Instagram without Mobile


Today’s Question: I see you have posted a lot of your photos on Instagram and I have just signed up for an account. But it seems that the only way to get my photos posted in via my iPhone. I want to use my Instagram account to let my friend and family look at my work. As most of my photo work is located on my desktop is the only way to post to Instagram by sending to my iPhone and then uploading? There has to be an easier way and hopefully you will offer some options.

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can share photos to Instagram from a computer by either using a software tool designed for this purpose (such as the LR/Instagram plug-in for Adobe Lightroom Classic), or by using a feature that simulates a mobile device with the web browser on your computer.

More Detail: Instagram does employ a number of restrictions, but in many cases you can work around those restrictions.

Early on, for example, Instagram only allowed you to share photos that had been cropped to a square, so if you wanted to post a non-square image you needed to add space around the rectangular photo to put it into a square frame. That limitation has since been lifted, but you are still limited in the aspect ratio you can use, which is especially limiting for vertical photos.

One limitation that still exists is the strong emphasis on sharing photos directly from a mobile device. The idea is that Instagram is (or at least was) intended to share photos in real time that were captured with a mobile device. Therefore, at least in theory, you must use the Instagram app on a mobile device to share photos on Instagram.

There are a couple of other options, however. For example, the LR/Instagram plug-in for Lightroom Classic enables you to publish photos to Instagram directly from your Lightroom catalog. You can find the LR/Instagram plug-in here:

Another option that can be very convenient is the ability to simulate a mobile device using the web browser on your computer, and then using that simulated environment to post photos to Instagram. You can read an article about this process on the GreyLearning blog here:

And, of course, you can also synchronize photos from your computer to your mobile device to make those photos available for sharing from within the Instagram app. For example, I export photos I want to share on Instagram to a folder in the Pictures folder on my computer. I then enable that folder for synchronization to my iPhone. This enables me to share some of my favorite photos with others directly on my iPhone, and also makes it easy to then publish those photos using the Instagram app on my iPhone.

By the way, you can find my Instagram feed (and follow me) by searching for me as @timgreyphoto, or by pointing your web browser here: