Fix: Instagram ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ (2023)

Instagram Story is a great way of sharing your status update with friends and checking theirs. But, there are times when Instagram doesn’t show you someone’s story or status update and throws a ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error.

Well, there could be many reasons why this could happen. In this post, you will find all the possible reasons why this issue happens to you. And along with that, find the possible ways to fix the issue.

What does ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ mean on Instagram

‘This Story Is Unavailable’ on Instagram means that the story shared cannot be accessed or seen by you. This can happen for a number of reasons.

And if you are someone who faced the same issue, you should know the possible reasons for the same. Check all the reasons listed below.

1. The story has expired

The first and most common reason why you are getting ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ is because the story which was shared with you has expired.

As you already know, the story posted by a user lasts 24 hours only. And if you try to see the story after the 24-hour window, you will see the error and there is no way to see it.

2. Story removed from highlight

The Instagram highlight is a very great feature. Especially for those who like to keep memorable photos on Instagram as an album without even posting them.

Story added to highlights can be watched again after the 24-hour expiration window from the Story Highlights icons appearing on the profile.

If a highlighted story has been shared with you, and it shows the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error, it is evident that the story has been removed from the Story Highlights.

3. Ad-story removed/ expired

A few years ago Instagram released ads for Instagram stories. While scrolling through the stories, you might have seen the ads too.

Unlike a user’s story, the ad story remains live and active on Instagram as long as the publisher wants, there is no 24-hour expiration window.

It is quite understandable that you will only be able to see the ad story shared with you as long as the company’s ad campaign is active.

5. Instagram has removed the story

Instagram has some policies for the type of content that can be posted on the platform. The restrictions are generally made to ensure the safety of the other’s religion, sentiment and beliefs.

And in case the story that was shared with you violates Instagram’s policy, it is quite possible that it has already been removed by Instagram and you won’t be able to see it.

And that’s another reason why you see the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error on Instagram.

3. The user has deleted the story

Even if there is some time before an Instagram story expires, you might still see the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error.

It is possible that the story was deleted by the owner. So, earlier, if you were able to see the shared link of the story, it will disappear and show the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error phrase.

4. The user has a private account

As you know there are two types of accounts on Instagram – private and business accounts. The private account option is for users who only want their friends and followers to see their profile, post and stories.

In case you are not following a private account, its story link shared with you as a direct message will not appear and you will see the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error on your screen.

6. The user hides their story from you

Instagram also allows account owners to hide their stories from specific followers. The accounts added to the list won’t get the story update. The story won’t even appear on their profile.

The hidden user won’t be able to see the story by any means. If the story link is shared with them through Instagram Directs, the story won’t appear.

7. Technical glitch in the Instagram app

Well, if you are very certain that the user hasn’t blocked, restricted, hidden, or removed you from their follower list, then it is possible that some app bugs and glitched are causing the issues.

8. The user has deactivated or deleted the account

The reason mentioned above might have made you anxious, but believe us, we never intended to do so. Let’s look at the bright side.

It is also possible that the story disappeared because the user deactivated their account or deleted it.

This step deleted all their existing content from Instagram including the stories. And this could be the reason you are seeing ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error on your screen.

10. You are not in closed friends list

Instagram allows users to create a closed friend list and share a specific story only with the people added to the list.

If you are not added to the close friend list, it won’t be possible for you to see the story. And if someone from the close friend list shares the story link to your DM, you will only see the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error.

12. You have been removed from followers list

Similar to the reason why you can’t see the story of a private account, the ‘Story Is Unavailable’ error appears if you have been removed from following a user on Instagram.

At least it is not as harsh as blocking someone. Sigh!

11. You have been blocked by the user

If the user has blocked you on Instagram, you won’t be able to check their profile and also the content update from their end.

And if you have shared their story or highlight-story link before, you won’t be able to access them anymore. And guess what, the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error will appear on the screen.

13. Instagram services are down

We are pretty sure that ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error appears because of one of the reasons mentioned above.

If by any chance, you are certain that none of the reasons applies to you, then it is possible that there are some issues with Instagram servers.

Fix: Instagram ‘This Story Is Unavailable’

1. Check if you are blocked

Before you try anything else, you should check if you are blocked by the account owner. Fortunately, it is very simple to check the status. Visit the profile using the username tag.

You will see some clear indications like removed display-picture, zero counts for the followers and the following list.

2. Follow the account

In most cases, if you are not following a private account, you won’t be able to see the posts as well as Insta stories.

The simple solution is to follow the account and if they accept the request, you will be able to see the story as other followers.

3. Check the internet connection

You need a stable internet connection to access any of the Instagram features. So, you have to be very sure that your Wifi connection is working fine as intended.

You can try fixing the internet connection by resetting your Wifi router. Unplug it from the mains power supply and re-plug it after waiting for a couple of minutes.

If the issue persists, contact your internet service provider.

4. Update the Instagram app

It is unlikely, but an app bug or glitch can cause the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ issue as well.

You can easily fix this glitch by simply updating your Instagram app to the latest version. The latest patch version will fix the app bug for sure.

Head to the respective app store and search for the app. Hit the update button if it appears.

5. Reboot the mobile device

A basic method for troubleshooting is to reboot or restart the mobile device once. Sometimes, the device’s RAM needs a quick reboot to run the app properly.

If none of the above-mentioned methods has worked for you, rebooting method must be tried once.

6. Log out and Log in

Another basic troubleshooting method is to try the logout-login method.

Simply, log out from Instagram and log in again with your account details. You can try to re-install the app once, before you log in again.

7. Try Instagram for PC

Instagram can be accessed on a mobile device as well as on a PC. You can either try the web version of Instagram or even the app available for both Windows and Mac platforms.

Log in with your details and check if you can access the story using the link shared with you.

How to see unavailable story on Instagram

1. Follow the account

You can simply see an unavailable story and fix ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error by following the account. If a private account’s story link has been shared with your DM, you can only see if you follow the account.

2. Ask them to unhide, unblock you

As we discussed in the previous part of this post if you have been blocked or added to the ‘Hide Users’ list by a user, there is no way you can see their story.

The only way is to ask the gently to unhide or unblock you. Well, yes, this won’t be a feasible method for every situation. Things can get awkward real quick. But, you should try if you can.

3. Try a different account

If nothing works so far, you should try a different account to access the story link. If the account in question is a private account, you might have to follow it.

Does ‘This story is unavailable’ mean blocked on Instagram

No, ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ doesn’t always mean blocked on Instagram. There could be issues with your internet connection or with Instagram servers. Or the user might have deleted the story or deactivated their account.

There can be so many reasons why the error appears on Instagram. Check all the possible reasons in the first part of this post.


In this post, we have included all the possible reasons why you are seeing the ‘This Story Is Unavailable’ error on your Instagram app. Not only the reasons, but you will also find the solution to fix the error code.

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By Ankit
Ankit is an engineer by profession and blogger by passion. He is passionate to do all the stuff such as designing the website, doing the SEO, researching for the content, writing tech blog posts and more.