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Can You See Your Recently Watched Reels on Instagram? (It Depends!)

Opening 'Your Activity' on Instagram.

Key Takeaways

  • Instagram doesn’t have a built-in feature to view recently watched Reels, but some workarounds make this possible.
  • You can find the lost Reel from your feed if you haven’t closed the app yet, locate it in the history of your interactions, manually search for the account that posted it, or look for the Reel itself with the help of a caption, tag, and audio track.
  • If nothing works, you can download your Instagram account information, which includes details about the Reel you’re looking for.

Have you watched a cool Instagram Reel recently that you’re eager to watch again? Locating recently watched Reels on Instagram isn’t as straightforward as one might expect, and finding them hinges on several factors. This guide covers everything you need to know about this.

Can You Check Your Recently Watched Reels on Instagram?

Let’s clarify this upfront: Instagram doesn’t have a built-in feature that allows you to rewatch recently viewed Reels. So, there’s no direct way to find them on the Instagram mobile app or website. Nonetheless, you can use some workarounds to see the Reels that you have recently viewed, each with some limitations. Let’s delve into the options you have.

Check the Instagram Reel From Your Reel’s Feed

Instagram doesn’t refresh the Reels’ feed until you close the app or sign out of your account. If you haven’t done either since watching the Reel you want to rewatch, you can easily find it in the Reels’ feed. Simply tap on the Reel icon at the bottom and scroll upward a few Reels. You’ll likely find the one you want to rewatch.

If you don’t see the same Reels you watched earlier in the feed, it’s likely because you’ve closed the app, causing Instagram to refresh it. So, explore the other available options that you have.

Find the Instagram Reel in Your Interactions History

If you remember liking or commenting on the Reel you’re trying to watch again, you can find it in the history of your interactions. This is where Instagram maintains a record of your recent interactions, including likes, comments, tags, sticker responses, and more, for posts and Reels you’ve engaged with.

To check your activity, tap on the profile icon in the bottom-right corner, tap on the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner, and go to “Your Activity.”

Within this section, explore each interaction type to view the Reels you’ve engaged with and see if you’re fortunate enough to find the Reel you want to rewatch.

Exploring the interactions history in Instagram.

If it’s not here, you probably didn’t interact with it when you first watched it. So, move on to the next option.

Find the Instagram Account That Posted the Reel

If you remember the username (or part of it) of the account that posted the Reel you want to rewatch, you may be able to find it on their page. Tap on the magnifying glass icon, enter the username you recall, and check if you can find the account in the suggested search results. If successful, navigate to the Reels posted by that account, and you should see the Reel you want to rewatch there.

Searching for an account by searching by a keyword on Instagram.

If you don’t find it through a search, see if you’re following that account. Tap on the profile icon in the bottom right corner, tap “Following” next to your profile icon, and browse the list. Maybe a name will ring a bell.

Opening the list of accounts I have been following on Instagram.

Manually Search for the Reel

If you recall the caption, the music used, or the tags inserted in the Reel, you may be able to locate it using the Instagram search feature. Tap on the magnifying glass icon, enter the keyword(s) you remember from the tag, caption, or music, and perform the search.

Then, navigate to the “Audio” tab, choose the relevant song, and you’ll find recently posted Reels using that song. Check if you can find your Reel among them.

Searching for a reel using the <a href=audio track it was using on Instagram.” style=”display:block;height:auto;max-width:100%;” src=”https://static1.howtogeekimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6-searching-for-a-reel-using-the-audio-track-it-was-using-on-instagram.jpg”/>

If unsuccessful, go to the “Tags” and “Reels” tabs to find the Reel with the relevant tag or the one containing the keyword in its caption.

Exploring different tags to locate a specific reel on Instagram.

If none of these approaches are successful, brainstorm all the details you remember about that Reel and try searching for it in any browser using those details.

Download Your Instagram Account Data

Instagram allows users to download their account data, which includes details about the Reels they have watched, mainly the account name and the time the Reel was watched. With this data, you can locate the Reel you’re searching for. However, note that Instagram can take up to 30 days to make the data available for download. If you are patient enough to wait, you can request the download.

In our case, Instagram only took a few hours to make the download link available. Therefore, keep an eye on the incoming emails.

To request the Instagram account data, go to the Instagram website and click on “More” in the bottom-left corner. Then, select “Your Activity,” navigate to the “Download Your Information” tab, and click “Continue.” This will redirect you to the Accounts Center.

Opening the Meta Action Center to download the Instagram account data.

Click on “Request a Download,” followed by “Complete Copy.” Specify the date range during which you watched the Reel, provide your email for Instagram to contact you, and then click “Submit Request.”

Requesting a download of the Instagram account data on the Instagram website.

Instagram will notify you via email when your data is available, and you can check this section later to download the requested information.

To request the data through the Instagram app, tap on the profile icon in the bottom-right corner, tap on the three horizontal lines in the top-rightcorner, and go to “Your Activity.” Here, scroll down and tap on “Download Your Information.”

Requesting Instagram to download our account information through the Instagram smartphone app.

Then, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Once Instagram sends you the data, visit the same Instagram page (accessible through the link in the email) and download it. After downloading the data, open the “ads_information folder,” navigate to the “ads_and_topics” folder, and open the “videos_watched” HTML file.

Opening the Video_watched HTML file from the Instgram account <a href=data to find a reel.” style=”display:block;height:auto;max-width:100%;” src=”https://static1.howtogeekimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/001-opening-the-video_watch-html-file-from-the-instgram-account-data-to-find-the-reel.jpg”/>

Within this file, you’ll find a list of account names that posted the videos (including Reels) you’ve watched, along with the corresponding date and time. Explore Reels on these accounts, and you should be able to locate the specific Reel you are looking for.

002 Checking the information of the watched reels from the Instagram account data.

How to Never Lose Your Favorite Reels Again

Hopefully, the abovementioned methods have helped you find the Reel you were looking for. To ensure your favorite Reels remain easily accessible in the future, take these steps.

First, you can leave a comment or simply like the Reel. This will save the Reel in the interactions section so you can access it anytime. Alternatively, you can save a Reel so you can easily rewatch it later. Tap on the three horizontal dots at the bottom-right corner of the Reel and tap “Save.”

Saving a reel on Instagram.

Besides that, you can copy the Reel link or share the Reel with others. Tap on the three horizontal dots, and select “See Where to Share and Copy Link.”

Opening the settings to copy the reel URL or share it with others on Instagram.

Then, tap “Copy Link” and paste it somewhere safe on your device. Alternatively, you can share the Reel directly with your friend so it stays within the chat.

Downloading, sharing or copying link of a reel on Instagram.

You can also download the Reel. Just tap the “Download” button, and the Reel will be saved in your camera roll. This way, you can access it whenever you want, even without an internet connection.

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