How to Watch Instagram Live Videos on Your PC or Mac
If you’ve spent a lot of time on Instagram, you’ve no doubt seen Instagram Live videos. However, can you watch Instagram videos on desktop? The answer is yes, but with some caveats.
The first thing you need to know is that logging into your Instagram account on your web browser won’t help. Instead, you’ll need to download a Chrome extension in order to access the feature.
In this article, we list the various ways to watch Instagram Live videos on desktop…
What Is IG Stories for Instagram?
If you’re on a PC or Mac, the options to watch Instagram Live on computers is limited. In most cases, we actually recommend that you watch Instagram Live through the mobile app. If you want detailed instructions on how to do so, check out the Instagram help page for more information.
However, just because your options are limited does not mean that they don’t exist. You can watch Instagram Live on PC or Mac by using a Chrome extension.
One extension that allows you to view Instagram Live on PC is IG Stories for Instagram (not to be confused with Chrome IG Story).
IG Stories for Instagram is an extension that allows you to watch Instagram Live videos on a desktop computer. It also allows you to watch stories and download finished Live videos.
Please Note: The ability to download live videos is only available for Windows, as per the extension’s last update. There also seems to be some functionality issues currently affecting the app’s ability to download videos, as per the reviews.
However, after testing the extension, we’re happy to report that the ability to watch a Instagram Live video in a browser seems to work fine.
Another recently added feature includes the ability to upload images to your Instagram Story through the app.
How to Watch Instagram Live on PC or Mac
To watch Instagram Live desktop videos:
- Install the Chrome extension IG Stories for Instagram.
- Next, log into your Instagram account through a Chrome browser.
- Click on the app’s icon at the top of your screen.
- Choose Go to IG Stories.
- Once you click on Go to IG Stories, you’ll be taken to an extension version of your Instagram page.
On the IG Stories for Instagram page, you should see four categories along your search bar:
The section you see upon logging in is usually Friends.
On this page, there will be a list of your friends who have recently posted images or videos to their stories.
At the top of the Friends section—if your friends are currently broadcasting a live video—you’ll see that person’s username with a Live icon beside them. Click on the icon to start watching the live video:
If there are no live videos playing, you can click on your friend’s “eye” icon to view their previously ended live videos that have been added to the Stories section.
You can also:
- Download Stories.
- Watch Stories from strangers that are tagged with a country location.
- Search for Stories by Users, Tags, or Places.
This app is really handy if you want to watch Instagram Live on PC or Mac. However, you’ll want to use it in tandem with another app to access the full functionality of Instagram, as its focus is on live videos.
We also want to issue a caveat for this extension before you try it.
While checking the reviews, we noticed multiple complaints where users were prompted to download an .exe file when downloading a Live video. It was an .exe that some found to be unnecessary and/or suspicious. Some users even reported the .exe being flagged as malware.
Although the developer has done their best to address these concerns in the comments, and we were personally not prompted to download an .exe while testing, there were enough complaints that we felt a caveat was warranted. As always, use common sense when using any app.
For more information on Stories and how they play into this extension, here’s how to re-share Instagram posts to Stories .
Additional Live Instagram PC Apps Worth Trying
If you’re not satisfied with the recommendation above, but still want to watch Instagram Live on computers or other devices, there are some other apps worth trying.
There’s a tool called Loola.tv that allows you to stream live videos from your desktop to multiple platforms, including Instagram. However, Loola is strictly geared towards content creators, not followers who want to watch Instagram Live on PC. Which means it isn’t suitable for watching videos in a browser, at least for the average user.
One of the best extensions we’ve tested is Desktop for Instagram, by Devanco.
With this app, you can search Instagram for recent videos and pictures. You can watch people’s Stories, post your own videos to IGTV, and download videos and pictures from Instagram to your desktop.
The developers claim that this extension lets you do everything you would normally do on the mobile Instagram app, including watching Instagram Live videos. However, after testing out Desktop for Instagram, we don’t think it quite lives up to the hype.
IG Stories for Instagram is still better suited for this purpose.
Tips for Finding Instagram Live Streams
No matter which app you try out, there are some simple tips for finding Instagram live streams. And these work on all of the extensions we’ve mentioned in this article.
- Who you follow matters: If you want to watch Instagram Live streams from your friends, some people are far more likely to do live streams than others.
- Instagram Stories: When you log into the app, or use an extension like Desktop for Instagram, you’ll see a row of avatars with colored circles at the top of your feed. This is your Stories section. If you see the words “Live” beneath a user’s avatar, this means that your friend is currently broadcasting.
- Replay Live videos: If you happen to miss a live video, never fear. Instagram Live videos can be shared to Instagram Stories after they’re ended, although it should be noted that replays disappear from the feed after 24 hours. You can find out more on the Instagram help page for this feature.
- Find new people to follow: By using Instagram’s Search and Explore option, you can find additional people to follow who may share live videos, too.
The Instagram Mobile App Is the Best Option
While all the extensions listed above are good, there is no seamless, bug-free way to watch Instagram Live on a PC or Mac. As such, the Instagram mobile app remains the best option if that’s what you want to do.
That said, you should still try IG Stories for Instagram, as it’s a good extension for watching live videos at this moment. In the meantime, if you’re new to Instagram, you should read our guide to IGTV and how it works in order to get yourself acquainted with the platform.
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