Screenshotting an interesting Instagram post, story, or DM is an easy way to ensure you can see the content again later. You can certainly take screenshots of Instagram posts, stories, and direct messages — but will users receive a notification when you do?
- Instagram only notifies users when someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing DM.
- People who want to take screenshots without triggering this notification have a few options.
Does Instagram Notify Users About Screenshots?
Instagram only notifies users when someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing DM at present.
The platform changes its screenshot notification policy from time to time without notifying users, so this could change at any time.
Users who need accurate and up-to-date information about Instagram’s screenshot policies have two choices. They can turn to third-party information or gather data on their own. Testing Instagram’s current screenshot notification policies yourself is the only way to ensure that your information is both accurate and up-to-date.
You need two Instagram accounts to test out under what circumstances Instagram notifies users when a screenshot is taken:
- Use one account to create sample Instagram posts, stories, permanent DMs, and disappearing DMs.
- Take screenshots of all these different types of Instagram content with the second account.
- Return to the first account and check which screenshots Instagram notifies users about.
Users who wish to take Instagram screenshots regularly, and do not want others to be notified about these screenshots, can go through this testing process periodically to determine whether Instagram’s screenshot notification policies have changed.
When Does Instagram Notify Users About Screenshots?
Users can freely take screenshots of most types of Instagram content at present, without having to worry that the platform will notify the original poster.
Instagram users are not currently notified when someone takes a screenshot of:
- A post
- A bio
- A reel
- A story
- A profile picture
What about Direct Messages (which are also often referred to as “private messages” for good reason)? This is where Instagram’s screenshot notification policy gets a little more complicated.
Instagram offers two different DM modes, only one of which will notify users when a screenshot is taken.
Instagram Does Not Send Notifications About Screenshots of Permanent DMs
Permanent direct messages, which remain in place indefinitely once sent, are the default option. Recipients can revisit such permanent DMs whenever they like, including, potentially, years after the direct messages were initially sent. This is true regardless of whether a DM consists of text, photos, or video content. When someone screenshots a permanent DM on Instagram, users are not notified about this fact.
Instagram Does Notify Users When a Disappearing DM Is Screenshotted
Instagram also offers so-called disappearing Direct Messages. These offer more privacy and security and are typically used to share especially sensitive content. Disappearing DMs again come in multiple varieties. Users can allow recipients to view the content — which can include photos and videos — only once or they may offer the recipient the option of replaying the content.
If someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing DM on Instagram with a smartphone, the user who sent the DM will be notified.
How Are Users Notified When a Disappearing DM Is Screenshotted?
When someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing DM, Instagram will display a “hatched circle” icon, which looks a bit like a children’s drawing of a sun, with “rays” emanating from an invisible circle, on the right side of the screenshotted content.
The fact that some platforms portray messages that are still loading with a similar icon may cause some users to completely miss the fact that this icon informs them that a screenshot has been taken.
Can You Bypass Instagram’s Screenshot Notifications?
You can prevent Instagram from sending notifications that you have taken a screenshot of a disappearing DM in a few different ways — all of which involve ensuring that Instagram remains unaware of the screenshot.
1. Turn On Airplane Mode First
If the person hoping to take a secret screenshot is using a smartphone, they can simply put the phone in airplane mode first. This temporarily disables the phone’s wireless transmission functions. With the content already loaded, any screenshot taken in airplane mode will not be visible to Instagram. As such, the sender will not receive a notification.
Make sure to exit the app completely before turning airplane mode back off so it can’t log in and update the sender.
2. Take Screenshots of Disappearing DMs on a Web Browser Instead of Your Phone
For whatever reason, Instagram doesn’t notify users of screenshots taken on a computer. If there’s a message or image you want to copy without letting the sender know, you can simply move to the web browser version of Instagram and use the screenshot feature on your computer.
On a Mac, click [Command] + [Shift] + “4” to take a screenshot.
On Windows, use the [Win] + [Print Screen] buttons to take a screenshot.
On most Linux distributions, simply use the [Print Screen] button or the “Take Screenshot” application.
3. Use Another Device to Take the Photo
Those who are willing to go the old-fashioned route can simply use another device, like a camera or another phone, to take a picture of the screen on which the Instagram message is being displayed. This makes it impossible for Instagram to detect the screenshot, too.
Does Instagram Send Screenshot Notifications? A Final Word
Instagram will notify users when one of their disappearing DMs was screenshotted, as a circular icon with slanted lines will appear next to the captured content. There is, however, more than one way to avoid this icon from showing up, and the easiest way to take a screenshot discreetly is by logging into Instagram’s browser version.
Instagram users who are concerned about their privacy — and specifically about their most sensitive messages being captured for later use — should keep in mind that screenshot notifications can always be bypassed. Not sending sensitive messages is the only guaranteed way to prevent them from being shared.
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