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How to post on instagram from PC or Mac

How to post on Instagram from PC or Mac
(Image credit: Future)

If you're wondering how to post on Instagram from PC or Mac, don't be surprised that it's not exactly obvious. 

That's because officially, there’s no way to upload photos to Instagram from a desktop or laptop computer. Why? Well since the very early days of the app, Instagram has been a mobile experience only, because its core appeal is quickly sharing photos — so limiting it to devices guaranteed to have a camera makes a great degree of sense.

As a result of this, Instagram on PC or Mac is intended for content consumption, not content creation. There’s nothing stopping you browsing, liking and commenting on those devices, but you’ll quickly note there’s no button to upload your own snaps — which is a bit of a pain if you’re trying to run a professional account, or are the kind of person who inexplicably likes to write 300 words to accompany every image.

There is, however, a workaround. You can still post on Instagram from PC or Mac without the app via the mobile browser, so all you have to do is convince the site that your device is actually a smartphone. Here’s a quick and easy way of doing that which works in Chrome, Edge, Firefox and pretty much any browser you care to name.

Note that as this replicates the website rather than the app, this doesn’t let you post moments. Still, it’s better than nothing. Read on to find out how to post on Instagram from PC or Mac.

How to post on Instagram from PC or Mac

1. Open a browser and head to Instagram 

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — how to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m using Edge, but the process is very similar on any browser you choose to use. Head to www.instagram.com, and you’ll be greeted by the familiar web interface. 

2. Inspect the page 

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — How to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

Right-click anywhere on the page, and click the option that says “Inspect." As you can see in the image above, in Edge it’s the last option in the list. Note that in Firefox it’s called “Inspect Element.”

3. Turn on device emulation 

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — how to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

A pane will open up on the right hand of the browser showing the page code. Yes, you’re in a part of the browser not intended for muggles, but don’t worry — we’re not doing anything overly complex.

Along the top of the second pane is a navigation bar. The second icon along — the one that shows a picture of a phone and tablet — is the one we want. If you’re in doubt, hover over it and an explainer should pop up, saying something like “Toggle device emulation” (or “Toggle device toolbar” in Chrome). When you’re sure you’re on the correct icon, click it.

4. Has it worked? 

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — how to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

You should now be in mobile mode, with the old browser pane shrunk down to mobile dimensions and the smartphone version of the website displayed instead. But you’ll note that there’s no upload button so… 

5. Refresh the page 

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — how to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

Hit the refresh button in your browser, and the familiar buttons should appear along the bottom of your screen. Press the “Plus” button in the middle and you’re away. 

6. Pick a picture, edit it and post

How to post on instagram from PC or Mac — how to upload photos to Instagram from a PC

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

From here, just select a photo from file explorer (for the purposes of this demo: Ripley the kitten), then edit and apply filters as you would any other picture. 

Congratulations: you now know how to post on Instagram from PC or Mac. 

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