Instagram has become one of the most used social platforms out there. Want to showcase your vacation to California? Or show distant grandparents how much your kids are growing? Instagram can share all those images and more for your followers.
From a meal you ate on your first trip to London, or photos from your wedding day, Instagram often serves as a digital album of the mundane and magnificent. But how can you save these photos for good?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Download Your (Or Someone Else’s) Instagram Photos to Your Phone
- How to Download Instagram Photos to Your Computer
If you have a huge Instagram account, with lots of followers, you might worry about getting hacked. If that happens, you might lose all your photos. Or you might need to save all of them for printing, or want to delete your Instagram account, but don't want to lose your pictures.
Making a memorial collage is much easier with physical photos. Below, we’ve covered how to download photos to your phone or your laptop.
How to Download Your (Or Someone Else’s) Instagram Photos to Your Phone
Instagram is also available as a website for you to view on your computer. You can browse, in a limited fashion, on your computer. But it’s designed to function as an app. That means downloading photos to your phone might be easier. And if you prefer to work off a phone, rather than a computer, this is perfect.
Choose your photos
Whose photos do you want to save? You might want to save all the photos from your own profile. But you might want to save someone else’s. What if you took a fun vacation with your best friend from college?
They might have a better camera, or might be more talented with photography. Either way, you might like their pictures better. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take other steps. But downloading your own photos is pretty simple.
Download your photos
Log into your Instagram account, and navigate to your own profile. Then, tap the icon with three horizontal bars which will open up a menu of options. Tap the wheel cog icon, which takes you to Settings.
Then, tap your way through Settings, Account, and Original Photos. That’s what it says if you’re on an Apple device. But if you’re on an Android device, it will say Original Posts. Tap next to this option, which will turn it on.
When you have this on, everything you post will be saved to your phone’s library. This works for past and future photos. Instagram warns that Android users might see a delay in photos being saved, though.
Download someone else's photos
It’s important to note that Instagram doesn’t make this easy. That’s because it’s against Instagram’s terms. And to create an account, you have to agree to Instagram’s terms and conditions.
Before you take this step, make sure to get permission from the account’s owner. Ask them, and be sure to communicate how you intend to use their photos. Once you’ve obtained this permission, and preferably have it in writing, you can move forward.
Take a screenshot. This might be easier. If you’re working off an Apple device, you can screenshot and crop at the same time. This will save a copy of the image on your phone. Just crop out the caption and comments, and you’re good to go. Depending on your phone, you might have to crop the saved image later. If this sounds too time-consuming, there’s another way to do it.
Identify the image file. Once you’ve logged into Instagram’s app, tap the photo you want to save. Then, tap the three dots displayed. You’ll be able to copy the link. Then, email it to yourself. Tap on the link, then go the post. You should be able to select View Page Source by pressing on it. A new tab will open—which displays lots of code! No worries, it’s not as confusing as it looks.
Use a keyword search by typing .jpg into the search bar. This narrows the code down to the image file. Copy the entire line of text. It will start with https://instagram to .jpg, and you should copy this entire line. then, paste it back into your browser. This will pull up nothing but the image. You’ll be able to save the image from here.
How to Download Instagram Photos to Your Computer
If you’re downloading this photo for eventual printing, using your computer might be easier and for two reasons. Display and downloading might be easier.
This is particularly true if you hate working around a tiny screen and keyboard. But Instagram wasn’t made to work seamlessly on a computer. Whether you choose a phone or a computer, there are still downsides.
Download your information
There are lots of ways to save photos to your computer. You can always screenshot and crop it later. If you’ve received permission to save someone else’s photos, this might be the easiest option. What if you’re still trying to download your own photos, though?
Access your Account Privacy
Pick your favorite web browser and log into your Instagram account. Then, click the gear icon. It’s located to the right of the Edit Profile option.
This should take you to Privacy and Security. Once you click on this, you should see a page entitled Account Privacy.
Request a data download
Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, users have the option to download their data. This is a copy of all their messages, posts, videos, and more. Instagram has all the same data available as an option to download as well. If you scroll to the bottom of the Account Privacy page, you’ll see a Data Download option. Click on it to request a download.
Confirm your identity. To kick off the data download, you’ll need to confirm your identity. Input your password and email. That tells Instagram who you are, that you have permission to view the data from this account, and where to send it.
Eventually, Instagram will send a zipped file containing this information to your email. Instagram’s policy is that this data download will be available within 48 hours. Most users report that they get an email within an hour or two.
Download the file. Once you download and open the zipped file, you can access all your photos. This file might be huge, particularly if you’re an avid Instagram user. You can save this file to your laptop. But if you want to protect against future disasters, it’s best to save it to the cloud. That way, no matter what happens to your devices, it will always be there.
Downloading someone else’s photos to your computer
Once you’ve obtained the permission of the account owner, you can download their photos to your computer. But to prevent downloads that aren’t authorized by the owner, Instagram doesn’t make it easy.
There are a few third-party apps that make it possible, but may also compromise the security of your computer or copy other personal information. If you don’t want to take screenshots, try saving photos directly.
Copy the URL and save. Tap on the Instagram post you want, then tap the three-dot icon. From that menu, choose Copy Share URL. Then, open your favorite web browser and go to that URL. Right-click on the photo to copy it. Then, save the image directly.
Saving the Best Photos From Instagram
Making sure you have all your photos together is a challenge, as everyone uses so many social media platforms these days.
From the cloud to smartphones, pictures are scattered everywhere. If you want your photos saved, be sure to share your end-of-life preferences with loved ones. That way, they have no trouble saving photos from your account and displaying them.
Whether you want them framed, or turned into a memory board, it’s a great way to keep them alive. In addition, if you’re an avid Instagram user, that makes sure all your great photos don’t float around on the Internet forever.