Instagram may be easy to use on smartphones, but the app’s desktop functionality leaves a lot to be desired. With basic viewing options for your Instagram feed and Instagram stories, plus no way to upload posts, the website can be particularly frustrating — especially for professional photographers and videographers editing with desktop apps. Lucky for you, we’ve discovered the top workarounds for uploading videos to Instagram on a desktop computer! Read on to find the tips & tools that work best for you.
Rules for Video Instagram Posts
While there’s an evergrowing range of options for posting Instagram videos, stories, and IGTV, it’s still smart to double-check your posts before uploading. Keep in mind that your video files should meet the following requirements:
- The file is no longer than 60 seconds. If more time is necessary, consider multiple posts or an IGTV upload.
- The size is 1080 pixels or smaller.
- The frame rate should ideally be no greater than 30 FPS.
- The file size is no larger than 100 MB.
- Save as or convert to MP4 file with AAC audio whenever possible.
- The video ratios are one of the following;
- Square aspect ratio of 1:1
- Vertical aspect ratio of 4:5
- Landscape aspect ratio of 1:91:1
Once your post is up to spec, it’s time to upload. While there are dozens of Chrome plug-ins, third-party apps, and management tools to choose from, we’ll start with the simplest option for desktop uploads: Agent spoofing. This technique requires a touch of tech-savviness, but it’s one of the easiest methods. See our screenshot tutorials below!
For Google Chrome
Start by going to Instagram on your browser and log into your selected account. Next, go to the top of your screen and select View > Developer > Developer Tools. Alternatively, right-click or Control + Click anywhere on the page and select Inspect.
The Inspector screen will appear in the bottom half of your screen. Don’t worry about any of the coding — just find the Toggle Device Toolbar button on the top left corner of the Inspector screen, directly beside Elements. It should look like a simplified iPhone placed in front of a tablet. Once you’ve clicked the Toggle Device button, the page should change to resemble Instagram’s mobile app.
Refresh the page, and an “add post button” will appear at the bottom of the screen. Simply click, select your file from your desktop, and post!
Log into your Instagram account in Safari, then click Safari > Preferences.
Once the pop-up appears, go to Preferences > Advanced and click “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”
Now refresh your Safari page, and double-check that the “Develop” bar has been added to the top of your screen. Select Develop > User Agent > and choose the mobile layout of your choice! The page should reload automatically, allowing you to upload directly from your desktop.
Pro tip: While agent spoofing is a quick, download-and-subscription-free way to get around the browser limits of the Instagram app, it can be a bit limited. You may find your options to tag photos, upload photo carousels, and post multiple stories to be limited at times. And if you want to delay new posts until peak engagement times, you’ll have to use a program such as the ones listed below.
Social Media Managers
If you plan to regularly upload photos and videos from your web browser, it may be better to download a third-party app. Media managers for social networks, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, can be a huge help for boosting your Instagram account. Even if you prefer to post from your mobile device, these apps can offer engagement tools, auto-scheduling, user analytics, and more.
Possibly the best-known social media manager, Hootsuite offers a comprehensive host of tools at a variety of pricing plans. Crucially, it has both a desktop and mobile option for easy post scheduling on any device.
A super simple iOS app, Uplet has a minimalistic interface and straightforward function: drag and drop your desktop files, click upload, and post. What it lacks in scheduling or analytics, it more than makes up for with its low, one-time cost and intuitive design.
Simpler than Hootsuite but more developed than Uplet, Buffer is easy to use for creating, tagging, and scheduling posts or Stories. It does require a paid subscription, but consider trying out their free trial!
Mobile Emulators & Add-Ons
Beyond complex management apps, you can find simpler programs that plug-in to browsers, connect directly to social networks, or emulate smartphones to trick websites in a workaround similar to agent spoofing.
Now that Facebook has acquired Instagram, you can use their free Creator Studio to post from your desktop, manage content, and run engagement analytics.
Commonly used as a PC desktop Android emulator for mobile gaming, Bluestacks keeps your favorite Android apps accessible wherever you prefer to post.
There’s a few hundred too many to list in one article, but consider checking out the variety of Instagram web plug-ins available on the Google Chrome Web store!
File Sharing & Cloud Services
If spoofed agents and scheduling apps aren’t your cup of tea, a quick and simple fix is to send your video files from desktop to smartphone. Texting or emailing large files has been known to slightly compromise their quality, so we recommend Cloud services of remote file sharing sites such as;
- Apple Cloud
- Google Drive
- Mac AirDrop
While some of these services come with membership costs, others offer free usage up to a certain storage limit. If long-term video sharing is a priority for you, consider investing in a regular subscription.
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to posting videos via desktop, so consider which factors are most important to you. Do you prefer privacy over convenience, or ease of access over tech-savviness? No two Instagrammers are exactly like, so don’t be afraid to try out different programs to find the method you like the most!