How to Use Instagram on a PC or Mac

Instagram workarounds and ways to upload photos from your desktop

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The free, popular Instagram social networking app makes it easy to take, share and edit images on mobile devices. Its filters add unique and often stunning effects to photos.

But can you use Instagram on a desktop PC or Mac computer?

Instagram on a Desktop

Access Instagram on your PC or Mac via a web browser to review your feed, like and comment on posts, view your profile, and follow or unfollow people. You can't, however, post photos or videos.

Access your Instagram page directly on the web by entering http://instagram.com/username.

Instagram for Windows Desktop App

With the Instagram for Windows desktop app, post photos and videos directly from your desktop. This is an advantage for users who want to take photos with higher-quality digital cameras and upload them to Instagram, where they can enhance images with filters and special effects. Instagram for Windows, however, doesn't work with older PCs or Macs.

Instagram for Windows requires Windows 10 version 10240.0 or higher and 2GB of RAM. A Microsoft account is needed to download Instagram for Windows.

Screenshots of the Instagram App for PC in the WIndows store, and installed.

Workarounds for Instagram on Older PCs and Macs

If users want to post photos and videos to Instagram from their desktops but have a Mac or older PC that can't run Instagram for Windows, there are some workarounds.

BlueStacks

BlueStacks is a free Android phone emulator, which is a special software program designed to simulate a mobile phone operating system on your computer. It will emulate the Android version of Instagram on your PC or Mac, enabling you to upload photos to Instagram.

Install BlueStacks and then search for and download Instagram via the BlueStacks search interface. Sign in to your Instagram account, and your Instagram feed appears as it would on a phone.

Screenshot of the BlueStacks emulators download page, showing a screen from the app.

Flume

Flume is a Mac-only native Instagram app that allows users to upload photos, post to Instagram from their Macs, edit photos, and much more. It even includes some "power user" functions the mobile Instagram app doesn't offer, such as hover shortcuts and ways to promote your brand.

Email

If there's a photo on your desktop computer you really want to post on Instagram, a very low-tech solution is to email yourself the picture, access that picture from your phone, and then post the photo to Instagram.

Dropbox

Use Dropbox, the free cloud-based storage app, to share photos on your desktop computer to your mobile device, and then access them for Instagram.

Instagram for PC

Instagram for PC is a desktop app that emulates Instagram on your Windows PC. The app requires Microsoft .NET framework.

Screenshot of the Instagram for PC website.

Pixlr and Polaroid.net

Pixlr and Polaroid.net aren't desktop Instagram workarounds; rather, they are photo apps that have features similar to Instagram. Pixlr calls itself a "next-generation online photo editor," while Polaroid.net creates Polaroid-like pictures from your digital images.

Screenshot of the Pixlr home page.