Instagram is first and foremost designed as a mobile app.
But that doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe you like to edit your photos in something like Lightroom first. Maybe you want to upload photos or videos taken on a camera that’s not your phone. Or maybe you just don’t like typing long captions on your phone and would prefer to use a real keyboard.
Sure, you can email the photos from your computer to your phone, save them on your phone, and then upload them through the official Instagram app. But that’s pretty cumbersome and tedious.
But other options do exist that might work better for some Instagram users, whether you’re using it for social media marketing or sharing photos privately with friends and family.
After years of making it harder than it should be to post on Instagram from a desktop or laptop computer, in late-2021 a new option was enabled on the Instagram.com desktop website to post directly on Instagram from a computer’s web browser.
So you no longer need to use the tricks such as browser plugins or spoofing user agents to circumvent the old restriction. Because of that, I’ve updated this post to reflect the new method.
But if you prefer the old ways to do it, those will also still work, and some of them include features that aren’t currently available on the Instagram.com website. I have guides on some of those alternative methods:
- How to Post on Instagram with a Web Browser by Spoofing the User Agent
- How to Post on Instagram from Mac
- How to Post on Instagram from Mac with Uplet
But here’s an overview of the new functionality for how to post to Instagram from a PC or Mac’s web browser.
How to Post on Instagram from Computer’s Web Browser
Instagram has quietly added a new button to their website. And that new button makes all the difference for what we want to do here: post on Instagram from a desktop or laptop computer rather than a mobile app.
After you log into your account through a web browser, you should see a new + button in the toolbar. (And to be clear, this is just the standard web browser window without resorting to spoofing a mobile user-agent.)
It looks like this:
You’ll then get the magic words:
And, thankfully, they’ve implemented this properly, with the usual feature set.
For example, you can upload multiple photos at once. In this case, I’ve uploaded a series of 10 images for a single post. You can see the left/right arrows on either side, the multi-image icon at bottom right.
You can select the display crop:
You can apply filters:
And make image adjustments:
You can add a caption, tag (click within the image), specify a location, add accessibility ALT information for photos, and turn off comments.
And you’re done!
I like the simplicity of this new method better than the old methods. And I can see myself sharing more photos on Instagram now that there’s less friction going from the photos on my computer to Instagram posts.
What You Can’t Do
There’s no facility to schedule posting. For that, it seems you’ll still need to use one of the social media management services that allow you to schedule posts on Instagram.
If the Post Button Isn’t Showing Up
- This is a new feature. It’s might be rolling out to accounts gradually. Facebook/Instagram don’t publish how they determine the order of rollouts of things like this.
- Try clearing your browser cache then closing and re-opening your browser.
Things Worth Knowing
This method works on PC and Mac desktops and laptops.
I haven’t tested this yet on a wide range of browsers, but it’s working for me on Chrome, Brave, Safari, and Firefox.
Is there an official Instagram desktop app?
No, there’s no official Instagram desktop app. There are some third-party apps that can interact in various ways with the Instagram service, but none of them has the full feature set of the Instagram mobile app.
Is there an official Instagram iPad/tablet app?
No, there’s no official iPad or tablet app for Instagram. You *can* use the mobile app, but it’s not optimized for tablet use and will be low resolution and only in vertical/portrait orientation.
107 thoughts on “How to Post on Instagram from PC or Mac”
It would appear that Instagram has finally cracked. I just went into it on my laptop as usual, and the ‘+’ icon had appeared, along with a pop-up message to the effect that I could now load photos direct from my laptop. Just tried it, and it works. Not sure if it allows multiple pictures in a post, but the option to apply a filter is there.
Ha! You’re right! Just took a look, and it’s appeared there now for me too. Great news–thanks for the tip! I’ll experiment with it to see what you can and can’t do with it and update above.
Lots of good information in this article, thanks for sharing. I had posed the question through Instagram over a year ago and was informed that only mobile pics could be uploaded. I found that restrictive. I am glad that there have been a few options open up for those of us who use DSLRs for their real pics. The quality of pictures taken on the mobile devices has gotten so much better over the recent years (recent models). I find that I use my mobile to get “quick pics” like the polaroid shots of a few decades ago. This helps me create ideas in my mind, ideas that get shot with my DSLR. If the idea ends up being a video, then it would get posted on YouTube. As for my individual pics, they get posted on another site.
I realize that Instagram is really popular for some but not for me. I will keep checking in,. I hope that the process for computer-to-instagram posting gets smoothed out.
Yes, it’s always been possible. Many of the biggest Instagram accounts—think National Geographic or the Department of Interior—are not posting photos taken with mobile phones. In many cases, they’re posting images that were scanned from film or prints. But it’s never been as easy as it could be, particularly if you’re not using a social media managing service like they do.
Thanks for your follow-up, David. I appreciate it.
Really amazing article, Thanks. My question is – which laptop is the best for video editing?
Good question, but I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer. I haven’t been keeping up with the latest laptops on the market and their capabilities. A place I often start for recommendations are the roundups at B&H Photo and NextEgg. I also find Verge helpful, but they tend to have more specific reviews of individual models.
I am an excellent artist, designer, and writer, but when it comes to tech I am the General of the Luddites.
I am desperate to use Instagram, but not by mobile phone, too much private paperwork on there. The problem I find with the tips and tutorials is that they are too fast, drop quickly in IT speak, as though all viewers and readers know just what a toggle device toolbar is, and at that point, it starts talking about chrome, like that was essential to use, but no initial mention of this. The Inspector view I got, but it does nothing. I am proepared to pay someone to teach me this, in plain English so I can get it. Can you help.
Unfortunately, none of the mentionned ways work now… i’ve tried all the free tricks, apps and so on, and no one is working.
Trick from the browser to set it as a mobile doesn’t work anymore
Bluestack works… if we are ready to wait 10 to 15 minutes for each upload
The Instagram official app doesn’t let you upload anything
Desktop for instagram doesn’t let you upload aswell
Same problem with user agent
The browser trick is working for me on Chrome/Mac. I tried it again just now and working as expected.
No mention of Lately Social? Great app but does not allow tagging etc.
I’m glad it’s not just me! The way I find easiest is to upload my images to Flickr. once that’s done, I open the Flickr app on my phone & it allows you to share the image to Instagram. I’ve noticed that sometimes the images aren’t sharp when uploaded.
how do I upload an image from my Mac to Flickr on my phone?
I was about to look for some simulation software, but this post comes to help. Thanks
You can use Blisk browser, it has a freemium model.
Thanks for the tip. I wasn’t familiar with Blisk, but it looks like a handy tool for web development.
For others: Blisk is a web browser with a heavy emphasis on developer tools. The part that’s relevant here is that it has built-in features that let you quickly view a website as it would appear in a whole range of other devices and browsers. That is, it features user-agent switching prominently and makes it easy to do. (User-agent switching is one of the methods for posting to Instagram that I outline on this page.) You can also do that in most other web browsers, as detailed above–Blisk just has a much more polished way of doing it.
Why can’t you make Instagram interface with a PC. Anybody who is serious about photography does not want to use unedited snapshots from a cellphone. I agree with Noel and others and find using Instagram very cumbersome. My usage of it has been minimal because of this
Well, they could do it. There’s no technical reason they couldn’t do it. But they’ve chosen not to.
The option to share photos directly to Insta from a laptop / desktop vanished when FB took over Insta, and I suspect the reason is that FB wants our phone numbers (and other information).
A few months ago I downloaded the free, open-source “Windowed” which worked at the time… I haven’t used it since, and tonight when I tried to use it to upload to Insta, it’s no longer working. I can’t find anything about that online (I found this page while searching!), so I emailed the guy who created it (his email is on the Windowed website) and am waiting for a response. I’m guessing Insta has blocked Windowed.
I’m totally bemused here!
Instagram is fundamentally (or at least I thought it was when I opened an account yesterday) for photo sharing/viewing/commenting?? i.e. I assumed, as would any half-sensible person, that you could simply upload images from your PC (Why would Instagram care whether they originate from your desktop or cellphone?)
So yeah, I open Instagram up – and am immediately confronted by hundreds of photographs in which I have no interest whatsoever – they’re not mine and not even particularly interesting – simply cluttering up the screen. I want to see MY photos there (just in MY account)_- that’s it!
No matter – I shrug my shoulders and look for the photo-uploader….nothing but four meaningless symbols up there…you even have to click them to see what they are – options irrelevant to anyone wanting to upload pictures. No “Help” tab, no instructions for anything anywhere….obviously a billion plus people globally don’t care!
I have to fall back on Google to find HOW to upload photos from a PC, Basically you can’t, without inordinate trouble and complications. I have still to find instructions how to upload even from a mobile device – which I rarely use either and since 95% of my photos are on my PC it’s hardly relevant anyway.
Maybe a stupid question but why does Instagram not have its own photo-uploader that hundreds of other sites manage to offer (not of Instagram’s ilk and purpose admittedly) It would have made life so much easier…but of course that isn’t the way of things in 2020 is it?
Yes, Instagram is fundamentally a different kind of beast than, say, Flickr. It’s designed first for sharing photos taken on your phone from your phone.
Yeah, same problem with me, Noel. Not everyone is phone crazy!
Plus, it never used to be that way, you used to be able to just download what you wanted.
I agree with Noel Bailey’s comments. I don’t use my mobile for serious pictures. I use my DSLR camera. I would like to post pics from my computer files to Instagram however the process does accommodate that. I was able to post a picture but , in the upload, the top was cropped. It took quite the exercise to delete that pic.
I have chosen certain guitar related accounts to follow which is fine. As far as posting my pic, I am not enthusiastic at all about Instagram any more. I get better satisfaction out of other sites.
When I first was on Insta, you could upload from computer. I could upload for my profile pic, but nothing else. Weird. I don’t understand why they disabled that feature. I have an old phone and don’t want every app under the planet on it, and sharing my info with the entire cyber world.
Buy a 3rd party app. Thanks. Just say that from the beginning…
I bought a 3rd party app – Flume.
It no longer works and three months on, there is no response to requests for technical support.
Presumably this great little app was banjaxed by Facebook’s World Domination Gremlins @Instagram, and the developer has had to abandon it. It’s now no longer on the app store. Nice while it lasted though
Follow this and u can post on Instagram through your PC or Laptop.
What kind of sense does it make that something works only with a phone? You can’t even see the tiny pictures. Of course I have a rule against paying for applets so I’m speaking of free software only. If it really works there’s no reason for a price tag because you’re only paying for future support, or in some case paying for ads and spam.
Thanks – a really useful article.
I paid for Flume Pro last year.
It worked great until about three months ago, now just freezes at 80% of upload.
I’ve contacted their tech support twice but have heard nothing.
I guess Instagram is now blocking it?
Seems wrong that they are still advertising and taking money for it…
I’m facing to the exact problem! Is a great tool but no update/no support since 4 months now :(
Flume stopped working and I’m angry at them for not updating it. I want my money back for the license.
Thanks for the tip. I haven’t tried that one but will check it out.
Thanks for the great information. I’d like to suggest one more alternative – inssist. A little Chrome extensions that allows posting photos & videos from your PC directly to Instagram without needing to use your phone.
I honestly believe it’s quite helpful tool and it’s free!
You are a star!!! I just downloaded the Chrome extension, and it works exactly like Instagram mobile app… I love that all basic features are free forever, however to schedule, analyse, get insights & multi-accounts features then you’ll need to upgrade to PRO… which humble me doesn’t really need. Thanks once again.
Your link to Uplet on the Apple App Store no longer works, as in, the app appears to be no longer available on the App Store. I have downloaded it directly from https://mac.eltima.com/ and it seems to work as you advertised — no real features beyond drag-and-drop and image (the Open… menu command probably works, too), type a caption, and click whatever the “post” button is. (I don’t recall what that button is called or labeled because, thankfully, they give you 5 free postings before you need to drop $19.95 (+ VAT in some countries). They have a family pack (five users) and a business license, plus for an extra $9.95 you can get lifetime upgrades. I’ll choose my 5 (now 4) postings carefully and, if it continues to work, spring for it.
Update on Uplet: I purchased a single-user license for Uplet ($19.95 in the U.S.) and have been posting, pretty much, one image a day. It works well, no problems, easy to use.
So, at least one person’s experience.
Thanks for sharing your experience with it.
Desktop for Instagram worked like a charm for me until a couple days ago (March 2020). Now it’s sending me on a repeated loop of “sign in” requests where I can’t upload anything from my laptop. I’ve cleared my “all time” cookies & cache to no avail. Ugh. Such a bummer. Was great while it lasted though!
Yep, same here. Good to see that in the current situation Facebook has nothing better to do than stop people using its stuff! As you say, it was good while it lasted.
Great. I am running a 15+ year old desktop with ubuntu linux. I don’t have or want a smart phone (my flip phone is fine). I guess I won’t be able to list my teespring store on instagram. :(
It has been a while since I used Linux, but the method above for spoofing the user agent should work in Firefox for Linux and other browsers. It won’t give you the full functionality of the dedicated mobile app, but it might have enough to cover the basics. Another option is to use one of the social media managers like Hootsuite, Sendible, or Buffer. They’re often paid services–at least, to get full functionality–but you can use them through a web browser without the need to install anything.
You can get a hand-me-down smart phone (android) and not a plan. As long as the operating system is new enough, login to your wifi and use that for internet access on the phone to download Instagram, then move photos from linux (desktop) to the quasi phone and upload. It’s an extra step but a way for me to still carry a dumb phone, keep my Linux desktop and have an instagram for my business.
DO NOT buy Flume, their carrousel posts have not worked for months and after several attempts to support, no one answers. They continue to advertise their features which don’t work. I consider this false advertisement. Only postings of single pictures work. Thats it
Thanks for the tip. I haven’t used it for a while, but you’re now the second person who has raised issues with it, so I’m going to add a note to the top of this post.
I purchased Flume Pro after reading your post and it worked beautifully until it didn’t. I was using it mainly for single photo posts, did a carousel post that worked, did single posts then tried to do another carousel post which it wouldn’t do. I tried resetting Flume, uninstalling it then reinstalling, etc, etc,. Now it won’t open at all. When I try to login, a white window flies open then shuts quickly. Have you experienced this or heard of it? Is there a fix? I’m on a MacBook Pro OSX 10.13.6. Thanks fo any help you might be able to share. Best, Greg
Tried Bluestacks. Total fail.
Desktop for Instagram worked like a charm on my PC – it was very quick to install and easy to use. Thank you so much for this information!
Thank you for this, very helpful. Suggestions I’d come across elsewhere had no effect whatsoever, but I installed Desktop for Instagram and it did the trick.
Glad it’s helpful!
The extension Instagram from desktop is working. ;)
Desktop for Instagram on Chrome seems to have been updated to ‘Desktopify’ (with a green icon instead of the former pink one). No idea why, but it works, and that’s all that I’m concerned about!
Why does Instagram go out of their way to stop you from uploading from your computer? Especially when it’s so easy to circumvent. That doesn’t make sense. Why is nobody asking this question? Why is nobody answering it? surely I can’t be the only one who notices this makes no sense from a business standpoint. Does Instagram just hate money?
Up until a month ago or so I was able to choose from a number of places to upload, such as Facebook, which I don’t use, when i went to Share. Now the App logo no longer appears. It used to be so simple! What happened?
You can also use the User-Agent extension on Google Chrome and choose mobile browser mode that, at least let you upload photos, not vids.
I am really far behind on technology. I need a class for posting on instagram.
I just want to thank you for posting this. I have an ipad that I used to use, but unfortunately it broke to the point I can no longer use it, so I’ve been searching for a way to post using a laptop for almost 2 years now. So thank you so much!!
i have Instagram installed on my android phone and it works fine. I also have instagram on my laptop it worked fine UNTIL a couple of days ago. Now I am not able to like or post a comment. What happened? I use the laptop when I am at home on wifi bc i like the larger screen. Plus I do not have unlimited data on my phone.
How can I use instagram on my laptop they way it was with the ability to like and post comments?
Thank you for your time and any suggestions you can offer.
Enjoy your day!
Have you tried clearing your cookies and cache?
Thanks a lot.
Desktop for Instagram worked for me.
Now I am really happy.
Hey, I would like to know how to get extra likes on my instagram pictures.
I am looking for a no crop app to use on my PC and post on Instagram.
Sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean by a no crop app. If you mean one that preserves the full aspect ratio rather than forcing a square, most of these options have that available now.
I am looking to upload the full image on Instagram from my PC. On my phone I use the No crop app or the Square Quick app. I am looking for such app on my PC
That functionality is built in to Instagram itself now–you don’t need a separate app to upload and display non-square images. You can toggle as part of the upload process using the button at the bottom left–it’s available on both the regular Instagram app and if you use the user agent spoofing method described above from a PC browser. Other PC apps above also have that same functionality built in one way or another as an option when you upload. More info here.
Thanks a lot!
Thanks so much. The chrome extension works great.
Thank you for this info. Now i can use instagram on my laptop well.
If Chrome’s Developer/Mobile view method doesn’t immediately work, try setting it’s view to “iPhone 6/7/8” and refresh your browser. Maybe that’ll help, if your PC has a lot of Admin restrictions (e.g., at work). I always try to avoid downloading unnecessary stuff whenever possible as a matter of principle (i.e., security).
Thanks for the information.
This was so helpful, thank you
I tried all the methods listed for PC and none worked. This article is useless.
Did you try the Desktop for Instagram browser plugin for Chrome?
Thanks this finally worked. Desktop for Instagram extension.
Only concern is that the browser reports it is Not Secure. Not sure what to do about that.
can u just tell me how to post on ig using a pc
Forbes put out an article. SUPER easy to follow. 4 steps. NO FILTERS – but, again – super easy – no downloads.
Here is the article. Im not a russian hacker or nigerian king looking to send you to an adult site – hahaha Just trying to help.
That’s the same user agent spoofing technique mentioned above and covered in detail here. Some users haven’t found it to work all the time, and there are some limitations on posting because it uses Instagram’s mobile website rather than the app itself.
I tried the Forbes steps and they didn’t work. There is no tablet icon.
i still dont get it though. how is it possible that i cant upload my pictures with ma laptop. Geez! i havent seen worse.. i cant even upload my videos as well. why is it like this?
The Desktop for Instagram Chrome extension (plug in) still exists and works BEAUTIFULLY!!!!
I can’t find that one.
Thanks, sir. It works for me.
do you know where to get it?
Yes I just tried it and it does.
Can u just tell me how to fcking post on insta w/ a mac
Using a web browser or the Flume or Uplet apps are good places to start.
Chrome browser/open more tools/open developer tools/type instagram in url bar, add photos and tags…..works!!!
Worked for me. I take photos with a DSLR camera to share. Thanks!
Where is the URL bar once you’ve opened Developer Tools?
You just type it into your URL bar. How do you “add photos and tags”? I don’t see an option for that. Should I?
Thank you, for the useful information
This just reeks tracking in its finest:
“… Instagram very strongly encourages users to upload images from their mobile devices…”
BTW, really great, well-written post.
Why TF is Instagram so popular? It seems almost useless. #1 for this reason that you can’t use your computer with it. That is a limitation! Why would people move from Facebook, which does the same things and more to Instagram which is a stripped down version of Facebook??? Also, unless I am mistaken, I am now discovering that you can’t put links in IG posts either so you can’t even promote your business!!! What is the point of Instagram????
Man, I believe the point is: people seek for new social apps/sites to try to run away from their old and not so close friends and family (these social circles are, at least for me, veeeeery boring and complicated to accept our “real life”)
Most of people dont want to create fake profiles in FB, e.g, cause their would feel like “cheating”, “being corrupt”.
So they run away, first teens and early adults, to another app that most of people still dont use or dont know how to use.
See the structure of instagram: your dont have real names, you can use whatever nick you want, change it whenever you like… it’s very “liquid”, you know?
Less garbage filling up your feed, and its more easily consumable. Go from video to photo with half a screen swipe. Our generation prefers the stripped down version without the cumbersome complications.
You can put links in your bio, and you can pay to promote a post which allows you to link to outside websites
i agree lol
Thanks for the tips.
But the truth is the Instagram engineers are smart/young/clueless to think that people only use their phones for everything.
That’ s the point!
No, actually people DO use their phones more now, even older people. A very small minority uses computers for everything nowadays, most use the phone mostly or even exclusively.
Would someone please comment on this:
When I go to install Desktop for Instagram on chrome browser it requires me to agree to this:
“[App can] READ AND CHANGE ALL YOUR DATA ON THE WEBSITES YOU VISIT””
WHAT??! Isn’t this a major security breach?
Hi David, thanks so much, this was a very helpful article! We’re going to try out Deskgram…
Hi David, I’m Max, we are building Storrito.com to create, post and schedule Instagram stories via a desktop computer. We also solved the hard parts like adding Instagram’s story hashtags, usertags and geotags. The normal Instagram feed posts described in your article will be supported soon. I would love to get feedback, if you find Storrito useful to share your beautiful photos as Instagram story. Best regards, Max
Max, this sounds great. Will there be a free version as well?
Yes, we offer 10 story posts each month for free.