Instagram Will Let You Temporarily Mute Someone's Stories — Here's How

by Mia Mercado
Carl Court/Getty Images News/Getty Images

We’ve all got that friend who insists on posting the entirety of the concert they’re attending. Their Instagram story looks like this: ---------------. Each story as equally blurry, dark, and blown-out by them loudly singing along as the last. (This comes from a place of zero judgment. We’ve all been that friend.) If you’re wondering how to mute someone’s Instagram stories, so you don’t have to tap through or swipe past, you are in luck. The Instagram gods/programmers have given you an out.

Muting someone’s stories is pretty simple. Here it is in bullet points to make it even easier:

  1. First, you’ll need to see their story pop up at the top of your feed.
  2. Now, tap and hold down their profile picture. You doing it? Good.
  3. Then, you’ll be prompted with two options: Mute and View Profile. Select Mute > Mute Story.
  4. Voila! Their stories are muted. Now, continue scrolling and double-tapping without the temptation or distraction of that person’s story.

If you’ve made a muting mistake or you know your friend is no longer posting indistinguishable concert stories, you can unmute someone’s stories the exact same way. Repeat the steps above, and when you get to step three, you’ll select “unmute” instead of “mute.” Easy peasy.

screenshot via Instagram

(For the record, I would never Mute the Lisa Frank Instagram account. It is a sparkly and nostalgic treasure.)

“Stories you've muted will appear at the end of the bar at the top of feed, and won't have a colorful ring around them when they're updated,” a post on Instagram’s help page states. However, “muted stories won't automatically play when you watch stories.” So, you’ll still know they’re posting stories; they just won’t automatically play.

“Muting someone's story is different from unfollowing them,” Instagram’s post clarifies, “and you'll still see their posts in feed.” You’ll see any posts they chose to make in the grid. Those will appear in your feed as per usual. You just won’t be privy to their stories.

If your big question is does someone know if I’ve muted their Instagram stories? The answer is no. They may notice your username isn’t among the handles of people who’ve viewed your story, but they won’t get any kind of notification that they’ve been muted.

Let’s say you want to hide your Instagram story from certain people. You can do that too. Here are some helpful bullet points on that:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the three horizontal lines in the upper corner. This is also known as the “hamburger” despite its obvious lack of condiments.
  2. Then, tap Settings.
  3. Now, you’ll select Privacy > Story.
  4. Here next to “Hide Story From” you’ll be able to tap the number of people you want to, as the tab suggests, hide your story from.
  5. Now, select the people you want to hide your story from. Bye, Aunt Deb who doesn’t need to see me doing karaoke. Later, Kid I Babysat For In High School Who I Begrudgingly Let Follow Me.
  6. Finally, tap Done. You are now free to post bonkers-level stories without the judging eyes of Aunt Deb.

“Keep in mind that hiding your story from someone is different from blocking them,” Instagram states. It also “doesn't prevent them from seeing your profile and posts.”

Instagram first added the mute feature back in May 2018. “Mute can make your feed even more personalized to what matters to you,” an Instagram spokesperson said to CNBC. “We’ve also heard it may be a useful tool for managing complex social dynamics.” “Complex social dynamics” is the kind way to say “I don’t want to see every second of your beach trip, David.”

Let’s say you want to fully mute someone. They’re going to vacation to Cabo and you know don’t want to subject yourself to the FOMO. When you see a post from the person you want to mute, tap the three dots that are next to their account handle. Then, select “Mute” and hit “confirm.” You can also choose to mute but posts and stories if your FOMO is through the roof.

Again, no one will know if they've been muted. So, you're free to unshackle yourself from the FOMO as your please.