How to see deleted Instagram posts and other content

Julia Moore
Regret having deleted a photo or video from your Instagram? Don’t worry, we will tell you how to recover deleted posts, Stories, Reels and IGTV. We’re also gonna closure on whether you can view someone’s old content.
Reading time — 12 minutes

Drafts

Look for the photo and video in Instagram drafts. There you can find old versions you didn’t like as much as those you posted. 

Drafts can be saved for:

  • Posts
  • Stories
  • Reels
  • IGTV
Stories remain in drafts for 30 days. Each of them has a displayed number of days before deleting. For all the other content there is no limit. 

Drafts are in the next tab in the content uploading menu: 

Reels and IGTV drafts can also be found on a profile page:

Make a screenshot or record if you need to save drafts on the phone. You can find more about it in the article of How to repost on Instagram.

Phone gallery

If drafts are not your case, check your phone gallery. Photos and videos from posts are saved there automatically. Stories, Reels, IGTV — only manually. The app saves both original and edited content depending on the adjustments set.

Camera 

Original photos and videos you make through Instagram app camera are saved in the Camera folder. The one where appear photos and videos that you make from your default phone camera. 

Instagram

To find old content you posted, open the gallery and look for an Instagram folder. You may have two. It’s because IG photos and videos are saved in different folders. But they both get the same name. 

If you run several accounts from one app, pics and videos from all them appear in one and the same folders.
When you make a photo or video from Instagram camera and then edit them, they are downloaded twice. The original ones are saved in Camera folder and the edited content — in one of the Instagram folders.

There are two possible reasons if you see no Instagram folder, or it’s empty. You might have cleared your phone galley recently or the feature is turned off in the settings. For starters, let’s check deleted files in your phone, and then the IG settings. 

Deleted folder

Both on Android, and iOS, by default, files get into a separate folder right after deleting from gallery.

On Android the files go to Trash. They are deleted irrevocably if you don’t remove the tick in the "Permanently delete" box.

Check the bin:

  1. Open the three dot menu in gallery.
  2. Choose Trash.

On iOS, the files go to Recently Deleted. They remain for 30 days there before being irrevocably deleted. You can look for the files there:

  1. Open the Albums tab.
  2. Go to the Recently Deleted section.

If there are no files, alas, they are permanently deleted.

Check your Instagram app settings. Photos and videos might have simply not been downloaded. 

How to check IG auto save 

Photos and videos are saved in your gallery by default. Check for if the feature has been turned off. 

  1. Open Instagram settings. 
  2. Choose Account.
  3. Go to the Original Posts.

The first button is responsible for downloading pics and videos you make through Instagram camera. Those that are saved in the Camera folder. 

The last two buttons must be active to have edited content saved. It will be uploaded to the Instagram folder in the phone gallery. 

Remember, the auto save works only for posts. 

Recently Deleted

Instagram's Recently Deleted section retains posts, Reels and Stories. You can recover deleted photos or videos during 30 days. You can see the time left under each of them. Then they will be permanently deleted.

Statistic data recovery

For most of the content, you won’t see likes, comments or views in Recently Deleted. But after the recovery, almost all these numbers are restored.

The metrics for professional accounts will also get back. But don’t forget, Instagram keeps data only for the last 90 days. It includes the time when your content is in Recently Deleted.

Posts

As for the feed content, you can see only the number of likes. But captions, tags and reactions will be displayed on your profile again after you recover deleted Instagram posts. 

Stories

If you delete a Story before the 24 hours since it’s been posted, then you’ll see views and reactions in the Recently Deleted section.

Stories are recovered in the user's feed. It can be viewed by tapping your profile picture. 24 hours to deleting are counted from the beginning. Views and reaction statistic are being collected again. 

If you added Stories to Highlights, they appear there again too. 

Relaunch the app, if the Story hasn’t appeared in Hihtlights. 

Reels

In deleted Reels, you can see only the number of likes. After you get the video back in your profile, you see them, comments and views. 

IGTV

In deleted IGTV, the author sees the number of likes and comments. But they can read them only after they recover deleted Instagram content.

Where photos and videos are recovered

Deleted content gets back to where it had been. It doesn't matter when you deleted it and get back. 

Assume, you post one photo a day in your feed. On Friday, you decided that your Tuesday’s post was a bit much, and deleted it. On Saturday, you change your mind again — the post belongs to your profile after all, and you get it back. The deleted Instagram photo will date to the day of its initial publishing, which means it’ll be shown between the Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts.

How to see and recover content

To view or recover deleted Instagram posts, Reels, IGTV or Stories:

  1. Open IG settings.
  2. Go to the Account section.
  3. Choose Recently Deleted.
  4. Tap a content.
  5. Open the three dots menu.
  6. Tap Restore, or, for Stories, tap Share.
If the content was deleted from Archive, it goes back to the Archive. More about the section below. 

Archive feature

Stories are saved in the Archive automatically after 24 hours from when they were published. Or you can achieve them earlier. Here you can also hide published posts or save Lives. The main difference from Recently Deleted is that photos and videos from Archive are not deleted after 30 days. 

Views and reactions are saved and displayed in the Archive section. Stories are an exception. The views are saved only for 48 hours from the moment of their publishing in a profile. So for automatically archived Stories, the metric is visible one day. 

How to restore photos and videos from Archive

  1. Open IG settings.
  2. Choose Archive.
  3. Tap the type of content at the top. 
  4. Choose what you need. 
  5. Open a deleted Instagram photo or video.
  6. Open the three dot menu.
  7. Choose Show on Profile. 

Recovered photos and videos always get back to their original place in the profile.

Check the Archive feature settings

Auto save in Archive is only for Stories and Lives. 

  1. Disclose the three dot menu in the Archive section.
  2. Choose Settings.

The buttons should be active to have Stories and Lives saved automatically. If they are not, tap them to turn on.

Facebook gallery

You can see deleted Instagram posts on Facebook. If your profiles are connected, the auto repost is probably already turned on. Even if it isn’t, open the profile. You might have tapped the button Share to Facebook when posted. 

Stories can be reposted only manually, and they disappear after the same 24 hours. However, if you want to view a Story you’ve just deleted, FB will be a help. 

IGTV and Reels could get to your FB profile if you reposted the preview. More about it in the article about Instagram reposts. Besides, you might have reposted IGTV when you were publishing it.

Look for your old posts or other content on the main page in your FB profile. Or go to the gallery. In the Timeline album you’ll see photos from Instagram, in the Video album — video from posts. 

Check the auto repost

Check in the IG settings for whether FB auto repost is turned on.

  1. Choose the Account section. 
  2. Navigate to the Sharing to Other Apps section.

If there is a tick near Facebook, the content duplicates to Facebook. 

Google Photo

Google Photo service is available both on Android and iOS. If default settings haven’t been changed, the photo and video are uploaded to the virtual drive automatically. There you can find both the original and edited files. Just open the app and you get to the Photo tab. 

You can check or change the settings in the profile. 

  1. Open the menu on the left. 
  2. Open the settings. 
  3. Choose Back up & sync.
  4. Make the button active. 
  5. You can also choose folders which you want to be uploaded to Google Photo automatically. 

Can you view someone's old Instagram photos and videos?

Unfortunately, and fortunately at the same time, one can’t see someone’s old posts and other content using IG tools.

Developers from the Internet provide answers to any question. Including solutions for people who can’t live without others’ deleted Instagram photos. But we don’t recommend using third-party apps and services.

We checked the apps from top search result for you. All of them are not safe, and many of them are paid. 

But before you get too upset, we suggest you checking a user’s FB and other social media platforms. They may post there even more than on Instagram. Read here how to find a user in social media.

The bottom line

If you want to see deleted Instagram posts, look for them in the phone gallery. You might have also saved Stories, Reels, IGTV there. 

Content deleted for the past month can be found in IG Recently Deleted. Look for the earlier content in Archive. 

Photos and videos are often automatically uploaded to a virtual drive. Try to find them in Google Photo. 

If you can’t find old Instagram pictures and videos in Instagram app or your phone, check other social media platforms. First of all Facebook. 

We recommend you to download your Instagram account data now and then. Thus you can quickly get back deleted posts, Stories and other content. 

You can view someone’s old Instagram photos and videos only if they are in other social media profiles. 

Let’s discuss in the comments what is the best way to recover deleted Instagram photo and video?