How to Delete an Instagram Story

Written by: Branka

Updated: January, 9, 2023

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While Instagram stories are short-term content by default, sometimes we can’t get rid of them quickly enough — today’s fast-paced reality could make content obsolete or even embarrassing and/or inappropriate in a matter of hours. Fortunately, there is a way out, as long as you know how to delete an Instagram story. That’s exactly what we’re going to show you, so stick with us.

Can You Delete an Instagram Story Before 24 Hours?

With half a million Instagrammers using stories on a daily basis, mistakes are bound to happen — posting the wrong story or worrying about it possibly offending someone — we’ve all been there. Luckily, you don’t need to sweat it for 24 hours, waiting for your Insta story’s expiration period to come. 

How to Delete a Story on Instagram

So, let’s see how to delete an IG story before it does any (more) damage. 

  1. Go to your profile page and tap on the story that you would like to remove. 
  2. When it opens, swipe up from the bottom of your smartphone screen. 
  3. This will bring up a menu with several options, including deleting the story. 
  4. Tap on “Delete”. 
  5. Confirm your decision by tapping on “Delete” again. 

Voila! Your story has now been removed from your Instagram profile. If you, however, want to keep your story safe from a certain someone’s prying eyes, consider hiding your story on Instagram

How to Delete Archived Stories on Instagram

Note that stories you create are automatically saved in your archive. So if you want them gone from there too, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Go to your profile page and tap on your profile picture.
  2. Tap on the three-line menu and select “Your activity”. 
  3. Tap “Archived” and select the story you want gone. 
  4. Tap on “Delete”. 
  5. Tap on “Delete” a second time to confirm your decision. 

Note that you can also turn your story archive off altogether by going to your Instagram privacy settings. 

How Do You Delete Story Highlights on Instagram?

Story highlights are a good way to keep your favorite Instagram stories accessible, but sometimes you might want to delete them. To do so, simply go to your profile page and tap on the “Edit Profile” button. Under “Story Highlights,” you’ll see all of the story highlights you’ve created. Tap on the one you want to delete, then press the trashcan icon. Confirm your decision and you’re done.

Can’t Delete Your Instagram Story? — Troubleshooting Tips  

If you’re having trouble in your efforts to remove an Instagram story, you could just be facing a glitch. 

You can restart the app and clear the cache so that the previous actions get refreshed. If that doesn’t do the trick, double-check that you have the latest version of the Instagram app and of your smartphone’s software, for that matter. 

If things are still not working, consider a good old restart of your device, which will hopefully remove the glitch. Finally, go ahead and look up news for Instagram outages, if there’s one in your area, you might need to just wait for it to pass before you are able to remove a story from Instagram.

The Bottom Line

Knowing how to delete old stories on Instagram gives you more control over what you share and ultimately, keeps your friends and followers engaged with better quality content. 

FAQs on How to Delete an Instagram Story

If I delete an Instagram story, will it stay in my archive?

No. If you delete an Instagram story before it is supposed to disappear on its own, it won’t stay in your archive either. 

Can I archive a story before 24 hours?

No, because there is no need to. Stories that you create and share on your Instagram profile are automatically saved in your archive. 

What happens if someone reposts your story and you delete it?

If you delete stories on Instagram, they are gone forever. No one will be able to see it after you’ve deleted it. And if someone does repost it, they won’t be able to see it either. 

How do you delete Instagram stories after 24 hours?

There’s really no need to know how to delete an Instagram story after 24 hours have passed since it will simply disappear on its own. You can, however, delete it from your archive.