How to Preview Instagram Stories

How to Preview Instagram Stories

So, you want to know how to preview Instagram stories; this is quite understandable as you do not always want someone to know if you have viewed their story, whether it’s simply being too eager and cannot wait to see what they have posted to the said story or even you do not want them to know, as you may worry about them thinking that you have nothing better to do.

How to Preview Instagram Stories

1. Airplane Mode

One method you can utilize to ensure that your friend or whoever does not know you viewed their story; is to put your phone on “Airplane Mode simply”, this will disconnect your device from the WiFi/internet so before you do try this technique, be sure that you have loaded up the story you intend on viewing, so it is all loaded up when you go into “Airplane Mode”.

As stated before, when you go into “Airplane Mode” it does disconnect you from the internet; therefore, when you go watch the story, the Instagram app won’t be able to count it as a view, as you have already loaded it, but you are not connected.

Now, while you are connected to the internet, make sure the story video is loaded, then simply swipe down your notifications bar and locate the “Airplane Mode” icon and select it to turn it on; once you have done this and are sure it is indeed active.

Go ahead and view that story. Since it is essentially preloaded, you should have no problems viewing it as many times as you would like.

Once you leave the Instagram app, close the app by pressing the square shape beside your home button, and you can swipe the app up to close it.

After you have done that, you can turn the “Airplane Mode” off, and both Instagram and the story creator will be none the wiser.

2. Half Swiping

This method to ensure that your friend or the story creator does not know you have viewed their story is quite clever; you can use a “Half Swipe” technique.

This is where you go to the previous story before the story you wish to view and go to slide to the next (the one you want to view), hold your fingers on the screen as you swipe, and do not let go.

By not fully swiping over to the story and viewing it, Instagram will not be able to count it as a view. Saving you from any awkwardness that may occur from viewing the Instagram story. While this is an effective way to view the story, it does have its limits.

The limits to this smart technique of “Half Swiping” are that it is best to use when the story is a photo rather than a video. If the story is indeed a video, you, unfortunately, can only view the thumbnail for said video.

Do not get us wrong though; this works great for pictures. Also, to ensure that you can see as much as possible, you will want to swipe from the far side of the screen to the other but do not let go.

If you do let go, it will most likely go to the story, and Instagram will be able to count it as a view.

So be careful when you are attempting this, as you can easily accidentally watch the story, which will be counted as a view; on those notes, is it so bad if they know you viewed their story?

Consider that every day there is news upon news to the ceiling. It is unlikely that your viewing of their story will haunt you for the rest of your days.

Especially since the attention span of everyone is on a decline, it is likely that they will forget that this happened at all within a day or two, so do not be too worried if you are exposed, seeing as these social media squabbles rarely ever see the light of day.

With that said, be careful, and you will not have to worry about viewing anyone’s story on Instagram.

Tip: If you want to view people’s stories without them knowing, there are ways to do so.


Have you heard of If you have not, this is a great opportunity to check out how they can help you with viewing Instagram stories without the account holder knowing nor the Instagram site counting it as a view.

This is an excellent tool, and the best part is that you do not have to install any third-party apps to make it happen.

With this awesome tool you can view any stories they have posted in the last 24 hours, not only that but you can also save them along with being able to download them; all of this and your profile will never show up in their viewer’s list.

As mentioned before, you do not need to install or download a third-party app in order to utilize this helpful tool; you do not even have to have an Instagram account to use this tool.

You may think that this tool could not be any more useful however if the user with the story you are trying to view has blocked you; you can indeed still view their stories.

While this may encourage “creeper” behavior, it is also highly helpful when simply trying to keep up with your friends Instagram story without their knowledge; even if they have blocked you.

There is a truly incredible amount of third-party tools just like this one, boasting awesome features such as, saving the stories, sharing the stories, or even reposting the stories.

Also, to add to the usefulness of this third-party tool, all you have to do is grab the username of the account and throw it into the search bar of the story viewer; the results will provide you with all of the stories that they have posted in the last 24 hours.

With all of this said, the catch to this third party tool is the account must be public, if it is a private account you will have to find another to peep their stories.

3. Use Another Account

Most Instagram users have multiple accounts, this could be from someone essentially stealing your Instagram identity, or you simply wanted a “burner” account, either way this other account can be quite useful in this case.

Remember, you do not want any information or linking your accounts to each other since the goal here is to remain anonymous.

Seeing as the account you are attempting to watch the stories of is indeed public, you will be able to view their stories; however, if the account is private, you will be required to follow them in order to view their stories, which could potentially expose you.

As if the account you are creeping on does not have many followers, this can lead them to notice an account is watching their stories without following them. This can become mighty awkward or even a block if it is an ex you are spying on.

Remember there cannot be anything tethering you to the account that will expose who you are to them such as, photos, sayings you are prone to using, or the following anyone that your other account does follow.

As all of these could tip them off to who is essentially stalking their account.

4. Blocking Them

Another valid method to be able to view someone’s story without them knowing is to block them.

This may sound counterintuitive; however, if you have already viewed their story and do not want your name coming up on their list, you can block them right after viewing said story.

After you have done this, you will have to wait 24 hours for their viewer’s list to renew. Once this 24 hours period is up, you can go ahead and unblock them.

If you do not know how to block someone, here is a quick rundown: Tap their username from their Feed or story post, or tap and search their username to go to their profile. Tap (iPhone/computer) or (Android) in the top right.

To block the account and new accounts they may create, tap Block at the bottom to confirm. It should also be noted that when you block someone, they will not be notified that you have, though also, for this period, you have blocked them.

They will not be able to view your profile, stories, or content that could potentially tip them off what you are doing; however, this is unlikely.

5. Deactivate your account

Another method to do this that is also along the lines of blocking and adding them again is to deactivate your account until the story is deleted.

Now, we can understand your worry about deactivating your account. However, none of your information or data will be completely lost in this scenario; everything should be as you left it. If you do not know how to deactivate your account, this is how you can do it:

1. Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile. Tap in the top right, then tap “Settings”. Tap Account, then tap “Delete” account at the bottom.

2. Tap “Deactivate account” then select an option from the drop-down menu below asking, “Why are you deactivating your account?” and this will deactivate your account.

3. Now that you have deactivated your account, your name will not appear on their viewer’s list then, once the story is deleted, you can return to Instagram and log in.

Your whole account will still remain for you to return to, and they will not know you watched their story.

This can also be helpful if you accidentally viewed their story when you did not mean to, as you can deactivate your account until their story has expired and provided that said story was not made into a highlight.

This will keep you squeaky clean of ever showing up on their viewer’s list for the story, and even though it was an accident, you were able to view it.

Therefore, gathering the information you required in the first place won’t be so bad as having your account deactivated for a time.

Seeing as there are plenty of other social media networks such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter to engage with, and if you must, keep up with who you want to keep up with.

6. Watch Them In The Last Minute

Another valid way to watch someone’s Instagram story without them knowing is to wait for the story to be close to expiring, then hop in and watch it; every story posted by an Instagram user will be removed after 24 hours.

Using this knowledge, you can see when they posted the story and calculate how long it lasts until it expires.

You can achieve this by utilizing the “Half Swipe” technique depicted previously in this article then, once you know when it was posted, you can minus this from the 24 expiration mark.

By doing this method (watching it at the last minute) they are much less likely to check who has viewed their story. This means they will not see your name on the viewer’s list, and you get away scot-free.

Also, remember when you are checking how long their story has been up; be careful not to tap their story.

The later you check their story, the better the chance of them not knowing.

7. Ask Someone To Send It To You And View The Thumbnail

Another option in order to view their story without them knowing you did, is to ask someone who is friends with them to send it to you through Instagram messenger; this way, you can view it in your DMs (Direct Messages) without interacting with said story.

This means you should not click on it in order to avoid showing up on their viewer’s list, bear in mind that this works best for photos and not so much for videos since you are just viewing the thumbnail and not interacting with the story.

If this option does not suit you, you can ask someone to either screenshot the story or screen record it; this way, you can see the full story without knowing.

Now, we realize this can maybe be embarrassing to ask someone to do for you; however if you are trying to keep tabs on an ex; you could ask your bestie to do this for you so that you do not show up on their viewer’s list and spare yourself from too much judgment.

8. Ask Someone What Was On Their Story

If you do indeed know someone who follows the account that you are attempting to view their story of, you can ask them to tell what was on their story.

This keeps you far away from suspicion, and if you are careful enough, this can be quite easy.

For example; if you were to tell someone that you believe the account (the one who’s story you would like to view) has blocked you and you cannot view their story, you would very much appreciate them watching the story and informing you what was on it, this can work and keep you at a safe distance.

Be sure that you choose someone you trust for this method to ensure honesty and transparency.

Also again, it should be someone who follows them, in order for them to gain access to said story, and it should also be someone you do not mind asking, not someone who will give you away easily. So, with that said, choose wisely.

9. Watch Their Highlights After

Yet another option you can do in order to view their story without them knowing is to watch their highlight of the story after the story has expired.

Remember in this situation, you are indeed risking them not turning the story into a highlight however, if they do turn it into a highlight, they will not be able to check who has viewed it; users can only check their viewer’s list when the story is live.

Now, if they do not make the story into a highlight, you will have missed the opportunity to view said story. So long as it is a highlight, they will not know you have viewed it. If you are not willing to roll the dice in this manner, you may have to try another method.

If you have accidentally watched their story, there are other methods to stop them from seeing that you viewed it such as; blocking them, deactivating your account for a period, and or full-on deleting your account.

Also, if they do find out, it is not the end of the world. No matter how much it may seem like it is, find comfort in that stuff is happening every day and everything is subject to change.

You viewing their story will not be story of the century nor should you worry about it since if they are indeed looking for your name on their viewers list it is because they have thought about you (while this can be misconstrued), you are occupying their thoughts and worries do not let them occupy yours.

10. Watch It If Someone Posted It To Their Story

Another way you can go about viewing their story without them knowing it is if you know that there is someone else mentioned in said story, and they have indeed enabled others to be able to add their story to their own stories in their Instagram settings.

Remember in order to view their story on someone else’s story they must be mentioned in the said story and can add the story to their own stories.

Keep in mind it may appear suspicious for you to only watch the story after it has been added to someone else’s story. However, there is an abundance of excuses for this such as an ex was in the story, an ex-friend that you do not like was in the story, or you just could not get the original to work.

You viewing the story (in this case) will not result in you showing up in the previous version’s viewing list. You will only appear on the viewing list of the account that added their story to their own story.

This is a very effective method, but it is also a rare occasion, seeing as others are not mentioned often in someone else’s story.

It is very understandable to not want someone to know that you watched their story, it could be because it is an ex that you still care for but cannot obviously engage with their stories or maybe you do not want that certain someone to have the satisfaction that you did watch their story.

Whatever your reason may be, there are ways to watch their stories without them knowing as depicted in this article, such as using the option, as this is an extremely effective and safe way to do it.

Social media applies a lot of pressure on everyone to make their life appear happy, perfect, and a constant party; however, this is not reality.

With that said, do not feel shame if you do not post stories like theirs as everyone’s life is different with different difficulties; some known and others unknown.

If you are simply creeping on someone’s stories, take the chance and do not creep; sometimes honesty and transparency can be rewarded also, you simply never know for sure.

Remember, in this technology-driven world, there is something new every single day; so if you are worried about them seeing that you viewed their story, do not worry too much since this will most likely not occupy their thoughts for long nor should it yours.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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