How to Save Instagram Photos

Easily save images from Instagram

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

What to Know

  • Instagram lets you download your own photos but you can't download just any user's photos.
  • You can, however, bookmark photos and videos within the app. However, these can disappear if the original user deletes the file.
  • The Save tab lets you save any post you find on Instagram.

These instructions apply to downloading Instagram photos from a computer, iOS device, or Android device.

How to Save Your Own Instagram Photos to Your Mobile Device

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If you upload an existing photo to Instagram without using any of the in-app filter or editing features to make changes, you obviously already have a copy of it on your device. But for those who snap photos directly through the app or upload existing ones with Instagram filters and editing effects applied to them, saving a copy of the finished product that gets posted can be easily and automatically done by turning on one simple setting.

  1. From your profile tab, tap the menu button at the top.

  2. Tap Settings.

    Instagram menu icon, Settings gear icon on iOS
  3. Tap Account.

    Account, Origitnal Photos, and Save Original Photos toggle to ON in iOS Instagram settings
  4. Choose Original Photos on iOS, or Original Posts on Android.

As long as this setting is turned on, all of your posts will be copied automatically as you post them into a new photo album or folder labeled "Instagram" in your mobile device's photo album app. This goes for all posts including those that you snap through the Instagram app, those that you upload from your device with no changes made to them and those that you upload from your device with filter effects and editing effects applied to them. 

How to Save Other Users’ Photos (and Videos) in the App

Instagram has a saving feature built directly into the app. While it merely allows you to bookmark the photo or video post tab and not actually download anything to your device, it's still better than nothing. Until recently, the only way you could really bookmark a photo or video from another user within the Instagram app was by liking it and then accessing your previously liked posts from the settings tab.

The two big downsides to Instagram's save feature are:

  • You need an internet connection to be able to revisit the saved post within the app
  • The saved image could potentially disappear if the user who posted it decides to delete it. Remember, using the bookmark feature is just a link to the photo — nothing gets saved to your account or your device.

On the other hand, if you want to follow the comments on a popular post, you can save the post and return to it later to read new comments, which is at least one very helpful way to use it. (Hint: there are other ways to save an Instagram video.)

How to Use Instagram's Save Tab

The Save tab appears as a little bookmark icon on every user's profile directly above the photo feed in the horizontal menu. You can't see the save tab on other users' profiles, but you can see it on your own profile while signed in. This is to ensure that only you can see what you've saved.

To save any post you find on Instagram, look for the bookmark icon in the bottom right corner, and tap it. It will be automatically added to your save tab and no notification will be sent to the user who posted it. To get to this tab, tap the menu button from your profile page, and then Saved.

Save bookmarklets on three Instagram posts

Save Other Users' Instagram Photos in a Few Other Ways

If you've ever tried to right-click and Save As on an Instagram photo on your computer, or tried to do the equivalent on a mobile device by tapping and holding down on a photo while viewing it in a mobile web browser, you probably wondered why nothing pops up.

Instagram may be fine with you saving copies of your own photos to your device or bookmarking them in the app because you own them, but it does not claim ownership of any content posted to the app, so it's up to you to get permission from other users if you want to use their content. This explains why it's so impossible to easily download just any photo.

Be aware that even though users save images all the time, it's against Instagram's terms if the owner doesn't know about it and hasn't given permission for it to be used by anyone else.

Take a Screenshot

Perhaps the easiest unofficial way to quickly save a copy of someone else's Instagram photo is to take a screenshot of it and then use a photo editing tool to crop it. This article shows you how to take a screenshot on your iOS device or on your Android device.

View the Page Source to Locate the Image File

If you have access to a computer, you can save an Instagram photo by identifying the image file in the page source.

  1. Tap the three dots on any photo post in the Instagram app, then Copy Link, to copy the URL. You can then paste it into an email or iMessage to yourself.

    Three dots menu, Copy Link button in Instagram on iOS
  2. If you're already viewing Instagram from the desktop web, you can tap the three dots at the top of any post and then tap Go to post to view its post page.

  3. When you access the photo URL on the desktop web, just right-click and select View Page Source to open a new tab with all the code.

    View Page Source button in an Instagram post on the web
  4. The image file ends in .jpg. You can use the keyword finder function by typing Ctrl+F or Cmd+F and entering .jpg in the search field.

  5. The first .jpg you find should be the image file. Using your cursor, highlight everything from https://instagram. to .jpg and copy it.

    Image code in Page Source from Instagram post on the web
  6. Paste it into the URL field of your web browser and you'll see the image appear, which you'll be able to right-click on and select Save As to save it to your computer.

    Save Image As... right-click button for Instagram image on the web

Try Third-Party Image Downloaders

There are third-party image downloaders that can save or download Instagram photos. Two examples are:

  • https://downloadgram.com/
  • https://www.dinsta.com/
  • However, there's no guarantee that these downloaders will always work, since Instagram reviews all requests for API access.