How to Use Instagram on Your Windows Desktop
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This article originally discussed Instagrille, a free Windows program for using Instagram on your desktop. That app isn’t available anymore, so we’ve updated the content to instead discuss the best ways of accessing Instagram on Windows.

For all of Instagram’s popularity How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags to Get More Likes and Followers How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags to Get More Likes and Followers Hashtags are how your photos show up in the "Discover" tab, how other people find pictures, and they lead to more likes. But you probably need some help on using the right hashtags. Read More , its desktop experience is pretty limited. This makes sense considering the service is geared towards sharing photos and video clips of everyday life. Of course, it’s easier to capture these moments with the phone that’s always in your pocket than to upload them from your PC.

But if you want a great Instagram experience on Windows, you’ve got some options. Here are the various ways to share and view photos right from your computer.

1. The Instagram Windows Store App

While Instagram hasn’t made an official Windows desktop program, it does have a Windows 10 Store app. Install it and log in with your account, then you’ll see an interface similar to what’s on your phone:

How to Use Instagram on Your Windows Desktop Instagram Windows Store

Just like the Android and iOS versions Stand Out on Instagram With These 10 Essential Apps Stand Out on Instagram With These 10 Essential Apps Getting the perfect Instagram profile doesn't just require a good eye for photography -- it also requires using the right apps. These will help you become an Instagram master. Read More , you can watch Stories of those you follow, send direct messages, and scroll through your feed. The tabs along the bottom let you search for users, view your activity, and make changes to your profile if needed.

When you click the camera icon in the upper-left, you can upload photos, but there’s a catch. Unless you have a touchscreen device, you can’t add photos from your PC. On my desktop, the app asked me to Enable Camera Access even after I confirmed it was enabled. Since I don’t have a webcam, I can’t upload pictures at all using this app.

Thus, the official Windows Store app is a good solution Desktop vs. Windows Store Apps: Which Should You Download? Desktop vs. Windows Store Apps: Which Should You Download? On Windows 10 and 8.1, you can either download and install a Desktop applications from the web, or you can get an app from the Windows Store. We explore the differences between Desktop and Store... Read More if you just want to browse Instagram on your computer occasionally. Those who want to post pictures as well should continue to another solution.

Download: Instagram on the Windows Store (Free)

2. Swap to the Instagram Mobile Website

You probably know that you can visit Instagram’s website on your desktop to browse your feed. This doesn’t let you view Stories, so it’s even more limited than the Store app. By default, the site also won’t allow you to upload images from your computer. But you can fix that by changing your user agent.

If you didn’t know, your browser sends a snippet of information whenever it connects to a website. This tells the site which operating system you’re using, along with your browser and its version. By default, this happens automatically, but you can adjust it to fool Instagram into thinking that you’re visiting from a mobile device. Do this, and you can upload pictures from your PC!

It’s easy to switch to a mobile agent in Chrome, so we’ll focus on that solution. First, open Instagram’s website and sign in. Then, press the F12 key to open the developer console. Use the shortcut CTRL + Shift + M or click the Toggle device toolbar button to instantly swap to the mobile version of Instagram.

How to Use Instagram on Your Windows Desktop Instagram Mobile Site Switch

Here, it looks just like your phone. You can even click and drag to scroll like using your finger. Click the camera icon in the bottom-middle of the revamped screen and you’ll get a prompt to add a photo from your computer. If you want to blend in with other Instagram users, check out desktop apps that can apply similar filters 5 Desktop Apps to Give An Instagram-Like Effect to Your Photos 5 Desktop Apps to Give An Instagram-Like Effect to Your Photos Instagram makes your photos shine applying standardized filters. Now you can do the same on the desktop, using these tools. Read More .

To do this in other browsers, follow our guide to switching your user agent Why Changing Your User Agent Is Still Useful Today (and How to Do It) Why Changing Your User Agent Is Still Useful Today (and How to Do It) Changing your browser agent is easy to do, but is it still useful? Here are several ways that you could use this functionality to your advantage today! Read More .

3. Try an Alternative App

If you’re a hardcore Instagram user and the above options don’t cut it for you, your best option is to try third-party Instagram clients 5 Incredible Instagram Tools (Windows & Mac Desktop Clients Too) 5 Incredible Instagram Tools (Windows & Mac Desktop Clients Too) Instagram hasn't yet made a desktop app. But you won't miss it with these five tools. From workable desktop apps to tools that make hashtagging easy, there's something for everyone here. Read More .

Many clever developers have made unofficial Instagram apps for Windows, plus Mac and Linux. These will let you browse your feed, upload photos, apply filters, and search trending hashtags in sleek interfaces.

Perhaps someday, Instagram will make an awesome official client and make these unnecessary. It’s unlikely, but we can dream!

4. Emulate Android on Your PC

Some combination of the above three ways to use Instagram is probably fine for most people. If you don’t need the more powerful clients, you can browse with the official app and upload via the mobile workaround when you have to.

But maybe nothing less than the pure mobile experience of Instagram will work for you. If that’s the case, you can emulate Android on your desktop How to Emulate Android and Run Android Apps on Your PC How to Emulate Android and Run Android Apps on Your PC It's actually pretty easy to get Android apps running on your desktop or laptop! Here, we step you through the best methods. Read More using a few free tools. We don’t necessarily recommend this since it’s a pretty clunky way just to access Instagram. But it will work!

BlueStacks is the best tool for this method. It’s an easy-to-use Android emulator that lets you search for and download Android apps, then run them right from the program. Download the tool and run through the installation, then you’ll need to sign in with a Google Account to access the Play Store.

How to Use Instagram on Your Windows Desktop Instagram BlueStacks

After this, search for Instagram and tap Install to download it just like you would on an Android phone. Jump back to the BlueStacks Home tab, where you can open the app and sign in with your Instagram account. Since this is the mobile version, you can do everything you would do with a real phone 10 Instagram Tricks You Didn't Know Existed 10 Instagram Tricks You Didn't Know Existed Instagram is constantly evolving and updating, and things change quickly. Let's find a few more cool hacks to rock the photo-based social network! Read More — including adding photos and applying filters.

How Do You Access Instagram?

We’ve shown you four great ways to get your Instagram fix on Windows. Casual Instagram users — or those who want to join the fun without a smartphone — won’t feel less equipped on your desktop than mobile. Armed with powerful desktop photo editors 10 Easy-to-Use Photo Editing Programs for Newbie Photographers 10 Easy-to-Use Photo Editing Programs for Newbie Photographers Some photos only look their best after a bit of editing. If Photoshop and Lightroom seem too complex for you, check out these easy-to-use alternatives. Read More , you might even create better photos than on your phone!

No matter how you use Instagram, make sure you’re taking advantage of all its new features 10 New Instagram Features You Need to Know 10 New Instagram Features You Need to Know Instagram initially made a name for itself with its filters, but the social network keeps adding new features -- and some of the latest ones look awfully familiar. Read More .

Have you ever used Instagram on your desktop or do you prefer to keep it mobile? Is there another method we missed here? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: kathayut kongmanee via

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  1. tinytot
    July 21, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Hi Mum

    Is that you?

  2. SAM
    January 11, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Can you create an Instagram account using this?

  3. demian
    December 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Oh you just cant' upload a picture? Isn't that the whole point? I can browse instagram and edit my profile, but thats about it- the problem is all my photos are on the pc, the tablet takes poor resolution images and has tiny memory.

  4. firass dirani
    December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm


  5. Kitty
    November 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Hi, My names is Kitty. Im 10 years old and i love instagram, but i can only play it only my friends ipods and ipads! I DONT have a ipod or an ipad :c So im happy about this instagram on the computer! xD

    • angel
      November 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Hi my name is Angel I'm 10 and I don't have a ipad or ipod nut I do have an kindel fire and I don't they don't have it on here so yeah to the computer instgrahm...

    • angel
      November 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Sorry I meant "But".

    • Anonymous
      June 15, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Instagram is not for children under the age of 13. Says so in the rules.

      • armytad
        July 17, 2016 at 12:08 am

        Mark Zuckerberg (The creator of Facebook) says children should be able to use facebook, even tho the rules of facebook says 13+. They only make those rules because law dictates they have to, so in reality they don't really care. It is for kids to.

  6. GG
    November 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    How do u upload pictures from ur laptop into the instagrille?

    • Yaara Lancet
      November 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

      You can't do that with Instagrille, at least not yet. But you can download images to your computer!

  7. karen
    October 31, 2012 at 2:14 am

    can u still follow people on instagram on instagrelle

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Yes, you can!

  8. Juhani
    October 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm


    One question: I have downloaded Instagrille but how to sign up Instagram? When I open the appl. it offers login only! I have Windows PC with Firefox.

    Thanks and regards


    • Yaara Lancet
      October 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      If you don't have an Instagram account, you'll have to download the mobile app to create an account. You can't create an Instagram account on Instagrille, it's only a client. Hope that helps!

      • Amiya Biswas
        October 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        on which phones can we download instagram?

        • Yaara Lancet
          October 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

          Either an iPhone/iPod Touch or an Android device. If you don't either, you can for Bluestacks, as mentioned in the comments above. It lets you run Android apps on a PC.

  9. amanda
    October 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    can you block certain followers on here

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I think you can, but I'm not %100 sure since I don't have it installed anymore, and it was updated several times since this post was published. The best thing to do would be to try to block someone!

  10. Angelina
    October 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Why Doesn't This Instagrille Program Thingy Work On This Lcisd Computer? I Mean It Works, But It Won't Let Me Log In. /: Please Help Me! (:

    • Yaara Lancet
      October 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Maybe services such as Instagram are blocked? Or the whole thing is behind proxy or firewall?

  11. preetam singh
    September 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    i love it

  12. rony
    September 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    how do i know if people wanna follow me

  13. Marcy
    September 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Dhass Cool i guesss.

  14. majnooncomputer
    August 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    i've made a tutorial to sign up instagram account from desktop via bluestacks , look here :

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 16, 2012 at 1:15 am


  15. breanna
    July 21, 2012 at 12:31 am


  16. Hossam Khattab
    June 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    nice thanks

  17. Richard Wesley Eby Jr.
    June 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you so much. I was looking for a long time for a way to not have to use my phone for this.

  18. sarah derome
    June 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Can you edit photos with Instagrille? If not what app that is like Instagram can you edit and share photos to your Instagram?

  19. andres
    June 21, 2012 at 5:08 am

    you just can't upload a picture, but it works

  20. Ruby
    June 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I dont get how to make the actual account. I downloaded instagrille and clicked on my account and all it says is sign in not sign up??!!

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 20, 2012 at 6:23 am

      If you don't already have an Instagram account, you'd have to download the mobile app to create one. Instagram has made it possible to do this only through the mobile app, you can't even do it on their own website. Once you have an account, you can sign in on Instagrille.

      • Boomer The Dog
        October 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

        Now that's the most important piece of information this article left out. I don't have a smart phone and just want to be able to have the Instagram experience on my desktop.

        I'll see if I can find an emulator for a mobile OS like Droid and try to install that way.

        • Yaara Lancet
          October 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

          Sorry for the confusion. Instagram is known for letting users create accounts only on the mobile app. You can't even create an account on their own website, so I guess I assumed it was a given.

          You're right, I should have mentioned it more explicitly. As I did mention in the article, though, you can use Instagrille to browse popular photos without signing in.

        • EmMa(N)
          October 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

          no you should ve said something about bluestacks :D

        • EmMa(N)
          October 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

          no you can have instagram !! dowload blue stacks for PC and then install instagram and and sign up and enjoy :) you can also just use it from there but u have to change the camera sitting first but i'll give this new thing a try it could be better xD

        • Yaara Lancet
          October 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          Excellent idea! I clear forgot about Bluestacks. Last time I tried it it wasn't really working, but this was quite a while ago. I heard it's pretty good now. Thanks!

        • EmMa(N)
          October 28, 2012 at 4:23 am

          you're very welcome ^^!

    • Amiya Biswas
      October 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      how did you even download instagrille?

      i mean what have you done after downloading pokki?

  21. cb
    June 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Now if only they'd make it for BlackBerry D:

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 16, 2012 at 6:37 am

      You mean Instagram for Blackberry? I wouldn't hold my breath on that one... it barely works right on my old Android device.

  22. clars
    June 14, 2012 at 1:33 am

    i love it