4 Ways to Upload to Instagram from Windows and macOS.
Instagram was created for use on smartphones. The development team has done everything possible to ensure that users continue to use their mobile apps. Although Instagram has a functional web page, you can only use it for viewing photos. That’s okay for many, but Instagram is a platform like nothing else. It is used by influencers and professional photographers from all over the world. These creative minds love to edit their photos before uploading them, and this is where the inherent limitations of Instagram come to the fore.
If you’re using a DSLR or something like a GoPro, you’ll first need to download the images to your Windows or Mac computer, edit them, transfer them back to your smartphone, and then download them. A bit tedious, but that’s exactly what most users have to go through on a daily basis. While casual users can use mobile apps to retouch their photos, not everyone is happy with the current arrangement.
Fortunately, I found several ways to solve this problem. By the end of this guide, you will know how to upload to Instagram from Windows or Mac computers.
Also Read: 9 Best Video Editing Apps for Instagram
1. Upload to Instagram using Chrome
Most of us use Chrome as our default browser, so let me start with the same. Launch Chrome on a Windows or MacOS computer. This trick will work on both operating systems. Go to the Instagram homepage and log in using your email or Facebook.
Few people know about this, but Chrome has a built-in code inspector tool that appears when you press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + I (this is the letter “i”). You will also find the Developer Tools option under the Additional Tools section of Chrome – Developer Tools.
You will now see an open sidebar on the right, where you can view all the code of the page you are on. On the left will be the main Instagram page. Don’t get confused. If you don’t know how to program, the good news is you don’t need to know. You’re looking for a smartphone or desk icon in the upper left corner of the right pane where the code exists. When you find it, click on it.
Read: How to change the browser country
This is the user agent icon. Basically, you are telling your browser, good old Chrome, that you would like to use it as if you were using it on your smartphone. Developers use this site troubleshooting tool to find out how things look in mobile browsers or apps, and if there are any breakages. If so, they look at the code to find the problem. Cool, yeah?
Now you can use Instagram just like on your smartphone. In fact, Chrome offers a number of built-in options to choose from, such as iPhone X, Pixel 2, and so on. You can choose any or leave it in responsive mode.
At this point, refresh your page (press F5 on your keyboard), because only then will you see the download button with other options in the navigation area as you see them on your smartphone. It should look something like this.
You know the rest of the story. You click the “+” icon to open the file manager on your Windows or MacBook and select the image you want to download. Instagram, thinking that you are still using your smartphone, will do whatever is necessary.
This method is free as it does not require downloading or using any other third party software, which is definitely a plus, however it is also very limiting as you can only upload images. There is no way to download galleries or even individual video files.
Also Read: How to Post Vertical Photos on Instagram without Cropping
2. Upload to Instagram using Safari
If you are using a MacBook and using Safari as your preferred browser, follow these steps. One of my friends uses Safari on his Windows laptop. So, again, this method will work on both platforms. Launch Safari now. Go to Settings, go to the Advanced tab and select Show Development Menu from the menu bar.
Once it’s enabled, you can log into your Instagram account and select a user agent of your choice from the newly added Develop menu inside Safari. You don’t have to choose an Apple device, it can be any smartphone.
Now go to the Instagram homepage, if you haven’t already, and sign in. You should be able to view Instagram just like on your smartphone. You should see the familiar “+” icon in the center of the navigation bar at the bottom. Click on it to start uploading images.
Again, you cannot download videos and images can only be downloaded one at a time. You cannot bulk upload or tag locations and accounts. A bit limiting, but it works.
Read Also: Best Ways to Download Instagram Videos
3. Upload to Instagram using Hootsuite
By now, you know that the above methods, although they work, have limited capabilities. This is why you should consider choosing a third-party app like Hootsuite. A social media management app that will let you not only post to Instagram, but also schedule posts, add text and location tags, and accounts. In fact, Hootsuite will collect valuable data such as comments, likes, and followers and break it down into easy-to-understand reports that you can analyze later. A real plus for Instagram users with business accounts.
There are many other options available on the market, but I would recommend Hootsuite because it can also be used to manage a range of other social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. It was created as a social media productivity suite offering a scalable solution. Especially useful for influencers and social media managers with business accounts.
Keeping in mind the image editing requirements of Instagram users, Hootsuite also offers many tools to edit your images before you plan or post them, such as cropping, effects, filters, sharpening / brightness adjusting, focus, red-eye, and many more. I wouldn’t say Hootsuite is a complete image editor, but it is very powerful and social media managers will be happy with the tools it offers.
It also connects to a number of third-party apps via APIs, such as all popular cloud storage platforms, Adobe, etc. Hootsuite is free for three social media accounts, not necessarily Instagram, after which prices start at $ 29 per month.
Hootsuite not only removes the limitations we saw earlier with the browser method, but it also adds several powerful and much needed features in one compact user interface. And it also has smartphone apps.
4. Upload to Instagram using the emulator
Here we are talking about Bluestacks, the popular Android emulator that will allow you to install and use any app from the Play Store on your Windows and macOS computers. Bluestacks creates a virtual environment that mimics the Android platform and then installs the Play Store app inside it. It’s free.
You will start by downloading the software for your PC from the link below. After installing it, you will create an account and sign into the Play Store using your preferred Google ID. Once inside, you will see a list of all the applications and games installed on your smartphone. Use the search function to find Instagram and install it.
Log into your Instagram account as if you were doing it on your smartphone. Once you’re signed in, you can use Instagram in the same way you use it on your Android. This means that you can now use your Windows or Mac computer to upload images to Instagram.
While this is still similar to how we changed the user agent in our browser, Bluestacks offers some additional benefits. Video upload support is still missing, but you can add captions, tag accounts and locations, use filters, and download carousel posts.
Upload to Instagram from Windows and Mac
If you want to be quick and don’t need to make too many changes or use tags, you can use the browser method. It works in both Chrome and Safari, and should also work in Firefox, although I haven’t tested it.
If you need more features and the ability to use the mobile version of Instagram, as well as some other Android apps, Bluestacks is a very powerful Android emulator.
If you’re an influencer, photographer, or social media manager, you can’t go wrong with Hoosuite. The free version itself has a lot of features and is designed to scale.