While you can browse Instagram on your desktop or laptop through a browser, for a long time, the Instagram desktop website didn't offer a way to upload photos. Because Instagram is a mobile-focused service, it's bent towards uploading your photos through its Android and iPhone apps.
However, there is now an official method for posting to Instagram from your PC. And in case this doesn't work for you, we'll show you a workaround that lets you post to Instagram using Chrome. This works on Windows, Mac, or a Chromebook—as long as you have access to Google Chrome. Here's how to post on Instagram from a laptop or desktop.
The Official Method for Posting to Instagram on Your Computer
As of late 2021, Instagram now allows you to upload photos to your account using its desktop website. While it took a while to roll out, it should be available for all users at the time of writing.
To upload from your computer, just log into Instagram.com and click the Plus button in the top-right corner. This will bring you to a screen where you can drag and drop photos from your PC, or click the Select from computer button to browse for them. From there, you can perform basic edits, apply filters, and add a caption.
This is the best way to add photos to your Instagram account using a computer. In case it's not available for you or you want to try a workaround, you'll find instructions on how to post to Instagram using Chrome below.
Step 1: Visit Instagram and Open Chrome's Developer Tools
To start, open Instagram.com in Google Chrome and make sure you're logged into your account. Then right-click anywhere on the page and choose Inspect to open the Developer Tools panel. You can also use the F12 key on Windows or Cmd + Option + i on a Mac, if you prefer.
This will open Chrome's Developer Tools panel on the right side, containing 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 Windows PC or Cmd + Shift + M on a Mac.
This mode effectively 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 iPhone. Keep the Developer Tools panel open to continue using the mobile interface, as closing it reverts to the normal desktop view.
Step 3: Upload Your Photo to Instagram
At the bottom of the screen, with mobile view enabled, you should see the various icons for Instagram's different tabs. If you don't see this row of icons, refresh the page (F5) and it should appear.
Click the Plus icon in the middle of that toolbar 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 another type of image, 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. If your photo is larger than Instagram's standard dimensions, you can drag it around to frame the picture as you wish. Use the Rotate button at the bottom-right 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 (if applicable).
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. If you want to adjust the image further, we recommend using a photo editing app on your computer to make any adjustments before uploading your picture 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 share your photo. People will never know that you posted it using your computer and not a phone!
Alternative Ways to Post to Instagram Using Your PC
Instagram offers an official Windows app on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11. It's basically a port of the mobile app, and provides the same set of functionality as the desktop website. This includes posting to Instagram from your PC, so give it a try if you prefer to use a dedicated app for posting to Instgram.
If you're interested in more, we've looked at other ways to post on Instagram from your computer. Keep in mind that none of the other options are more convenient than this, so we'd recommend either the official method or the mobile Chrome workaround in most cases.
Download: Instagram for Windows (Free)
Post to Instagram From Your Laptop Using Any Browser
Thankfully, you don't have to rely on this workaround anymore to post on Instagram using your computer. Instagram's desktop website now makes it easy to post photos no matter what browser and operating system you're using. But if the official method stops working and you need a workaround, it's simple to post on Instagram using this Chrome trick too.
Either way, posting from your desktop instead of a phone is great if you prefer to edit photos on your computer. It saves you the step of transferring the photos to your phone, then uploading them using Instagram's mobile app.
Now, make sure that what you post on Instagram attracts interest.
If you only have a handful of followers on Instagram and aren't receiving the likes or comments that you want, these tips will definitely help.