How to Fix "This Story is Unavailable on Instagram"


Have you ever stumbled upon a tantalizing Instagram story thumbnail, only to be met with the dreaded message, "This story is unavailable," once you tap it? If you're grappling with such a situation, fear not—you're far from alone.


This blog post is devoted to help you navigate through this particular issue plaguing Instagram users worldwide. We'll delve into the possible reasons behind this perplexing message and subsequently, provide useful strategies on how to resolve it so you can get back to enjoying your Instagram experience uninterrupted.

Stay tuned as we unravel this mystery step by step for a more seamless Instagram adventure!

Background of Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories, a feature launched in August 2016, enables users to share ephemeral photos and short videos with a duration of up to 15 seconds. These stories last for 24 hours and are displayed at the top of the Instagram app's home screen, separate from users' primary photo grid and main profiles. 

Instagram Stories encourages creativity, with multiple tools to add graphics, text, stickers, and filters, enriching the overall user experience. Stories can be viewed by a user's followers with the ability for the creator to monitor view-counts and see who is watching their content.

The impact of Instagram Stories on social media and marketing has been significant, presenting several opportunities and benefits for both casual users and businesses alike. For everyday users, the feature fosters increased engagement, enabling them to interact with their followers through polls, questions, and reactions. 

This interaction also creates a real-time connection by allowing users to capture and share daily moments. The 'Highlights' feature, developed later, empowers users to display their favorite stories on their profile permanently, offering a curated set of content to showcase to new and existing followers.

Businesses have also found great value in well-crafted Instagram Stories. By skillfully employing this tool, companies can elevate brand visibility, display product demonstrations, and build customer loyalty through relatable content. The "Swipe Up" feature, made available for accounts with over 10,000 followers, creates an effective means of driving traffic to a company's website, marketing products, services, or blog posts directly from an Instagram Story. 

Additionally, business accounts have access to valuable insights, which enable them to track the performance of their stories. In doing so, they can make data-driven decisions to fine-tune their content and boost audience engagement. Overall, Instagram Stories' growth and development have transformed it into an indispensable tool for users and businesses in the realm of digital communication and marketing.

Meaning of ‘This Story is Unavailable’ on Instagram 

When Instagram users encounter the message "This Story is Unavailable," it signifies that the specific Instagram story they're trying to view is inaccessible. The phrase itself doesn't give a specific reason, instead serving as a general notification to cover a multitude of potential issues that could cause a story to be unviewable for a user. It's important to note that this does not usually indicate a problem with your own account or device.

The "This Story is Unavailable" message may appear for a number of reasons:

The story has expired

The hallmark of Instagram Stories is their fleeting nature. Any story a user posts is live for only 24 hours. Once a story passes this timeframe, it automatically disappears and is no longer viewable to the public. Hence, it's possible that the story viewers are trying to access has simply expired and been removed by Instagram as per its design.

The user has deleted the story

Instagram provides users with the autonomy to delete their stories anytime within the 24-hour timeframe from when they were posted. If a user decides to delete their story, any attempt to view it later will result in the "This Story is Unavailable" message.

Privacy settings of the user

If a user has set their Instagram account to private, their Instagram stories are only available to their followers. If you aren't following a private account from which you're attempting to view a story, you won't have access and will see the "This Story is Unavailable" message instead.

Technical issues

Sometimes, glitches or bugs within the Instagram app can cause certain stories to be inaccessible temporarily. This could be a result of an outdated app version, or compatibility issues with certain devices or operating systems. In such cases, the error message is likely temporary and should be resolved once the issue has been fixed by the platform.

Understanding these potential reasons can help users navigate this error and better troubleshoot or prevent future encounters with the "This Story is Unavailable" message.

How to Fix ‘This Story is Unavailable’ Issue on Instagram

If you encounter the 'This Story is Unavailable' message on Instagram, the solution may depend on where the issue lies. If you believe the problem originates from your end, here are some potential solutions:

Refresh Instagram app

A quick solution could be to close out of the app entirely and then reopen it. This can refresh the app and potentially correct minor glitches.

Logout and Login Again

This Story is Unavailable - Hamburger Icon

This Story is Unavailable - Settings and Privacy

This Story is Unavailable - Log Out

This Story is Unavailable - Log In


This might fix the issue. Go to profile picture > three-bar hamburger icon > setting and privacy > scroll down to last >tap logout-your username > tap logout for confirmation. For logging in, open the Instagram app > enter your credentials > tap login.

Check internet connection

This Story is Unavailable - Internet Connection

Poor internet connectivity can hinder the app's performance. Try switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data or connect to a stronger network if possible.

Reinstall the Instagram App

This Story is Unavailable - Uninstall Instagram

This Story is Unavailable - Install Instagram


Uninstall the Instagram app from your device and reinstall it from your device's app store.


Update the Instagram app

This Story is Unavailable - Update Instagram


An outdated app can lead to unforeseen errors. Make sure you have the latest Instagram version. If not, update the app via your device's application store (Google Play Store or Apple App Store).

Clear Instagram cache

This Story is Unavailable - Clear Cache


Accumulated cache can also hinder the app's functionality. You can clear it in your device settings (usually under 'Storage' option), which will force the app to retrieve new data and possibly correct viewing issues.

However, if the issue lies on the story poster's end, there's not much you can do beyond respecting their settings and actions. Below are the things you may consider:

  • Privacy settings: If an Instagram profile is set to private and you're not following them, you won't be able to view their stories. In this case, you need to send a follow request and wait for it to be accepted to access their stories.
  • Story deletion or expiration: If the user has deleted their story or it has surpassed the 24-hours lifespan, the story is naturally unavailable. In this case, there's no action you can take. It's the nature of Instagram Stories to be temporary.

Remember, always respect the privacy settings and actions of other users. Instagram is a community built on trust and respect for each other's boundaries.

Enhancing Instagram Experience

To optimize your Instagram experience and reduce the chances of encountering issues like 'This Story is Unavailable', you can adhere to the following best practices:

Continuous Application Updates

Regularly updating your Instagram app ensures you have the most recent features, fixes, and security updates. Updates often address known bugs and issues that users have identified to Instagram's technician team. Keeping the app updated can minimize technical issues and enhance the application's general performance. You can set your device to auto-update apps or manually update them via your device's application store (Google Play Store or Apple App Store).

Stable Internet Connection

A good internet connection is essential for a smooth Instagram experience. Streaming stories, loading images, and playing videos all require a certain level of speed and stability in your internet connection. Unstable or slow internet can lead to loading issues, unresponsive features, or generally poor performance. If you're facing recurring issues, try checking your Wi-Fi signal or mobile data connectivity. Switching between Wi-Fi and mobile data or connecting to a stronger network may improve the app's performance.

Moreover, regularly clearing your Instagram cache, respecting the privacy settings of other users, and reporting technical issues to Instagram's support team can contribute to a more satisfying user experience. Remember that the essence of Instagram is about respectful, fun, and interactive social media engagement. Keep these practices in mind, and enjoy your Instagram encounters!


To recap, encountering the "This Story is Unavailable" message on Instagram can result from a variety of factors. To address these issues and improve the viewing experience, it is essential to consider solutions such as refreshing the app, checking your internet connection, updating the Instagram app, and clearing its cache. By being proactive in solving these potential issues, users can ensure that the platform runs smoothly and the unique features of Instagram stories are utilized to their fullest potential.

In conclusion, harnessing the power of Instagram Stories as a tool for digital communication requires users to maintain up-to-date apps, good internet connectivity, and a mutual respect for each other's privacy settings. By doing so, both individuals and businesses can reap the immense benefits that Instagram Stories have introduced into the world of social media. Succeeding in this endeavor allows for more vibrant, community-driven experiences on Instagram, while also pushing the boundaries of what digital communication can offer now and into the future.