has been removed from the platform for various reasons. But none of them are concerning so much. Here is a list of reasons why Instagram says this story is unavailable:

#1: Story Is Expired

According to Instagram’s community guidelines, a story is only available for 24 hours. After this period, it will be automatically deleted. Sometimes, when the IG story is unavailable, it might mean that you’re trying to view a story that’s older than 24 hours. 

For example, you see a friend mentioning a funny story on Instagram a day after it was posted. When you try to view it, you see the “This Story is Unavailable” message.

When a story is expired, you'll see the error " Instagram story not available"
When A Story Is Expired, You’ll See The Error ” Instagram Story Not Available”

#2: They Have Deleted Their Story

The person who posted the story can choose to delete it at any time, even before the 24 hours are up. This might be because they posted something they regret, made a mistake, or simply want to remove it.

So, if you’re trying to view a story that was recently posted but has since been deleted by the user, you’ll face an error.

This can happen in seconds. For example, someone decides to delete their story and right in that moment you open their story. In those few seconds, Instagram still hasn’t removed its story from your feed, so you’ll see the error “This story is no longer available”.

Story Is Unavailable Because The User Has Deleted It
Story Is Unavailable Because The User Has Deleted It

#3: Instagram Has Removed Their Story

Instagram’s terms of service have laws that everyone needs to follow. If the content they have shared has violated Instagram’s guidelines, then there’s a chance that Instagram has removed their story. 

There could be any number of reasons, such as copyright law, illegal content, etc. Either way, Instagram AI will automatically take down any post or story that doesn’t follow Instagram’s terms of use.

Also, if users report content, it may be taken down by Instagram, and users will no longer be able to view that story.  

#4: They Have Switched To Private Account

Sometimes, the reason why you see the “Instagram story unavailable” error is that you’re trying to view a private account story. 

Instagram accounts can be public or private. Public accounts are visible to everyone, while private accounts need approval to follow and see their content, including stories.

For example, if you find a public account on Instagram, and when you try to view their story you encounter the message “This Story is Unavailable”, it means that at that very moment, the user has decided to switch their account from public to private. And now you can’t view their content unless you follow them. 

Unable To See The Story Because The Account Is Private
Unable To See The Story Because The Account Is Private

#5: Weak Internet Connection

Instagram heavily relies on the internet for its function. You can’t view anything on Instagram without an Internet connection. 

The error “This story is unavailable on Instagram”, doesn’t necessarily mean that the story has been deleted or Instagram has taken it down. Sometimes, it might mean that your internet connection is so poor that you can’t view stories, especially if you can’t view any of the stories and all of them show you the same error.

Try to turn your Wi-Fi off and on, use your mobile data, or do anything that can get you a better connection.  

Poor Internet Connection Might Lead To See The Error "This Story Is Unavailable"
Poor Internet Connection Might Lead To See The Error “This Story Is Unavailable”

#6: Instagram Glitches

With 2 billion active users, Instagram has the right to have some glitches sometimes. Sometimes this could be the reason why you encounter the error “story is unavailable on Instagram”. Close the app and reopen it again, or check Instagram a few minutes later. It will surely be fixed.

#7: The User Has Blocked You

Sometimes “This story is unavailable on Instagram” means the user has blocked you on Instagram. Being blocked means you will lose full access to that user’s account. Even if you search for their username, it won’t show up. 

But if the user has posted a story before they blocked you, and you open the story seconds after they blocked you, you’ll see the error “This story is unavailable on Instagram”. 

This is because Instagram still hasn’t removed their story from your feed, and hasn’t restricted you from seeing that user’s content in that golden couple of seconds.

this story is unavailable instagram blocked
User Has Blocked You And You Can’t View Their Story

#8: User Has Deactivated Their Account

Another reason why Instagram stories disappear and you can’t see them is because the user has deactivated their account

When someone deactivates their account on Instagram, they completely disappear like they never had an Instagram account in the first place. So, there’s no way you can see their story. 

But just like being blocked, this happens when  Instagram still hasn’t removed their story from your feed and hasn’t restricted you from seeing that user’s content in that few seconds.

This Story is Unavailable on Instagram Archive?

There are a couple of reasons why archived stories are unavailable. For example:

  1. Your stories are not being saved in the archive. Make sure to turn on “Save Story to Archive”
  2. If you have a business account, switch it to a normal account. Some users have reported that this could fix the archived stories being unavailable.
  3. And for the last, there’s always a possibility of technical Instagram glitches. Make sure to close and reopen IG. also, check your internet connection. Turn your Wi-Fi off and then turn it back on again. 

How to Fix The Error “This Story Is Unavailable”?

So far, we know what it means when someone’s story is unavailable. Now, let’s see how we can fix this problem. As far as we know, there are 3 main categories why you can’t see the Instagram story:

  1. The user’s story has somehow been removed, by Instagram, or the user themself
  2. You’re blocked or removed from the user’s followers
  3. It’s a temporary IG glitch and a weak internet connection

Now let’s see how to fix this.

Possibility Number One: Story Is Removed

Sorry, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about this. When a user takes down a story, you can’t view it anymore.

If Instagram has taken down the story, there is a possibility that the user will upload the story again. This way you might have a chance. 

Possibility Number Two: You’re Blocked or Removed From Followers

If you are blocked or have been removed from someone’s Instagram account, there is no way for you to see their Instagram story, especially if you are blocked. 

You can always request to follow a user on Instagram and see their posts and stories, but you can’t ever follow an account that has blocked you unless they unblock you.

Possibility Number Three: IG Glitch And Weak Internet Connection

If it’s due to Instagram glitches, there’s nothing you can do but wait. Refresh your feed, update your Instagram application to remove bugs, and have a new version of IG. After a couple of minutes, reopen the app. 

If the error is because of a weak internet connection, make sure to turn off and on your Wi-Fi, or mobile data. Try moving closer to the Wi-Fi for a better internet connection. If it doesn’t work, restart your phone and then try connecting to Wi-Fi again. 

Use Third-party Apps To See The Story

If you can’t see the story by your account, there’s another way to see an unavailable story on Instagram. You can try to view the story anonymously and use third-party apps. But there are a couple of things you need to consider before doing this:

Security: These third-party apps might require your login credentials, which can be a security risk. [You wouldn’t want your account compromised.]

Privacy: Using unofficial methods might violate the terms of service of the social media app you’re trying to access stories from.

Effectiveness: Many third-party apps claiming to view stories don’t work reliably, and some might even be malware in disguise.

Additional Tips To Fix The Error:

  1. Refresh your Instagram feed
  2. Log out and log into your account again
  3. If the story is expired, check their highlights and see if they have added the story to their highlights
  4. Contact a mutual friend and ask if they have seen the story and if they can send it to you
  5. Create a second account to view the story
  6. If you’re blocked, view the story from someone else’s IG account 
  7. Update you IG
  8. Reinstall your IG

If the story is only unavailable to you and you have tried all of the solutions above, report the problem to the Instagram help center


In conclusion, the most common reason why you might see the message “This story is unavailable on Instagram” and stories disappear for you is because the owner has probably deleted the story, or the story has expired. Less common reasons include Instagram glitches and a weak internet connection.

You can close Instagram and reopen the app again to fix this problem. Also, try to reach a stronger internet connection. 


Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.

Q1. What Does It Mean When Someone’s Story Is Unavailable?

The notification “This story is not available on Instagram” means that the particular story has been removed from the platform for various reasons. Either the story has been expired, deleted, or removed by Instagram. 

Q2. Why Can’t I See Someone’s Story When I’m Not Blocked?

There are a few reasons why:

  1. Poor internet connection
  2. Instagram glitches
  3. The story has been removed, deleted, or expired

Q3. How to See Unavailable Stories on Instagram?

There is no official way to view an unavailable story on Instagram. Once a story is deleted or expired, it’s gone.

Q4. Why Is The Story  Unavailable On Instagram But Still Showing?

If you’re seeing the message “This story is unavailable” on Instagram but the story still appears to be visible, it could be due to a technical glitch or a temporary issue with the app. Here are some steps you can try to resolve this issue:

•  Refresh the feed

•  Log out and log back in

•  Check for app updates

•  Restart the app

•  Check your internet connection

Use Instagram on a different device: if possible, try to view the story from another device to determine if it’s a device-specific issue.

Q5. “This Story Is Unavailable on Instagram,” Am I Blocked?

No, seeing “This story is unavailable” on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean you’re blocked. There are several reasons why you might see this message:

  • The story expired or deleted
  • Technical glitch
  • Other reasons

Q6. What Does “This Story Is Unavailable” Mean On Instagram Highlight?

You might see this error because of Instagram glitches or poor internet connection. Also, there’s a chance that the user has deleted their highlight at the very moment you were trying to view it.  

Q7. What Does “This Story is Unavailable” Mean On Instagram Close Friends?

This could mean that the user has recently deleted their close friend’s story, probably only a few minutes ago. 

Q8. Does “This Story is Unavailable On Instagram” Mean The Story Is Hidden From Me? 

No, when a story is hidden or posted on close friends by person X, the people who are not in person X’s close friends’ circle won’t even see that person X has posted a story, and they won’t even find out that the story is hidden from them, So they will never be able to open person X’s story.