We’ve all been there: a crush or an old friend shares an Instagram Story that’s just too juicy not to save. Before it disappears in 24 hours, you feel compelled to screen record it in all its glory. But you also might be concerned about whether they’ll be notified, since some other platforms with disappearing stories — like Snapchat, for example — show who’s taken a screenshot or recording.
That’s why it’s totally reasonable to hesitate when you reach for the screen record button. “Whenever I screen record stories of people I’m interested in, I’m always scared they’ll find out and suspect that I like them,” Olivia, 19, tells Bustle.
Absolutely need to screen record someone's Instagram Story for posterity? Read on to learn more about the very specific conditions where that person would find out.
Does Instagram Notify Someone If You Screen Record Their Story?
Although Instagram did briefly test a feature in 2018 that showed users who screenshotted their Story, the platform currently doesn't notify someone if you screenshot or screen record their Story. So, if you’re panicking after spontaneously recording your crush’s new beach pictures, rest easy — there’s no way for them to tell.
However, Instagram does send notifications if you try to screen record other content, like DMs sent in Vanish Mode or disappearing photos sent through DM. When Vanish Mode is on, Instagram wipes DMs after the recipient views them and sends notifications if any messages are screengrabbed. You can tell if content was sent through Vanish Mode based on whether there’s a header at the top of the convo; when Vanish Mode is toggled on, Instagram will let you know that seen messages disappear after closing the chat. When viewing your DM inbox, Vanish Mode convos will also have a dotted circle on the right side.
Can You Record Instagram Stories Without Them Knowing?
Instagram won’t notify users if someone records their Instagram Stories, so as long as you’re recording their Story and not a Vanish Mode DM or a disappearing photo, they’ll have no way of finding out. That being said, you may want to think twice about recording Stories from somebody’s private account, since they clearly intend to keep that photo or video private. Similarly, you’ll want to be mindful of making Story posts that you wouldn’t want someone recording. Since you wouldn’t be notified, make sure you’re comfortable with the possibility of others recording your Story without you knowing.
Does Instagram Notify Someone If You Screen Record A Disappearing Photo DM?
Just as Instagram notifies people if you screen record a DM sent in Vanish Mode, it also lets them know if you screen record a disappearing photo sent through DM. Disappearing photos are formatted similarly to Stories, but are sent to one specific person or group chat. The sender will know if you screengrab these, so be careful — they may look similar to Stories, but they have different notification settings. If you’re in Vanish Mode, disappearing photos will look and function in the same way, but the record that the photo was ever sent will disappear after it’s viewed.
If you’re having a convo involving disappearing photos that you just have to save, there is a sneaky workaround to avoid detection: You can put your phone on airplane mode when you screengrab it. Make sure airplane mode is turned on before you open the convo and that it’s not turned off until after you close it — otherwise, your cover may be blown. And, of course, there’s always the tried-and-true method of simply having a friend take a physical photo of your phone screen.
Aside from Vanish Mode DMs and disappearing photo DMs, though, Instagram doesn’t send notifications for screengrabs taken anywhere else on the app. So, you can freely snoop and screen record stories, feed pics, and normal DMs to your heart’s content.