Unlock the Mystery: What Does The Lock Mean On Snapchat Story?

| Updated on April 30, 2024 |
Fact checked by Manpreet Kaur Sandhu

While browsing through Snapchat, you might have encountered a purple lock icon on a few stories. Your curiosity has enticed you to search, What does the lock mean on Snapchat? So, to lessen your inquisitiveness, this Snapchat guide will disclose the Snapchat lock icon mystery.  


Quick Answer:

Lock on Snap Stories means they are private, and if you see them, it means the user has added you to their custom pirate story viewers list. 

What Does a Lock on Snapchat Mean?

You might not know, but, Snapchat was the first among the social media platforms to introduce the story feature in 2014. In recent updates, it has launched its new private story purple icon, which has left Snapchatters in confusion. But as we have mentioned above, the lock on Snapchat appears on private stories only. 

A private story means that the content posted is restricted to be viewed by some users only. Therefore, before posting a private story, the user has to pick the selected viewers for it. So, if you see a story encircled in purple with a purple lock, it means you’re among the selected users.

On the other hand, the purple circle without the lock means that the user has added a story that hasn’t been viewed yet. From now on, if you see the purple encircled stories specifically, don’t get confused about it with a private story. 

Hence, the aforementioned situations work the same for both free and Snapchat premium members. 


Creating a private story, won’t notify the users you haven’t selected from the list. It will only notify users who are on your close friend list.

How Does the Private Story Work on Snapchat? 

A private story involves creating a list to which you will add the selected close friends. After creating it, the section will reflect under  “My Stories”. 

Hence, the private story will appear mixed with your normal My Story section and the restricted users will not get notified about it. The Snapchat interface has not created any different segments or sections to view private stories yet, but we can expect this in future updates. 

How to Create a Private Story on Snapchat? 

Regardless of whether you are posting a private or normal story, it will disappear within 24 hours, as per the limits. One more thing to add, the platform alerts users if someone tries to take screenshots on Snapchat’s private story.

Now, to know how to create a private story, follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • Tap on your Bitmoji located in the top left corner
    Tap on your Bitmojies
  • Besides My Stories, tap on + New Story
    Tap on add New Story
  • Select New Private Story from the list of options. 
    Select New Private Story
  • Check the circle for the Friends with whom you want to share the private story.
    Check the circle for the friends
  • Tap on Create Story
    Tap on Create Story
  • Rename your Story.
    Rename the story
  • Now you will see the New private story (for instance, Gossip!) section added to the list of My Stories
    Section added to the list of My stories


According to Snapchat, you are allowed to create up to 20 private and shared stories at a time. 

  • Tap on the section, and you can share the stories from different sections – Snaps, Camera Roll, or directly by the Camera itself.
    Add story from Snaps Camera Roll and Camera
  • Craft the story and tap on the arrow (▶️) located at the bottom of the screen to share it. 
    Tap on the arrow icon


When creating private Snapchat stories, you have to remember that private story viewers can also take screenshots or screen record your content, so don’t share anything you don’t want others to save.

Conclusion: Lock Mystery Solved 

In the realm of social media, expecting weird symbols and slang is not a new thing, and Snapchat remains the talk of the town for this. Now that you know what the lock means on Snapchat, you can now relate its existence on the platform.

So if you see numerous Snapchat lock icons on the stories thread, then you should feel honored and lucky that your friends want you to see their private and close moments. 


What does the purple lock mean on Snapchat?

The purple lock on the SC story means that the user has added a private story.

What Does The Lock Symbol Mean On Snapchat?

The lock symbol on SC means that the story is private and is restricted to limited viewers.

What’s the difference between blue and purple stories on Snapchat?

The blue circled stories mean that it is your friend’s story, and the purple circled stories mean that the stories are either public or added by users who are not on your friend list.

For how long does Snapchat keep your snaps?

The platform keeps the unopened snaps for 30 days, after that, they get deleted automatically from the chat.

Muskan Saini

Social Media and Tech Expert

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