“This Story is Unavailable” Means On Instagram & FIXES

It's likely you've come across the Instagram error "This story is unavailable", check out the causes and fix it to view others' Instagram stories

While watching Instagram stories, you might encounter this common error saying “This story is unavailable“. It’s a discouraging experience, especially when you want to view the latest updates from your favorite Instagram accounts. Isn’t it?

Also, you might wonder why you can’t access someone’s Instagram story. Some users even don’t know what a story unavailable error means and how to troubleshoot it.

“This story is unavailable” on Instagram usually means either the story you’re trying to view has expired or the user who posted the story has deleted it, shared it with close friends, changed the account to private, or blocked you.

These are only a few causes but don’t worry, there are still ways to get around this problem and view the exclusive Instagram stories. This article covered 10 solutions to get rid of this frustrating situation.

Make sure to read this helpful guide till the end to overcome this common Instagram error and make the stories available

Meaning of “This Story is Unavailable” On Instagram?

Instagram allows users to share temporary content or memories in the form of stories, which are available for a limited time only. But, users often come across a message on Instagram that says “This Story is no longer available” even before the time limit is reached.

Meaning of story is unavailable on Instagram

The error “This story is unavailable” on Instagram means:

  1. The Story has been Removed: The account owner decided to delete this story, so it’s inaccessible to all viewers.
  2. Accessing Private Account Story: You’re trying to view the story of a private account that you don’t follow.
  3. You are Blocked: The user has blocked your Instagram ID in order to restrict your access that’s why the story is unavailable to you.
  4. The Story has Expired: The Instagram story you’re trying to view no longer exists because it has been 24 hours since it was published.
  5. Only Close Friends can View Story: The account owner shared the story only with Close Friends, and you’re not one of them.
  6. User Deactivated the Account: The user has deactivated his Instagram account, that’s why you’re unable to access his published content.
  7. Instagram Deleted the Story: As a result of violating Instagram’s community guidelines, the story has been deleted by Instagram itself.
  8. The Story is Hidden from You: Users can hide their Instagram stories from certain followers manually, you may be one of them.

Check these common reasons for Instagram Story Unavailable glitch:

1) Story has been Removed

Users often delete their Instagram stories. This could be for many reasons, such as if they no longer want the content to be public. It is also possible that they posted that story accidentally, or whatever the reason is.

In this case, the story will no longer be available for users and you’ll receive this error message.

2) Accessing Private Account Story

As a privacy feature, Instagram keeps the content of private accounts out of sight of the general public. Only approved followers can view their posts and stories to ensure privacy. If you’re trying to view the story of a private account that you do not follow, the story will not be accessible to you.

To view their Instagram content, you must send a follow request and wait for them to accept it. Once your request is approved, you will no longer encounter the story unavailable issue

3) You are Blocked

It is possible for Instagram users to block other individuals if they feel uncomfortable with them. If a user has blocked your account due to privacy reasons, then you’ll not be able to engage with their content including stories.

Even if they have shared a public story, it’ll still not be visible to you and you’ll see this unavailable error. If this is the case, you can use any alternate account to view the story.

4) The Story has Expired

Like Snapchat, Instagram stories are available for a short time period of 24 hours. After that, the story will automatically expire and no longer be accessible. This could be the reason the story you’re looking for is unavailable.

However, you can request the user to save the content as a highlight or send it to you via Instagram direct message.

5) Only Close Friends can View the Story

Instagram’s feature “Close Friends” allows users to share their stories with a selected group of followers only. Instagram users can create an exclusive list of close friends and share the story with that list only.

Therefore, if you’re not part of that list, you won’t be able to view the personal stories. The user must add you to the list in order for you to see it.

6) User Deactivated the Account

There’s no agreement, users can temporarily or permanently deactivate their Instagram accounts at any time. It’s also possible that the user has deactivated their account. This means that you won’t be able to access posts and stories shared by that account owner.

Users will not be able to access profile content until their Instagram account is reactivated. For confirmation, you can contact the user in another way.

7) Instagram Deleted the Story

Although it’s rare, it does happen. Instagram reserves the right to remove any content that goes against the platform’s terms of use. The story you’re trying to view may contain questionable content, as Instagram itself has removed it.

If a story is deleted by Instagram for policy violations, it will no longer be available regardless of whether you’re a follower or not. Every user must respect the community guidelines in order to keep the environment positive.

8) The Story is Hidden from You

Besides ‘Close Friends’, Instagram allows users to hide their stories from certain followers. This means that they can choose to not show their stories to a particular follower. It’s also possible that the user has hidden their story from you.

You’ll see the error message Story Unavailable on Instagram if the user has hidden their story from you due to privacy reasons or simply because they don’t want you to see it.

In such a case, you can’t see the story at all even if you visit their profile. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t see their profile and published posts.

Fixes for “This Story is Unavailable” On Instagram

Now, we’ll cover some solutions to get rid of this irritating error message so that you can view Instagram stories as usual. You just need to follow methods one after another to resolve this issue.

Fixes for Instagram story is unavailable

Follow these fixes for “This story is unavailable” on Instagram:

  1. Refresh the Feed: Swipe down on your Instagram feed for a second to refresh it then, check if the story is available to you or not.
  2. Follow a Private Instagram Account: To view the stories of Private Instagram accounts, send a follow request and wait for acceptance.
  3. View Story on Instagram Web: Login to the Instagram Web instead of using the Instagram app. You might be able to view the story from there.
  4. Try with Another Account: Access that particular story with another Instagram account, if possible, to confirm if it’s an issue with your account.
  5. Contact The User: Contact the user directly and inquire about this issue. Also, the user can personally send you that story through direct message.
  6. Check the Internet Connection: A weak or unstable internet connection can also lead to this problem. Try connecting to a fast WiFi connection.
  7. Restart Instagram App: Close the app completely and open it again. This will clear any temporary data stored in the app and may solve the issue.
  8. Re-login Instagram Account: Log out of your Instagram account and then login back to see if the issue is resolved or not.
  9. Clear Instagram App Cache: Clear the cache of your Instagram app from the mobile settings and restart the app for changes to take effect.
  10. Instagram is Down: Check if other users are experiencing similar issues. If so, it’s probably because of a system error at Instagram’s end.

Check out these fixes for Instagram’s unavailable story issue:

1) Refresh the Feed

Sometimes, this message appears due to a temporary Instagram glitch. For instance, if you have been inactive on the app for a while, the app may not load the posts or stories properly.

This simple fix may resolve your issue. Simply swipe down on your Instagram feed for a second to refresh the news feed.

It’ll sync the data and you may be able to view the story. If this doesn’t solve the Instagram stories unavailable issue, move on to the next solution.

2) Follow a Private Instagram Account

You must visit the profile of the user who posted that story on Instagram to see if their account is private. If it is, you’ll see a message saying “This Account is Private“. This means that only followers of this account can view their stories, photos, and videos.

Follow Private Instagram account to view unavailable stories

You just need to tap on the blue Follow button to send a follow request. After that, the user will either approve or reject the request. You’ll no longer face these unavailable messages if the user approves your follow request.

In case of rejection, you can’t access the profile content at all.

3) View Story on Instagram Web

There may be a cache issue with the Instagram app on your smartphone, so try viewing that story on Instagram’s web-based version like Facebook and WhatsApp. If that works, then the problem is with the app and not with the story itself.

Moreover, the Instagram web also provides a smooth browsing experience like the Instagram app. Now, you can directly publish a post using the Instagram web.

Try Instagram web to fix Instagram story unavailable issue

Follow the given steps to log in to Instagram web:

  1. Open any browser on your PC or Laptop
  2. Navigate to instagram.com in your web browser
  3. Enter your registered username and password to log in
  4. Check if the Instagram story is available or not

If the story is still no longer available to you, move to the next solution

4) Try with Another Account

It’s also possible that the user intentionally wants to hide the story from specific individuals, including you. It’s sad to hear but you can easily check it out if you have another Instagram account.

Log in to your other Instagram account and check if you’re able to view that story or not. If yes, it’s likely the story is hidden from you.

You can also request your mutual friend to check if the story is working on their end or not if you don’t have another Instagram account.

Follow the given steps to add another account on your Instagram app:

Add another account on Instagram app
  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on your Profile icon, located at the bottom-right corner
  3. Tap on the Hamburger icon (≡) > Settings and privacy
  4. Scroll down to the end and tap Add account
  5. Then, you can either Log into an existing account or create a new one

After that, navigate to the story and check if Instagram unavailable error on stories is fixed or not.

5) Contact the User

If you’re still unable to view the story, you can get in touch with that user through Instagram direct message feature. You can then ask the user to share that particular story with you directly. The user can, then, send your requested story privately.

You just need to provide the desired story link in a message. Follow the given steps to send a direct message to the user on Instagram:

Send user a private message to request story
  1. Open the Instagram app on your Android or iPhone
  2. Visit the Instagram Profile of the user
  3. Tap on the Message button
  4. Type the message and include the story link you want to request
  5. Then, tap on the Send button

Once the user replies, you will get the story if they are willing to send it. Instead of a text message, you can send a voice message as well to establish a more personal touch in your conversations.

6) Check the Internet Connection

Sometimes, unstable and weak internet connection can also prevent Instagram from loading stories properly. Disable Instagram’s data saver feature as well to improve the loading speed.

Connect to a high GHz WiFi connection to avoid difficulty in loading the Instagram stories. You can also switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data (or vice versa) and then check if the story is available to you or not.

Moreover, you can also try restarting your internet router to resolve any connectivity issues that might be preventing the proper loading of the IG story.

The Instagram app requires a stable internet connection to provide optimal performance and enhanced user experience.

7) Restart Instagram App

Restarting the app can also help clear any temporary technical glitches that might be affecting the app’s performance and preventing you from viewing the story. Simply close the Instagram app completely (from the background as well) and then open it again.

You can also Force stop the app from the background and then open it again. Follow the given steps to force stop the app on Android to make the story available:

Force stop Instagram app to Fix this story is unavailable
  1. Long-tap the Instagram app icon
  2. Tap on the info icon ⓘ
  3. Then, select the Force Stop button and confirm it
  4. Open the Instagram app again
  5. You should now be able to view the Instagram story

For iPhone users, there is no Force stop feature available, they just need to close the app from the background manually. Follow the given steps to do so:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen
  2. Find the app you want to force-close by swiping left or right
  3. Once you locate the app, swipe it up or off the screen to force it to close

Once you’ve done that, check if you’re able to view the IG stories or not.

8) Re-login Instagram Account

Sometimes, re-logging into the Instagram account fixes most of the temporary glitches or loading issues that may be causing the error. Re-logging into the Instagram account refreshes the connection to the Instagram servers and can help to solve some technical issues too.

This simple solution can fix the issue you’re facing with the Instagram story. Follow the given methods to log out of your Instagram account:

re login into Instagram app
  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on your Profile picture, located at the bottom-right corner
  3. Tap on three horizontal lines (≡) > Settings and privacy
  4. Scroll down to the end and tap Log out [username]

Once your account is logged out, you’ll be redirected to the login screen. Enter your Instagram username and password to log back in. After logging in, check if you can now view the unavailable story.

9) Clear Instagram App Cache

In some cases, this problem occurs when the cache becomes corrupted. Once the cache is corrupted, the data stored in it becomes outdated and causes problems with the app. Clearing the cache files will erase that data and obtain the most up-to-date information from the server.

Additionally, if you are using an outdated version of the app, you may encounter the Instagram story unavailable error due to this reason. So, update your Instagram app regularly to enjoy an error-free experience.

Clearing the cache can help to fix the Instagram stories error.

On Android:

Follow the given steps to clear the Instagram app cache on an Android device to fix the stories glitch:

Clear Instagram app cache to fix story unavailable glitch
  1. Long-tap the Instagram app icon
  2. Tap on the info icon
  3. Select the Storage usage option
  4. Tap the Clear Cache button
  5. Now, re-launch the Instagram app

Now, check if that Instagram story is available to you or not.

On iPhone:

There’s no built-in option in iOS devices to clear the Instagram cache, you can just uninstall it. So, iPhone users can follow the given troubleshooting steps to clear the Instagram app cache:

  1. Uninstall the Instagram app first
  2. Once done, go to the App Store and install it again
  3. Log in to your Instagram account
  4. The Instagram app cache will be cleared
  5. Now, check if the story works or not

10) Instagram is Down

It’s also possible that Instagram’s server is down, which prevents most Instagram features from working including stories. Usually, it happens when the servers are overloaded or undergoing maintenance. Although it’s a rare case, server issues can happen

Check if Instagram server is down

You can use any of the following services to check the status of Instagram:

  1. Down Detector
  2. Is It Down Right Now
  3. Down For Everyone Or Just Me

If there’s an outage reported, you’ll have to wait until the problem is resolved by the Instagram team.

After that, you’ll be able to see the Instagram stories again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does “This Story is no Longer Available” Mean on Instagram?

This message appears when you try to view the story that no longer exists on Instagram. The user may have deleted the story or only shared it with Close Friends. It’s also possible that the Instagram story has reached its time limit. In this case, you’ll see a similar message saying “Story is unavailable“.

How Can You Tell if Someone Blocked You From Their Instagram Story?

Visit the Instagram profile of the user to check if they blocked you from their Instagram story. If their profile and posts are visible to you but not stories, it could be an indication that they’ve blocked you. However, it’s also possible that they haven’t posted any stories recently. If you’re blocked, you’ll not be able to see their future stories at all.

Why can’t I See Someone’s Story on Instagram But not Blocked?

If the user didn’t block you and you’re still unable to see their Instagram stories then, the user either deleted the story or shared it among their Close Friends. Although the user hasn’t blocked you completely, it’s also possible that they have blacklisted you to prevent you from viewing their stories only.

How Can I Fix an Unavailable Story on Instagram Error?

The best way to see the unavailable Instagram story is to contact the user who posted this story. Just explain the issue and request the story directly from them via Instagram direct messages feature. If they’re willing, they will send you a copy of the story. Also, you can check if the story is saved to their story highlights.

Does “This Story is Unavailable” Mean I’m blocked?

No, this message does not necessarily mean that you are blocked. It’s also possible that the Instagram story has expired and can no longer be viewed by anyone. It could also mean that the user has archived the story or shared it with only a few friends. However, if you’re blocked, you’ll not be able to view any future stories posted by that user.

Is There Any Limit on Instagram Stories?

Yes, Instagram story length can be up to 15 seconds and it’ll remain published for the next 24 hours. After that, if anyone tries to access that story then, they will come across a similar error message saying “This story is no longer available“. However, the user can delete the user before this time limit as well.

“Story is no longer available” but Circle Still Comes up on Instagram Feed?

If you see a circle around the user profile but can’t view the Instagram story then, it’s likely the user has blocked you from seeing their story. If this is the case, you won’t be able to view their stories at all.


The error message “This story is unavailable” while browsing Instagram stories is like a missing piece of a puzzle. It disturbs the browsing experience and forces the user to search for a solution. That’s why, you’re here

This error message can be quite confusing and frustrating, as it doesn’t give any information about what might have caused this issue or what needs to be done to fix it.

However, you can apply these solutions to bypass the Instagram stories unavailable glitch and enjoy the smooth Instagram stories experience. If all methods fail, you can then use any third-party app to view that particular Instagram story, however, it’s not recommended.

If you found this article helpful, do share it with others well so that they can also get benefit from it.

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Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad Bilal

I'm Muhammad Bilal, founder of Tech Axen. Being a tech enthusiast, I enjoy sharing tech tips and tricks with others to assist them with their issues. For this purpose, I feed this blog with articles that provide useful information on technology.

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