Posting photos on social media seems easy enough if you are using a mobile phone. But if you want to post on Instagram from your PC or Mac, without using a mobile device, you need these instructions. It is fairly easy to post from your computer to Instagram in four steps.
According to NetMarketShare, a company that offers statistics for internet technologies, the Chrome browser has 63.16 percent share of the browser market, followed by Safari with 16.71 percent. So, while there are other workarounds for posting to Instagram from PC or Mac, this one will allow almost 80 percent of internet users to perform the task via desktop or laptop. I have been asked this question quite often, so I thought a brief explanation for Forbes readers was in order. I’ll share two alternatives to this Chrome method at the end of this post.
Let me back up – why would you want to do this? Why load photos to Instagram from a PC at all? Well, for many of us, a traditional DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera is our top choice. The process for uploading DSLR quality photos to Instagram is in itself a workaround – you have to edit then upload photos from your PC to Google Drive or Google Photos (or some other sharing service), then download them to your phone, then upload them to Instagram. What a hassle.
Using the Google Chrome browser, there are only a few steps to get posting to Instagram and here are a few screenshots to explain it.
First, open Instagram on the PC and log in. From anywhere in the browser window itself, right click with your mouse and select “Inspect” at the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears (or CTRL, SHIFT, I – capital letter i on the keyboard). This opens the code inspector tool within Chrome. Almost all of the code content on the right can be ignored. The “Inspect” option will split your screen so you have the Instagram account on the left side and the code base on the right. It can be confusing to look at as there is a lot of code and other data there on the right side.
Again, ignore most of that content and look at the top of that Inspector window and you will see a little icon that resembles a tablet and a phone (in the screenshot below you will see a red circle with a numeral 1 in it).
If you are on a device where you cannot see Steps 2 through Steps 4, please click Continue or Next button.
After clicking that tablet/phone icon, you will immediately see the left side of the screen change – and in the screenshot below is Step 2 and Step 3.
Step 2: Shows “responsive” as the selected choice. Click that and the drop-down menu shows a bunch of different phone or tablet options. You can pick the one closest to your device, but I usually just pick the Samsung Galaxy 5 or a recent iPhone, such as the one showing iPhone 6, 7, 8.
Step 3: My screen shows 90%, however, I click that area and then it shows a “Fit to Window” option. Select that. Each time, your screen may shift slightly, but that is normal. If you do not select a smaller option, your screen may not show the bottom of the Instagram app screen and there is no way to scroll from this “Inspect” developer window.
Step 4: At this point, you should see a screen that closely resembles (or matches) what you see on your Instagram mobile app – with the usual plus (+) sign at the bottom that allows you to take or select a photo from your phone gallery (If you do not, scroll down to the note below).
If you click it here in Chrome, it will open a dialogue box to open a folder on your computer where you can select the photo and upload it. Then you will see the remaining standard Instagram screens – the edit screen where you can move the image and select the part you want to use. After clicking “next” you land on the share page which allows you to add “write a caption” (or not) and click share.
Important Note: If you do not see the plus (+) sign at the bottom, as you do on this screen, simply refresh the browser window (F5 on a PC keyboard) or the reload button to the left of the address bar. This usually reveals it for the times when it does not appear instantly.
If you do not have the Chrome browser on your PC or MacOS, then you could try using HootSuite (an online scheduling tool for social media that I have used quite often and love) or BlueStackApps (which is an emulator similar to what we are doing here in Google Chrome). There are many other scheduling tools that promise to help you auto-schedule Instagram posts from your PC, however, almost all of them are bound by the conditions that Instagram imposes – which can impact how they work. Make sure you are using a service that offers a free trial or free level. The above Chrome method is free, of course.