Why the Story is Unavailable on Instagram

In the domain of social media, Instagram stands as one of the most popular platforms for sharing visual content, engaging with followers, and keeping up with the latest trends. Among its features, Instagram Stories has earned immense popularity as it enables users to share quick moments with their followers. 

Nonetheless, users may experience a perplexing message: “The story is unavailable.” What does this message mean, and why does it occur? In this article, we will delve into the reasons why the story is unavailable on Instagram. 

Understanding Instagram Stories

Before discussing the reasons behind the “story is unavailable”  on Instagram messages, it is very important to comprehend the fundamentals of Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories was introduced in 2016, which allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. 

These stories appear at the top of the user’s feed and offer different features, such as filters, stickers, and text overlays, to improve the content. Besides this, users can check who has seen their story and engage with followers through direct messages.

What Does “The Story Is Unavailable” Mean on Instagram? 

As soon as the users see the message “The story is unavailable” on Instagram, they often get perplexed. They do not understand ‘why does it say the story is unavailable on Instagram’. This message generally appears when trying to view someone else’s story or even one’s own. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this occurrence, ranging from technical glitches to intentional actions by the user. The possible reasons for this are as follows:  

  • Privacy Settings: One of the most common reasons why the story is unavailable on Instagram is due to privacy settings. Users can choose to make their Instagram accounts private, specifying who can view their stories: approved followers only. If a user is not allowed to try to view a private story, they will experience the “unavailable” message.
  • Content Removal: Instagram has community guidelines in place to conserve a safe and enjoyable environment for users. If a story violates these policies—for instance, by including graphic content, nudity, or hate speech—it may be withdrawn by Instagram. In such cases, both the uploader and viewers will see the “unavailable” message.
  • Account Restrictions: Accounts that infringe the terms of service of Instagram may face limitations, including the inability to view or share stories. This could be due to repeated infringements, spammy behaviour, or other violations of community standards.
  • Technical Issues: Like any digital platform, Instagram is sensitive to technical glitches and outages. Sometimes, the “unavailable” message may arise temporarily due to server issues or bugs within the app. In such cases, the problem generally resolves itself once Instagram addresses the underlying problem.
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Why the story is unavailable on Instagram?

As the name indicates, “this story is unavailable” implies that the story you are looking for is not available any more. There are a lot of reasons behind why the story is unavailable on Instagram error. Below, we have made a list of all these reasons and illustrated them in detail.

Reason 1: The story has expired

Instagram story is available only for 24 hours (or 1 day). This implies that if you do not view a story within the 24-hour time frame, it will vanish forever. This is one of the most familiar reasons for story unavailable issues on Instagram.

If someone has sent you a story that has already expired, you will get an error message that says, “This story is no longer available.”. You have to see that story within 24 hours of it gets posted. If you fail to see it in that period, you will not be able to see it again.

Reason 2: The user has deleted the story

It is also probable that the story you are looking for has been deleted by its user. Once a story has been deleted, there is no method to rescue it. In this case, you will also end up getting the “This story is unavailable” problem on Instagram.

Instagram allows users to delete their stories anytime if they do not want to share them anymore with the public. There can be a couple of reasons why someone would delete their story. It could be for privacy reasons, or to cover up something that was posted in a rush.

It may be that the user only wants specific people to see the story, or that he or she simply laments posting it. Whatever the reason, it will result in the same problem when someone sends you a story that has been deleted.

Reason 3: You are blocked by the user

Another probable reason for the story unavailable problem on Instagram is that the person whose story you are trying to view might have blocked you. When someone blocks you, you will not be able to see their stories, highlights, posts, and almost everything on their profile.

Instagram will show the message “This story is unavailable” in your chat when someone sends you a story from a person who has blocked you. You need to keep in mind that this might not be authentic in some cases. Fortunately, there is a way to check if you have been blocked by someone.

You may ask the person who sent you the story about the username of the story uploader. After that, you may use a different account and search for that username. If you can see their profile, most likely you have been blocked by that user, and that is why the story is unavailable on your primary account.

Reason 4: The user has a private account

There are two kinds of accounts on Instagram. The first is a public account on which everything is visible to everyone, even to those who do not follow the user. The second type of account is private, where only authorized followers can see the user’s posts, stories, and highlights.

When someone sends you a story from a private user, you will not be able to view the story unless you are following that user. There will be an unavailable story error in your chat. It is also possible that the account was public, but then the user changed it to private.

Reason 5: Instagram has deleted the story

In some cases, Instagram can also delete the story due to privacy infringements. Although this is a very rare case, it can occur when someone posts a potentially improper or sensitive element in their story.

Instagram has the freedom to take down any story if it is found to infringe its community guidelines. You will not be able to see the story once it has been withdrawn. In some extreme cases, Instagram can also disable or delete the user account forever.

Reason 6: The story is hidden from you

Instagram has a feature that allows users to hide specific people from viewing their stories. This can be done in both private and public accounts. There is another feature called Close Friends, in which users can share their stories with a few selected people of their choice.

If a person hides their story from you or shares it through Close Friends, then Instagram will display an unavailable story error in your chat. This means that you can not view the story, even though the other person who sent it to you can see it.

Reason 7: Internet connection problem

If your internet connection is not strong enough or not working at all, it can cause difficulties with loading stories on Instagram. Again, this is a very rare case, but it can happen anyway. To confirm this, you need to make sure that you are connected to the internet and receiving strong network signals.

Reason 8: Technical glitch

There might be some technical problem in the Instagram app, which can also cause a story to be unavailable issue. This generally occurs with the black screen error that you experience in the stories feed. Most probably, you are using an outdated version of the Instagram app.

Reason 9: Account deleted or deactivated

When someone turns off their account, it appears as if they have vanished from Instagram. All the content posted by the user, including posts, stories, and reels, is withdrawn. The account is no longer visible or accessible to others.

It might be possible that the user has deactivated his/her account and this could be the reason why you are unable to view their story. You can find this by checking their profile from a distinct account. If the profile is accessible, this is not the case.

Resolving the Issue

If you encounter the “story is unavailable” message on Instagram, there are a few steps you can take to resolve the issue:

Method 1: View the story after it has expired

If the story has expired and you want to view it after 24 hours, you may go to the profile of the user and see if they have added that story to their highlights. You can check highlights under the bio text and profile picture.

When a story is added to highlights, it stays on the profile as long as the user wants. If you did not find the story in the highlights, it is possible that the user did not add it there. There is no other option, you can not view it now.

Method 2: View deleted story on Instagram

Unfortunately, it is not possible to view a story that has been deleted by the user. The only thing you can do is to expect the user to re-upload it, which is very doubtful. Or, you can ask the person who sent you the story if he has any screenshots or downloaded copies of it.

Method 3: View the story from the blocked user

If the person has blocked you on Instagram and you still want to view their story, you may use a different account. 

Sometimes the user has a private account and you are unable to view their story even from a different account. In that case, you can find someone who has access to the user’s account as an approved follower and ask that person to send you a screenshot of the story.

Method 4: View the story from a private account

If the person has a private account and you are not following him, you may send him a follow request and wait for your request to get approved. If you do not want to do that, you may ask your mutual friend (who has sent you the story via message) to send you a screenshot of the story.

Method 5: View the story when it is hidden

In this case, you can either use a different account to view the story yourself or ask the person to send you its screenshot. Make sure to do this before the story expires and finishes its 24-hour time frame.

Method 6. Fix technical glitches in the Instagram app

If you have found that the “This story is no longer available” problem is being induced by some technical glitch in the Instagram app, you can use this technique. All you need to do is clear the cached data and reset the app

To do this, you need to go to Settings > Apps > Instagram and then tap on the Force Stop button. After that, go to Storage and select Clear Data. You need to keep in mind that clearing the cached data will reset the app to its default and log out of your account.

Method 7: Log out and log in again

Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective. Logging out and logging back into your Instagram account can refresh your session and resolve provisional glitches. You need to follow the steps given below to log out and log back in:

  • You need to first open the Instagram app.
  • Then you need to tap on your profile icon in the bottom-right corner.
  • After this, you need to tap the three horizontal lines in the top-right.
  • Next, you need to go to “Settings and Privacy”. 
  • Then you need to scroll down to the bottom and select “Log Out”. 
  • As soon as you have logged out, you need to log back in with your credentials.

Now you need to try to view the story again, and you should not experience the error message “This story is no longer available” any more after this.

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Encountering the “why the story is unavailable on Instagram” message on Instagram can be discouraging, particularly when you are keen to view a certain piece of content. However, understanding the reasons behind this occurrence, such as privacy settings, content violations, or technical issues, can help alleviate some of that frustration. By following the steps sketched in this article, users can resolve the issue and enjoy a seamless Instagram experience. Whether it is a momentary glitch or a privacy setting, there is usually a straightforward solution to get past the “unavailable” message and back to enjoying Instagram Stories.


How do you know if someone blocked you from seeing their story on Instagram?

There is no official way to find out if someone has blocked you from viewing their Instagram Story. The only way is to check if the story is visible when viewed through your alternate account or seek help from your mutuals.

Can you make your story unavailable on Instagram?

Yes. You can make a story unavailable on Instagram by either limiting who can view it or by completely deleting it.

Does Instagram limit stories?

No, there is no limit on how many stories you can upload a day on Instagram. The platform is so open to its users uploading stories that it has even increased the length of stories from 15 seconds to 60 seconds.

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