How to Use Instagram on a PC or Mac

Instagram workarounds and ways to upload photos from your desktop

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

What to Know

  • Log in to Instagram.com, click +, upload a photo or video, edit, and click Share
  • The Instagram for Windows desktop app works the same as the web version. 

This article explains how to use Instagram on a PC or Mac desktop.

To access your Instagram page on the web, go to the address bar in the browser, then enter http://instagram.com/username.

How to Post to Instagram on a Desktop

You can access Instagram on your PC or Mac using a web browser to review your feed, like and comment on posts, view your profile, and follow or unfollow people. Instagram also recently added the ability to send and receive direct messages. You can also post photos or videos.

  1. Go to Instagram.com and log in.

  2. Click the Create New Post (+) button in the upper-right corner of the page.

    Create Post button on Instagram in web browser.
  3. Drag an image or video file to the Create New Post window that appears. Alternatively, click Select from computer, navigate to the file you want to post, and select Open. The photo or video appears in the window.

    Create new post window on Instagram in web browser.
  4. Click the magnifying glass in the lower-left corner of the window to zoom in on the image if you want to crop it. Then, drag it to the desired position in the window.

    Magnifying glass icon to crop images on Instagram in a web browser.
  5. Select the double-arrow icon to select a specific aspect ratio for the post.

    Change aspect ratio button on Instagram in web browser
  6. If you want to add more images, click the Multiple photos button in the lower-right corner, click the plus sign (+) that appears, and add up to nine more pictures or videos.

    Add more photos button on Instagram in web browser.
  7. Click Next to continue.

    Next button on Create post window on Instagram in web browser.
  8. On the Filters tab, select a filter to apply, if desired. On the Adjustments tab, adjust aspects such as brightness, contrast, and saturation. Click Next to continue.

    Filters on Instagram in a web browser
  9. Add a caption, tag someone, and add hashtags, if desired. Click Share when you are ready to share the post.

    Share button on Instagram in browser window

Use the Instagram for Windows Desktop App

The Instagram for Windows desktop app works the same as the web version. You can post photos or videos, view posts, like and comment, and follow and unfollow users. Instagram for Windows doesn't work with older PCs or Macs, though.

Instagram for Windows requires Windows 10 version 10586.0 or higher and 2 GB of RAM. Additionally, a Microsoft account is needed to download Instagram for Windows.

Instagram Windows app

Workarounds for Older Computers

If you want to post photos and videos to Instagram from your desktop and you have a Mac or older PC that can't run the Instagram for Windows app, there are some workarounds.

BlueStacks

BlueStacks is a free Android phone emulator. It emulates the Android version of Instagram on a PC or Mac, making it possible to upload photos to Instagram.

An emulator is a software program that simulates a mobile phone operating system (or another type of operating system) on a computer.

Install BlueStacks, then download Instagram. Sign in to your Instagram account, and your Instagram feed appears as it does on a phone.

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

Flume

Flume is a Mac-only Instagram app that allows you to upload photos, post to Instagram from a Mac, edit photos, and more. It also 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 want to post on Instagram, a low-tech solution is to email yourself the picture, access that picture from your phone, then post it to Instagram.

Dropbox

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

Pixlr

Pixlr isn't a desktop Instagram workaround. Instead, it's a photo app with features similar to Instagram. Pixlr calls itself a "next-generation online photo editor."

The Pixlr home page.
Was this page helpful?