How to Delete a Story on Facebook

By design, Facebook stories are ephemeral, they self-destruct after twenty-four hours of attracting likes, comments, and views. But what if you want to remove the story before the algorithm automatically takes it to digital oblivion?

The action is super simple and intuitive, plus you get to do it as soon as the story is online, thus preventing potential embarrassment. This write-up will give you a tried and tested method to get rid of the story. And there are also other tips on how to use this disappearing feature.

Deleting a Facebook Story

This quick guide assumes that you’ve already logged into your Facebook account on a desktop or the mobile app. Speaking of which, the action is the same on computers and mobile devices. So there’s no need to include additional steps.

Note: When using Facebook on your desktop, the story might not appear right away in your Feed. If this happens, click on “See All” and select your username. There’s also a notification that you have one active Story.

Step 1

Once your Story is online, click or tap on it, and select the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner of the screen.

This action reveals a More menu and you need to choose “Delete photo” to remove the Story from the Feed. If you’ve used a video, the option will say “Delete video.”

Step 2

After you click or tap the designated option, there will be a pop-out window that will ask you to confirm your decision. Select “Delete” to confirm.

Anyway, the More menu offers many options aside from “Delete video/photo.” The “Something went wrong” feature is there to help you troubleshoot the Story.

You’re required to briefly describe the issue and maybe include a screenshot of the problem. But this should only be used when there’s something seriously wrong with the system.

For example, you can use this query if Facebook keeps failing to post your stories, both via desktop and the mobile app. The same goes for if all Stories appear black or fail to play when loaded.

Otherwise, it’s much easier to delete the story and try to post it again. With this in mind, Facebook is very quick to respond to your query and you might get to the bottom of the problem in a matter of hours.

Deleting a Story Prior to Posting

There’s no reason or option to delete a story before you post it, Facebook doesn’t keep your story as a draft. If you’re not happy with how it turned out, use the editing menu to make it look better. Or you can just tap or click the arrow left button and choose the “Discard story” option to exit to the main menu.

How to Extend the Lifecycle of a Story

Now that you know how to permanently delete a Story, it’s time to take a look at how to keep it for longer than twenty-four hours. But there is one thing you should know.

When you enable Facebook Story Archive, all your stories end up there. There’s no way to program the social network to automatically keep some Stories and ditch others. And if you decide you no longer need the Archive, all the saved Stories will be deleted.

Again, the same steps apply to desktop Facebook and the mobile app, so there’s no need for separate guides.

Step 1

If on the mobile app, tap your profile picture and select three horizontal dots next to “Add Story.” Desktop users should choose their user name and click on the three horizontal dots under the cover photo.

Step 2

Tap on “Archive” then “Story archive” on the next screen

Step 3

You will now see all the stories that you have archived. On desktop, click on “Settings” then “Turn On Story Archive”. On a mobile device, hit the three horizontal dots at the top of the screen, and then select “Settings.” From here, you can turn on the Archive.

The cool thing about this feature is that it also keeps all the reactions and comments on your Stories.

Deleting an Archived Story

This action is similar to deleting active stories. But this time you’re accessing the Archive instead of the Story feed.

So hit the three dots to enter the More menu and choose “Archive” then “Story Archive.” Now, choose the Story you’d like to remove, hit the three horizontal dots again.

Select “Delete video/photo” from the drop-down menu and confirm your choice in the pop-up window. That’s it, the Archived story is gone.

Overall, the menus to manage stories are very good and intuitive. The only thing that could be better is to pick and choose which stories to archive. Something like an option to save only the stories that have the most reactions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I share a Story with select friends on Facebook?

Yes. Unfortunately, the process isn’t as seamless as Instagram’s Story though. When you’re on the editing page, tap on the ‘Privacy’ option in the lower left-hand corner.

You can make your Story public, you can share it with friends, or you can use the ‘Custom’ option to share it with specific people.

If you only want some of your friends to see your Story, use the Privacy option to control who can see it.

What Does the Story Tell You?

Aside from the described features, you can also filter the users who are allowed to see your Story. Before you post, there’s a Privacy button to zero in on the people who’ll appreciate your post. Beware if you choose Public, anybody with Messenger or Facebook will be able to see it.

How often do you post Stories on Facebook? Are your Facebook stories different from the ones you post on Instagram? Share your preferences in the comments section below.

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