There are tens of millions of photos housed on Instagram, yet there’s no built-in way to download photos directly to your computer or phone. You can bookmark photos or “like” them. . . but that’s nowhere near as useful as downloading the picture file itself. So let’s go over the various ways to do that!
Why Doesn’t Instagram Let You Download Photos in the App?
Instagram makes this difficult primarily to protect the individual Instagram user’s copyright on their pictures. That said, there are still many ways around it. For better or for worse, once a picture goes up on Instagram, it’s open season for other people who want to take a few extra steps to download it.
There are a number of reasons you might want to download Instagram photos.
Maybe they’re genuinely your photos and you simply want to have the actual image file to reuse or store elsewhere.
Maybe it’s someone else’s photo that you just really like and would like to save outside of Instagram.
Maybe you want to repost it on your own social accounts, although that comes with some legal risk.
Regardless, the steps to let you do any of these can be found below! We hope you find this guide helpful.
How to Save Instagram.com Photos on PC or Mac
How to download a single Instagram photo on Instagram.com:
- Create an account within the Instagram app if you haven’t already.
- Log in on Instagram.com.
- Find the photo you’d like to save.
- You can only see photos from your current friends on Instagram.com. There is no option to explore other photos.
- To get around this, you can navigate directly to another user’s URL using the template “https://instagram.com/_________”, inserting their username in the blank space.
- Click the gray ellipses button. It will be below the bottom right corner of the photo or to the right of the “Comment” area (an ellipsis is three periods in a row, like so: . . .)
- The “View Photo Page” option will be in the menu that appears. Click “View Photo Page”.
- What you do on the Photo Page depends on your browser.
- Firefox: Right click on the photo and choose “View Background Image” to open another page that shows only the photo. You can then right click it again and click “Save Image as…”
- Chrome: Right click on the photo and choose “Inspect Element.” A scary-looking sidebar will pop up on the right side, but don’t panic! It’s actually simple. There will be a small section in blue. The URL for your image will be in parenthesis beginning with “https://” and then ending with “.jpg.” Paste this URL into your browser’s address bar and hit enter. You’ll arrive at just the picture; you can then right click it again and click “Save Image as…”
- Follow your usual process for saving downloaded files and photographs on your computer. You’re done!
If all else fails, you can take a screenshot of the photo, although this might require you to do some photo cropping later.
On Windows, you can use the “Prt Sc” (print screen) button on your keyboard to save a screenshot of everything on your screen. It will be in your clipboard, ready to be pasted into a photo editing application and saved.
On Mac, you can press “Shift + Command + 4” to use your mouse cursor to drag a box over the area you’d like to screenshot. It will be in your clipboard, ready to be pasted into a photo editing application and saved.
How to save all of your own Instagram photos as a backup:
There are several services dedicated to helping you easily download every photo on an Instagram profile at once. The most popular and easiest to use service is Instaport.
Within a couple minutes, you can sort through your photo archive and download every single one in a ZIP file. Pretty easy, right?
How to download all of someone else’s Instagram photos:
The best method for downloading all of someone else’s Instagram photos is the same as for your own: you’ll want to use Instaport. Simply plug in their username or URL and you’re good to go.
This also illustrates just how easy it is for someone else to grab your Instagram content if they really wanted to. And as our article “How to Contact Instagram” describes, you’re pretty unlikely to reach any kind of resolution on a complaint filed with Instagram support.
How to Download Instagram Photos on iOS iPhone
Instagram makes this process as difficult as possible for iOS users. There are different apps that have claimed to make this easier at various points in time, but most of them have been removed from the app store.
New ones tend to crop up now and then, but never stay up for long.
The workaround that is guaranteed to do the trick on any iPhone, without downloading any additional apps, is this process:
- Go to the Instagram photo that you want to save.
- Screenshot it by pressing your Home button and your Sleep/Wake button at the same time.
- Go to your “Photos” app and pull up the screenshot image you just took.
- The bottom of your screen should have four buttons. Tap the one that looks kind of like an abacus (three circles on three lines, like sliders).
- On the bottom left of the new menu that appears, there should be a little square with arrows circling it. This is the “Crop and Rotate” button. Tap it.
- Adjust the frame until all the Instagram page stuff surrounding the actual image is cropped out.
- Tap “Done” in the bottom right.
We definitely agree that it’s annoying that this is the only method that is guaranteed to work, but it’s what iOS users of Instagram must do if they want to download a picture.
How to Download Instagram Photos on Android Phone
The easiest way to download Instagram photos directly on your Android device is using the app QuickSave for Instagram.
The process for using it is simple:
- Make sure QuickSave is running on your phone first.
- Open Instagram and choose “Copy / Share URL” on the photo or video that you want to save. You can save multiple photos or videos at once.
- Return to QuickSave. Download the photo or video, then swipe to dismiss, repost, or share to an Instagram account of your own.
Remember: using any of these methods doesn’t protect you from getting in trouble for using other people’s intellectual property without their permission (i.e. using their photos and videos).