Here’s How To Save Your Favorite Instagram Reels For Later

Because you never know when you need to watch that dog video again.

A woman tries to download Reels off of Instagram. Here's how to save Instagram Reels to watch later.
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Since Instagram launched its TikTok-esque Reels feature in 2020, the Reels tab has become a home base for bite-sized videos. From cute pet clips to dance trends, pass the phone challenges, and more, Instagram Reels can keep you on a never-ending scroll of looping videos. Hunting your way down its endless timeline, you might just hit a point where you think, “This Reel is so good, I need to keep it forever.”

While you can always access Reels you’ve smashed the heart on in the “Post you’ve liked” feature under settings, you might want to save a Reels video to your phone for myriad reasons. Perhaps you’re hoping to send the video to an Instagram-free friend. Or, you want to add a Reel to your photo dump a la Jeremy O. Harris’s brilliantly curated Instagram series.

Unfortunately, unlike TikTok, Instagram does not currently offer an in-app way to download Instagram Reels to your phone. Instead, Instagram’s “Save” function operates similar to a bookmark, allowing you to save a post to your profile for quick reference later on. Also unlike TikTok, though, you can also curate folders of saved Reels, so that if you’re in the mood to scroll through all your favorite food videos, you can do so easily. If you found a dance trend you’re hoping to try later, or just need quick access to that puppy video, here’s how to save an Instagram Reel to your profile.

How To Save An Instagram Reel

After you’ve found a Reel that you want to save, tap the three horizontal dots on the bottom right of the screen underneath the “Send” paper airplane icon. A menu will open, and the “Save” button will be third from the top in white text. Click this button, and, once the video is saved to your profile, you will see a small gray notification in the middle of your screen that says “Saved” in white text.

If you’re looking to retrace your steps back to the Reel that got away, open your Instagram app, head back to the creator’s profile, and go to the Reels tab in the middle of their profile tabs. (It looks like a movie slate with a play button on it.) Find the Reel you’re hoping to save, and complete the same steps above.

How To Find Saved Instagram Reels

Once you’ve saved a Reel to your profile, you can access it later on by heading to your Instagram profile tab, clicking the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, and clicking the “Saved” button. The button should be five down from the top, with a bookmark icon next to it. There, under “All Posts,” you’ll see any posts you saved to your profile.

You can also organize your saved posts into folders by clicking the plus sign icon in the top right corner to add a “New collection.” Type in the name you want to organize this folder under, and you’ll be prompted to selected which posts from your Saved folder that you’d like to add to this collection.

How To Screen Record An Instagram Reel

While saving Reels to your profile can give you quick access to them, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll have them on-hand forever. If the creator of a Reel deletes the post, deletes their profile, or goes private (and you’re not following them), you will lose access to the Reel even if it is in your Saved folder.

If you want to make sure that you have permanent access to a Reel, it’s best to “download” it by screen-recording it. To do this, swipe up to your Control Center while viewing the Reel. Click the Screen Record button that looks like a recording icon, and a countdown will begin. Swipe away from your Control Center, and watch the Reel in full. Once you’re finished viewing the Reel, swipe up again and click the Screen Record button to stop the recording. The recording will be added to your camera roll, where you can edit the length of the recording or crop the video.