While you can browse Instagram on your desktop or laptop, the website doesn’t offer a way to upload photos to Instagram. Because Instagram is a mobile-focused service, it wants you to upload your photos through the mobile apps.
However, there is a workaround which lets you post to Instagram with Chrome. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Visit Instagram and Open Developer Tools
To start, open Instagram.com in Google Chrome and make sure you’re logged into your account. Right-click anywhere on the page and choose Inspect to open the Developer Tools panel. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift+ I on Windows or Cmd + Option + I on a Mac.
This will open a panel on the right-side with a bunch of HTML and other page details. But you don’t need to worry about any of that.
Step 2: Switch to Mobile View
In the top-left corner of the new Developer Tools window, you’ll see an icon that looks like a phone next to a tablet. Click on this to switch to mobile view—you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + M on a PC or Cmd + Shift + M on a Mac.
This mode tells the website that you’re using a mobile device. You’ll thus see the interface switch to something that’s a lot like you’re used to seeing on Android or iOS. Keep the Developer Tools open to continue to use the mobile interface, as closing it reverts to the desktop version.
Step 3: Upload Your Photo to Instagram
At the bottom of the screen, you should see the various icons for Instagram’s different tabs. If you don’t see this row of icons, refresh the page and it should appear. Click the Plus icon to upload any photo from your computer using File Explorer or Finder.
By default, Instagram only lets you upload a few image types, including JPEG. If you want to upload a PNG or something else, you’ll need to make a small change first.
On Windows, click the Custom Files box in the bottom-right corner of File Explorer and change it to All Files. If you’re on a Mac, click the Options button at the bottom-left of Finder and change the Format box from Custom Files to All Files.
Step 4: Edit Your Image
After you select your image, you have some options on the Edit tab. You can drag it around to to frame it as you wish. Use the Rotate button to spin it 90 degrees at a time. Click the full-size button in the bottom-left to toggle between the full width or a square size.
Swap to the Filter tab at the bottom of the screen to apply one of Instagram’s many filters. As you’ll notice, you don’t have access to all of Instagram’s editing tools using this method. We recommend using a photo editing app on your computer to make any adjustments before uploading your photos to Instagram.
From here, click the Next button and you can enter a caption, set the photo’s location, and tag people if you want. Then you’re all set to post your photo.
Alternative Option: Use the Windows 10 Desktop App
Instagram offers an official Windows 10 app on the Microsoft Store. It’s essentially a barebones port of the mobile app, so it works in the same way as the above process. If you post to Instagram often and don’t want to use the trick in Chrome every time, give the Windows 10 app a try instead.
Download: Instagram for Windows 10 (Free)
How to Post to Instagram From Your PC or Mac
This trick isn’t perfect, but it’s a handy way to post to Instagram from any desktop device. It’s great if you prefer to edit photos on your computer instead of doing so on your phone.
For more methods, here’s how to post to Instagram from your computer.