Instagram Story download: how to download Instagram Stories and Highlights on Android mobile, iPhone and PC

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. With such a huge footfall, Instagram has become a site for sharing photos, media, and even links for marketplaces. Facebook took over Instagram in 2012 and has worked to introduce a few features into the latter. One of the most famous features of Instagram is the Stories feature (introduced in 2016), and its more permanent version – the Highlights feature.

Also read: Instagram Reels Video Download: how to download Instagram Reels on Android mobile, iPhone and PC

When Instagram Stories are posted as photos, you can easily screenshot them to save them on your phone. However, there might be a case where you see a video posted on someone’s stories that you want to download. While there is no direct way to do that, there are plenty of workarounds. In this post, we’ll tell you the best apps to download Instagram Stories and Highlights on your smartphone and PC, as well as any technical and legal information you should be aware of before doing so.

What are Instagram Stories and Highlights?

In August 2016, Instagram started its Stories feature, letting users post pictures through their profile, replete with effects and filters, for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the Stories disappear, unless saved by the user. Each Story has a length of 15 seconds. The feature was introduced to compete against Snapchat’s Stories feature.

In case you want your Instagram Story to be visible for more than 24 hours to your followers, Instagram also has a neat feature called Highlights. A Highlight is a story or a collection of stories that can stay in a person’s profile permanently. It is often used by influencers on Instagram to allow new followers access to their Stories that have gone viral or have been successful in reaching out to an audience. It also lets you categorise your Stories. You could have separate Highlights for food, an event, pets, a vacation, and much more.

Is it illegal to download Instagram Stories?

Since the advent of Instagram Stories, there have been instances of profiles downloading Instagram Stories created by other people, and posting them as their own. This is a violation of copyright laws and Instagram’s terms of service. Essentially, downloading Instagram Stories belonging to other people and using them for one’s own personal and financial benefit is illegal. This is especially pertinent to Instagram Stories that come directly under copyright laws.

However, it is technically not illegal to download Instagram Stories and keep them for personal use. Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 states a variety of reasons for which the particular work may be reproduced. These include criticism, news reporting, research, scholarship and comment. The best advice in this situation would be to not download Instagram Stories unless they are for personal consumption, backup, or data-saving reasons. If you aren’t resharing someone’s Instagram Story directly, but downloading and reposting it on your own account, make sure that you give the originator or creator their due credits.

Top 5 apps and websites to download Instagram Stories and Highlights

There are a host of apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple Store that claim to be safe and convenient in terms of downloading Instagram Stories and Highlights. However, many of these are filled with malware (especially adware), and you need to steer clear of them. Here are the best apps we have tested for downloading and storing your favourite Instagram Stories and Highlights.

  1. Story Saver for Instagram
  2. Fastsave
  3. Quick Save
  4. Ahasave
  5. InstaFinsta

Story Saver for Instagram – download Instagram Stories on Android mobile

Story Saver for Instagram is a fairly straightforward app for Android that has become a staple for members of the Instagram community. Apart from being relatively easy to use, it also helps the user with their captions and hashtags. Although captions can be personalised, for an Instagram post to be viral, it needs to have relevant trending hashtags. Story Saver for Instagram scours through Instagram to find the trending hashtags concerning the picture and generates them for your post. It can also help you make a collage of your favourite posts, which you can upload as a story or a permanent post for your feed.

You may like a particular post so much that you want to repost it. Story Saver for Instagram allows you to do that as well. You can view stories of different public profiles from the app itself and choose the ones that you want to download. The app is available for Android platforms and you can download it from the Google Play Store.

How to Use:

  1. Download Story Saver from the Play Store.
  2. Log into Instagram through the Story Saver app.
  3. Browse any profile through the app.
  4. Tap on your preferred Story.
  5. Tap on the Save button. The Story is now saved in your phone’s memory.
  6. You can also Repost a story by tapping on it and using the ‘Repost’ option.

Fastsave – download Instagram Stories on Android mobile and iPhone

Fastsave is one of the more popular Instagram Stories and Highlights downloaders. In fact, it has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store alone. It is also one of the few downloader apps that work equally well on both Android and iOS platforms. Apart from this, it also has a highly intuitive user interface that not only looks good but also makes it easier to use.

There’s a bar at the top of the app’s window that allows you to check the stories that you have collected recently, and you can download Stories and Highlights in batches. It is optimised enough to secure a fast download speed on most occasions. If you long-press on the photos and videos that you have downloaded, you can get more details on the profile of the originator or creator. The Dashboard facility on the app allows you to organise your saved videos. Another major feature of the app is that you can hide your downloaded stories in the in-app locker.

How to Use:

  1. Download Fastsave on iPhone or Android.
  2. Make sure you are logged into Instagram
  3. Open Fastsave, and tap on the switch button to start Fastsave’s service.
  4. Go to Instagram, choose the Story, Highlight, or Post that you like, and click on the three dots at the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Use the option ‘Copy Link’/’Copy Share URL’. Your story will be automatically downloaded by Fastsave.

Quick Save – download Instagram Stories on Android mobile and iPhone

Quick Save is another simple app to download Instagram Stories and Highlights and is available on both Android and iOS. Instagram is one of the many social media platforms and apps that Quick Save supports. Its user interface is easy to understand, and the download speeds provided by the app are quite respectable. It is rated quite highly by users – it has a four-star rating on the Google Play Store, with over 2 million downloads.

How to Use:

  1. Download Quick Save on your Android device.
  2. Open the app and tap on the button to start the service.
  3. Open your Instagram profile, and choose the photo, video, or story that you want to save.
  4. Click on the three dots at the top right corner.
  5. Click on ‘Copy Link’.
  6. Open Quick Save again, and paste the copied URL into the app’s URL box. The story will be downloaded and saved into your phone.

AhaSave – download Instagram Stories on Android mobile

AhaSave is an Instagram Stories downloader available for Android devices. Since Instagram updated itself to include Reels, the AhaSave app has also been updated to include Reel downloads. This is in addition to the posts, stories, and highlights that you could already download using AhaSave. It can also help you save your desired profile pictures from different profiles.

Another feature of this app is that it allows you to download posts, stories, and reels from private profiles. Batch downloading is also enabled, thus letting the user download multiple stories at the same time. It is highly popular among users – it is rated five stars on the Google Play Store, with over half a million downloads.

How to Use:

  1. Download AhaSave on your Android phone.
  2. Open Instagram.
  3. Choose the story you want to download.
  4. Tap on the three dots at the top of the screen.
  5. Tap on ‘Copy Link’.
  6. Open AhaSave and paste the URL into the given space. The download will start automatically.
  7. Batch downloads are possible by selecting the posts that you want to store and tapping the ‘Download’ button.

InstaFinsta – download Instagram Stories on PC

InstaFinsta is different from the other entries on this list, as it is not a mobile application. It is a website that can be used on any browser, whether accessed from a PC or a mobile device. It allows you to save videos, reels, posts, stories, and highlights. InstaFinsta also allows the user to repost the downloaded post to Instagram, or share them to Facebook and Twitter. You can also view the downloaded videos or stories through the website, as it comes with an in-built player.

How to use:

  1. Log into Instagram using your account.
  2. Navigate to the story or highlight that you want to download.
  3. Tap on the top right corner icon with the three dots, and tap on ‘Copy Link’.
  4. Go to the InstaFinsta website.
  5. Click on the tab to define the type of post that you are downloading, for example, the “Stories” tab for a profile’s stories.
  6. Click on the ‘Search’ button, after pasting the link for the stories.
  7. After you click on ‘Search’, the stories will appear on screen, with a ‘Download’ option beneath each story. Click on the ‘Download’ button for your desired Story.

Instagram Stories FAQs

How to add Instagram Stories to Highlights?

Although Instagram’s Story feature deletes the Story automatically after 24 hours, you can add the Story as a Highlight to keep them on your profile even after they disappear. The Story Highlights appear on your profile, below your profile picture and Instagram bio. Here’s how you add them:

  1. Inside Instagram, tap on your profile picture present in the bottom right of the screen. This will take you to your profile.
  2. Tap on the Plus sign button below your profile picture and bio. If you don’t see a Plus button, then you can tap on Story Highlights.
  3. You can select the Stories you want to be added as a Highlight, by tapping on them. You can add even past stories from your archive this way.
  4. Tap on the Next button.
  5. You then have to choose a cover photo for the Highlight, and a name.
  6. Once you’re done with the cover photo and name, tap on ‘Add’ if you’re using iPhone. If you’re using Android, tap on the ‘Done’ option.
  7. If you want to add more stories to a particular Highlight, tap and hold the Highlight. The option to add more stories to the Highlight is ‘Edit Highlight’.

Can someone see that I viewed their Instagram story if we are not friends?

Yes, they can see if you have viewed their Instagram story. If you go into your own Instagram Story and swipe up, it will show you the list of people who have viewed your story. However, you cannot see their Instagram Story if their profile is private and if you don’t follow them. You can only view Instagram stories for public accounts and users you follow.

Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story?

No, Instagram does not notify a person when you screenshot their story. With that being said, you won’t be notified either if someone screenshots your Instagram story. The notification of Instagram screenshots was available a few years back, in the earlier version of the app. Since then, it has been removed.

However, if you send a personally created story to a friend through the Direct Message feature, and they screenshot the story, there will be a small circle icon next to the message containing the photo. This will notify you if the person you’ve sent the story to has taken a screenshot of the photo. Regardless, this is only available when you personally send a message to someone on Instagram via Direct Message.

How to watch Instagram stories without letting others know?

There are a couple of methods through which you can view somebody else’s Instagram story without letting them know.

  1. This method involves using the Airplane mode on your phone. You have to be connected to the internet and log into Instagram. Let the stories load but don’t view them yet. Once the page has loaded, switch to Airplane mode on your Android or iOS device. Go back to Instagram, and check the stories. The stories will be pre-loaded up to a certain extent, and you can view them without it counting as an Instagram story view.
  2. The second method is available for those who are browsing Instagram through their PC. You will need the Google Chrome browser for this method. Download the ‘Chrome IG Story’ extension for Chrome through the Chrome Web Store. Once it is downloaded, make sure that the extension is installed and active. After this, you can go to Instagram’s web page and log in with your credentials. Once you’re logged in, you can view people’s Instagram stories without them knowing – it will not count as a story view at their end, thanks to the ‘Chrome IG Story’ extension.

What does ‘Close Friends; mean on Instagram?

Instagram Stories tend to be viewed by many people, especially if the account originating the stories isn’t kept private. In such situations, there are chances of your private information leaking to the general public. Instagram has thus created the Close Friends feature, which allows only a particular subsection of followers and viewers on your Instagram account to view your story. If a person is not added to the creator’s Close Friends list, they will not be able to watch the stories uploaded through the Close Friends option. Essentially, this is a feature provided by Instagram to create a more private space in a very social media platform.

How do you see who viewed your Instagram highlights after 24 hours?

Instagram allows the user to check the views on their story for 48 hours after the Story has been uploaded. Even though the Story will disappear after 24 hours, you can check who viewed your story for the next 24 hours as well. Here’s how:

  1. Open Instagram and log into your account.
  2. Tap onto the profile picture in the bottom right of the screen.
  3. You will find three horizontal lines at the top right. Tap on it.
  4. Go to the ‘Archive’ option, and navigate to the story you want to check the viewer analytics and information on.
  5. Once the story opens, swipe up on the screen, and a list of your viewers for that particular story will be shown.
Anirban Dutta Choudhury

Anirban Dutta Choudhury is a PhD scholar, researcher, and freelance writer. He loves keeping his tabs updated on technology, gaming, pop culture, literature, and philosophy. Oh, and he hopes to take his love for gaming narratives into the academic mainstream. Anirban has five years of experience in writing, whether it's for SEO-based content, blogs, or research papers. He whiles away his free time through reading fiction and philosophy, as an escape from the daily drudgery of reality.