What does ‘This story is unavailable’ mean on Instagram?

Like many other apps, Instagram also has many glitches and errors that ruin your experience. A very common error by Instagram is ‘This story is not available’. But have you ever wondered what does ‘This story is unavailable’ mean on Instagram? Well, we are here to assist you as to how you can fix this problem.

Quick takeaways

  • Instagram is a platform where you may experience many glitches and technical errors, which might irritate you but are easy to resolve.
  • ‘The story is unavailable’ is a common error Instagram shows due to many reasons such as poor internet connection, the story being deleted by the user, you being blocked by the user, the story being expired, and many more. 
  • The reason for the error may be multiple but with simple troubleshoots like restarting your app, logging in and logging out, clearing caches, refreshing your Instagram feed etc, you can fix the problem and can see that particular story.
  • When you see that Instagram is showing you that ‘The story is unavailable’ simply means that you do not have access to that particular story. Trying to view it again and again also won’t allow you to view the story and the reasons could be many.

However, you must read till the end to know what exactly “This story is unavailable” on Instagram and what can you do to fix this error.

Reasons why Instagram is showing ‘Story is Unavailable’

What does 'The story is unavailable' mean on Instagram?

It’s disappointing when you come across someone’s story and you get to see this error. The reasons why Instagram is showing you that the story is unavailable might be multiple.

  • You have been blocked

It is possible that when you viewed someone’s story, they would have blocked you right after you viewed their story. And when you are again viewing their story, it shows that the story is not available.

  • The story has been expired

Instagram allows users to share their stories only for some time. It has a time limit of 24 hours, after that it expires. If you are viewing their story after it has expired, then you might not be able to see that story as the story would be unavailable. But if the user has added it to the highlights, you can view that by going to their profile.

  • The story has been removed from Instagram

If someone posts a story that violates Instagram and community guidelines, Instagram will never allow any user to post irrelevant and inappropriate content and would remove it. This is when you will see ‘story is unavailable’.

  • There might be technical glitches

There are several technical issues that social media platforms and other apps face. Another reason Instagram would show you the error that story is unavailable is that the platform might be facing technical glitches. You can simply close the app and reopen it.

  • The person deleted their Instagram story

Another reason you are not able to view someone’s story and it shows ‘ Story Unavailable’ is that they might have deleted it. If the user deleted the story you could still tap on it and view it, but it would only show that ‘Story is not available’.

Ways to fix ‘The story is unavailable’

What does 'The story is unavailable' mean on Instagram?
  • Restarting the app

When you face this error on Instagram, the quick and easiest way to resolve the issue is to close the app and then restart it. This troubleshooter is the best for recovering from usual glitches. 

  • Try to refresh your Instagram feed

Instagram wants its users to stay engaged with the app and many times show old feeds to users. This makes it load the feed fast and sometimes even shows the unavailable posts. To get the latest and updated feed and to resolve the problem, you should try to refresh the feed and the error will be resolved.

  •  Force stopping Instagram

Force-stopping Instagram may make the error disappear. To force stop the app on Android phones, 

  1. On your device, go to settings.
  2. Then go to apps.
  3. Then go to the option ‘ manage apps’.
  4. There you will see the ‘Instagram ‘ option.
  5. After opening Instagram, click on the force stop option.
  6. Confirm by clicking on the ‘Ok’ option.

To force stop on iPhone,

  1. Go to the app switcher, then drag the Instagram app from the bottom.
  2. Then force a stop to Instagram.
  • Clearing Caches

Another easy yet effective way to resolve this problem is to clear caches. When we use any app, our devices try to gather all the temporary data from it, which we call caches. When the device stores the caches and we do not clear them, the app might face some minor errors. Which is why clearing caches is important. To clear Instagram’s caches, go to your device’s settings, then go to ‘Apps’, then find Instagram and clear the Instagram caches. If the Instagram caches does not get cleared, it may cause other errors such as Please wait a few minutes, Instagram stories repeating, unable to reply to a specific message, Instagram photo can’t be posted, and Instagram story not uploading.


  • Using a stable internet connection

If you are shown a story unavailable, then it could be because you are not using a stable internet connection. If you are using your mobile data, try switching to wifi and if using wifi, try switching to the mobile network. Then view the story and it would resolve the issue.

  • Logging out and again logging in
What does 'The story is unavailable' mean on Instagram?

When you see such an error, try to first log out from your account and then again log in. This might help the error disappear and you may view the story. This is how you can do the process,

  1. Go to your Instagram profile.
  2. To the top right corner, you will see the hamburger menu. 
  3. After that open settings.
  4. Scrolling down to the bottom, you will see the log-out option. Click that and it will ask to remember your login details.
  5. Click on the preferable option and then you will be logged out.

To again log in

  1. Open your Instagram app.
  2. There, you have to enter your instagram username along with the password.
  3. After entering both, click on login and you will be logged in
  4. If you save your login details, you don’t have to type your username. Simply enter your password and you will be logged in

After you log in again, open that story and the issue will be resolved.


Aiding the error that ‘The story is Unavailable’ is not a hard task. But some users find it very hard to encounter the error. Using simple yet effective steps, you can easily resolve this problem. If the problem still exists, then there may be some issues from Instagram’s end. Then it is suggested to wait for some time to let Instagram resolve the problem.


What happens when your access to a story is restricted?

Many users might not want you to view their story and might hide their story from you. That way you are not able to see their story.

Does Instagram notifies someone if you hide your story from them?

The answer to this question no. Instagram will never notify anyone from whom you hide your story.

Can you see the story of a person who has blocked you on Instagram?

There is no way you can see a person’s story who have blocked you.

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