Does Instagram Notify the User About Screenshots? Sometimes

Written by on August 16, 2022

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Instagram started as an app to share photos with the world and has since grown into allowing all kinds of other content. Whether you have a private or public account, you can share photos and videos on your main feed or your stories. You can even share content privately via a direct message.

Does Instagram Notify the User About Screenshots? Sometimes

As one of the most popular apps worldwide, you can lose track of the content you want to revisit. Many people screenshot content to share or reference later. However, you probably don’t want to screenshot someone’s content if they get notified that you have done so; they might think you’re spying on them when in fact, you just find their content worth keeping or sharing.

Keep reading to find out if Instagram notifies the user about screenshots.

How Instagram Handles Screenshots

Does Instagram notify the user about screenshots?

The answer is that sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. It depends on which content you are taking a screenshot of and where that content is located in the app.

Instagram Screenshots That Don’t Notify

For most content within the Instagram app, you can safely screenshot without the user being notified that you are doing so. A general rule of thumb is that if Instagram considers a piece of content to be sharable, you can screenshot it.

Examples of this kind of content are as follows.

  • Any post on a user’s feed
  • Any post to a user’s Reel
  • Any post to a user’s Stories
  • Any permanent content in a direct message, including text, photos, and videos

Content posted to these areas will not generate a notification if screenshotted. This is true for both private and public Instagram accounts. This is also true for both personal and business accounts.

Instagram Screenshots That Notify

Very select content on Instagram will generate a notification if you screenshot it. If you screenshot a disappearing photo or video inside a direct message thread, the user will receive a notification that you have done so.

This is done due to privacy concerns. Instagram considers disappearing content in a direct message to be content that should remain private. By screenshotting the content, you have saved something that was not meant to be held onto. In response, Instagram notifies the user who sent the content.

Most people use disappearing content in DMs to send funny things to friends. They let the content disappear so it doesn’t clutter up the DM. Instagram protects its users by considering all disappearing content private, since the app can’t see what the content is.

How to See an Instagram Screenshot Notification

Instagram won’t send a push notification to your phone or send you an email if someone screenshots something you sent in the DM. You will have to go and check if you think they have screenshotted something you wanted to disappear.

To see if a screenshot was taken, follow these steps.

  1. Open your Instagram app and go to your Direct Messages.
  2. Scroll down to the direct message thread you want to check.
  3. Under the message preview, a notification will say “Screenshot,” and a timestamp of the last screenshot taken.

You can also see what was screenshotted if you sent multiple pieces of content in the thread. Follow the steps below to see which pieces of content have been screenshotted.

  1. Open your Instagram app and navigate to your Direct Messages.
  2. Scroll down to the direct message thread and tap on it.
  3. Look for the disappearing content you sent. If a small, hatched circle is next to it, it was screenshotted.

There is no way to force the deletion of a screenshot via the Instagram app. If a piece of content in the DM had a screenshot taken, you will have to ask that person to delete it.

How to Avoid Screenshot Notifications

There are ways to avoid a user being notified of a screenshot. Three ways to avoid detection are shown below.

  1. Take a screenshot while in airplane mode.
  2. Take a screenshot of the post in a web browser instead of the app.
  3. Take a photo of your screen.

These methods will give you a permanent record of the disappearing content without generating a screenshot notification.

Instagramming in the Age of Screenshots

Instagram’s screenshot policy has gone through many versions in the past few years. For example, when Stories first became a feature, users could receive notifications of who was taking screenshots. This feature quickly disappeared, and some users have been asking for it back.

Since Instagram tends to change its screenshot policy without warning, always double-check the current policy before taking a screenshot. This will inform you about which screenshots generate a notification and which screenshots do not.

Do you frequently take screenshots on Instagram? Have you ever taken a screenshot of a disappearing message in a DM? Let us know your experience in the comments below.



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