What Does This Story Is Unavailable Mean on Instagram?

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By Ryan Robinson


Instagram, a popular social media platform, is renowned for its captivating feature – Instagram Stories. They allow users to share photos and short videos of moments from their daily lives with their fans and followers, which disappear after 24 hours. But have you ever clicked on a story only to see a message saying, “This story is unavailable”? Let’s delve into what this means and why it happens.

Understanding Instagram Stories

Instagram’s stories feature has become a prominent way for users to share fleeting moments, memories, and updates with their followers. These temporary posts are meant to disappear after 24 hours. These stories offer users a fun, casual way to share their day with followers without overloading their profile page. However, it’s not always smooth sailing, and users may sometimes face issues like stories becoming unavailable.

What Does This Story Is Unavailable Mean on Instagram?

When you see “this story is unavailable” on Instagram, it means that you can’t view the story for some reason. It could be due to a variety of factors, which we will explore in the next section. This message typically confuses users, especially when they know the person has recently posted a story.

Possible Reasons for Instagram Story Unavailability

There are several reasons why an Instagram story might become unavailable. 

Instagram Story has Expired: Stories on Instagram are designed to last for 24 hours. If you attempt to view a story after this period, you will see the message, “This story is unavailable.”

User has Deleted the Story: Instagram users have complete control over their content. If the user decides to delete their story before 24 hours, it will become unavailable.

Account Privacy Settings: If a user changes their account to private, their stories become unavailable to non-followers.

Temporary System Glitch: Occasionally, Instagram might have a temporary glitch, causing some stories to show as unavailable.

Reporting and Violations: Instagram takes its community guidelines seriously, and any content that violates these guidelines can be taken down. 

If a user reports a story for violating these guidelines, it may be temporarily or permanently unavailable while Instagram reviews the content. If it’s found in violation, the story could be removed.

How to Make a Story Available Again

When confronted with the “this story is unavailable” message due to a technical issue, you can try the following steps to make it available again:

1. Wait: Sometimes, Instagram experiences server issues that cause temporary unavailability. Waiting for a while and refreshing the app may resolve the problem.

2. Check Your Internet Connection: Ensure you have a stable internet connection. A poor connection can prevent stories from loading.

3. Update the App: Make sure you are using the latest version of the Instagram app. Outdated apps can have compatibility issues.

4. Clear Cache: Clearing the app’s cache can help resolve minor glitches.

5. Report the Problem: If the issue persists, report it to Instagram’s support team.

Tips to Avoid Seeing “This Story is Unavailable” on Instagram

To avoid seeing the “this story is unavailable” message, ensure to view stories within 24 hours of posting. Also, following only public accounts or ensuring you’re accepted as a follower for private accounts could help.

Impact of Instagram Story Unavailability on Users

When viewers encounter the message “This story is unavailable,” it can lead to confusion or concern. Users may wonder if they’ve been blocked, if they did something wrong, or if the content was removed. Instagram should strive to provide clearer messaging in such situations to reduce user confusion.

What to Do When Your Own Story Becomes Unavailable

If your own Instagram story becomes unavailable, first verify its age. If it’s not due to expiration, check your account privacy settings. Should the issue persist, consider reaching out to Instagram support.

Common Questions about Instagram Story Unavailability

Users often ask questions like “Why does Instagram say a story is unavailable?” or “What does it mean when an Instagram story is unavailable.” We hope this article has answered these queries and provided a comprehensive understanding of the issue.


In conclusion, when you come across the message “This story is unavailable” on Instagram, it can be due to various reasons, such as privacy settings, deleted accounts, or content violations. Understanding these reasons can help you navigate the platform more effectively and avoid unnecessary confusion. Instagram should aim to provide clearer messaging and transparency when stories become unavailable, ensuring a better user experience for all.

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