Instagram has fast become the go-to site for sharing photographs online. Aside from Facebook, that is. With over 400 million active monthly users, and 75 million people logging on each day, there are more filter-enhanced creations than you can shake a stick at. Instagram is a phone app, though and can be a little bit tricky on a PC. It's not impossible, though. Here we show you how you can take part in the fun via Windows rather than an iPhone 6S or Samsung S7.
Update 14 October: Instagram has now officially rolled out to Windows PCs and laptops, and can be downloaded free from here. However, bizarrely you need a touchscreen laptop or tablet in order to upload images. Use our below guide to upload and edit images via InstaPic instead.
How to use Instagram on Windows: The web interface
Visiting the Instagram website and logging into your account (or creating one) gives you access to the web version of the app. While you might expect this to allow you the same abilities as the mobile version, one very important feature is missing - you can’t upload any images.
When you’re logged in, the main page will show your photo feed just as it would on the app itself. Along the top of the page you’ll also see three icons in the upper right corner. These are for Explore (finding new people to follow), Notifications (who liked your images), and Profile (all the images you’ve uploaded). Using these you can still enjoy the various images that have been shared, but there is no way to edit or add to your collections.
You can also now download a dedicated Instagram Windows app from the Windows Store, but you still won't be able to upload any images without a touchscreen Windows laptop or tablet. Read on for a workaround.
How to use Instagram on a Windows PC or Laptop: InstaPic
There are a number of third party apps that extend Instagram’s features on Windows. One that allows uploads is InstaPic, which can be downloaded from the Windows Store. To do this go down to the taskbar on your Windows desktop and click on the shopping bag icon that has the Windows logo at the centre. When the Store opens you’ll just need to click on the search bar in the upper right corner and enter InstaPic. Once you’ve got the app on the screen click on the Free button to install it on your machine, then click Open.
When the application launches you’ll need to click the Register with Email button and create a new account. With that done you link your Instagram account and then you can upload images directly from the InstaPic app. We encountered several problems with other functions on the app, mainly not being able to see timelines due to the Find Friends on Instagram feature proving unresponsive, plus often a lack of notifications. With this in mind we think It would be best to treat InstaPic as a pure photo editor and uploader that works in tandem with the web version of Instagram.
Along the top of the screen you’ll see the various icons for Search, Notifications/Likes, Profile, and Instagram Direct. This last one allows you to send images privately to specified users. The one we want to focus on though is the Shutter icon to the right of Instagram Direct. Clicking this opens up your PC camera.
From here you can click the blue circular button to take a picture, or click on the rectangular button to the left which opens up Windows Explorer and lets you search for any image you have on your machine.
When you find the picture you want to post to Instagram double-click it to open up the editing Window.
Now you can go through the normal processes of enhancing the image. This includes cropping, applying filters, and many of the editing features you’d expect on the mobile version of Instagram. We did find that the selection of filters is quite small, with a few of our favourites missing, but if you really want to use your PC to post on the service then this is currently the best offering we could find.
Once you’ve finished touching up the image click the arrow in the upper right hand corner and you’ll see the Share menu appear. Just as you would on Instagram you can now write a caption, tag any people in the image, and send to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr if you’ve connected those accounts.
When you’re happy with everything click Share at the bottom of the window and your image will join the masses on Instagram and hopefully get a few likes.