Millions of users have uploaded tens of millions of photos to Instagram, making it the world’s most popular photo-sharing app. But what happens when you want to save your photos from Instagram? Perhaps you took a photo with the Instagram in-app camera and didn’t save a copy to your phone. Or, maybe you accidentally deleted the original photo (or — gasp — your phone was stolen) and the only copy you have left is the one you posted on Instagram.
No worries, Instagram has a downloader tool that lets you download all of your data — photos included — in a single process. To give you options, we’re going to run through Instagram’s official process of downloading your content before diving into the other options, which includes bookmarking, using screenshots, and using third-party apps.
Before you get too far though, remember to respect other users’ photos — just because you can download an image doesn’t mean you should if it isn’t yours. Some users may specifically share images meant to be saved as wallpaper, but if it’s not clear, it’s a good idea to ask before you download. Instagram has a detailed outline of its copyright policy.
How to download all of your information from Instagram
In the wake of Facebook’s ongoing privacy concerns, Instagram faced similar backlash for not offering a “Download Your Information” option like Facebook has. To placate those concerned with what information Instagram has on them, the Facebook-owned social network released a tool that lets you download all of your data in a few simple steps. Below, we’ll walk you through the process.
Step 1: Log into Instagram in the web browser of your choice and go to your profile.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon that’s to the right of where it says Edit Profile and select the Privacy and Security tab.
Step 3: You should now be seeing a page that says Account Privacy on the top. If you see that, scroll down all the way to the bottom and you’ll see a header that says Data Download with a link below it that says Request Download. Click that link.
Step 4: You will be prompted to enter your email and password to confirm who you are and where you want the data to be sent. Once your identity has been confirmed, it’s just a matter of waiting.
You can also complete the download request using the app.
Step 1: Open the app and go to your profile.
Step 2: Tap the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner, then choose Settings.
Step 3: Tap Security, then Download Data.
Step 4: Type in your email address and password, and then tap the button Request Download.
Much like Facebook’s download tool, Instagram will automatically package up all of your information and send you a download link via email. Instagram says it could take upwards of 48 hours, but we’ve tried it a few times with various accounts and it’s never taken more than an hour or two.
How to bookmark photos on Instagram
Downloading an image isn’t the only way to save it. If you want a quick way to find a photo later, but don’t need it physically stored on your phone, you can bookmark it in Instagram. Instagram added the ability to organize saved posts, a bit like Pinterest boards.
Using the bookmark feature, you can save photos to recall them later, like images tagged #foodporn into a folder of restaurants you’d like to try, or saving those epic landscape shots to a folder of dream vacation ideas. This feature makes your favorite grams easy to access, but unlike downloading them, you’ll only be able to access them within Instagram.
Step 1: Below the image you want to save, tap the bookmark icon on the right.
Step 2: The photo is now saved, but if you would like to organize your saved Instagram photos, tap the Save to Collections that pops up. Click the plus icon to create your own collection.
Step 3: To view, edit, or organize your Instagram saves, navigate to your profile and tap the bookmark icon above your images. From here, you can tap the plus icon to add new collections or move a saved photo to a new collection.
How to screenshot an Instagram Story
Since Instagram Stories are usually displayed full-screen, images shared through Stories can make for great wallpapers for your phone. In fact, some photographers will specifically share pictures this way for this purpose. But there’s one trick to taking a clean screenshot of an Instagram Story that you need to know.
Step 1: When you view an Instagram Story, it will have information like the user’s name overlaid on it. Simply tap and hold anywhere on the screen and these overlays will fade away (this will also pause the Story, giving you extra time to take the screenshot).
Step 2: With your finger held on the screen, take a screenshot. This may require a bit of finger gymnastics, but it shouldn’t be too hard. Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPhone X, iPhone 8 and older, Samsung Galaxy phones, and Google Pixel and Pixel 2.
How to save photos from Instagram in Windows and MacOS
DonwloadGram doesn’t require downloading software to run, which makes downloading Instagram photos a bit less risky, not to mention easier. DownloadGram can be used on desktop computers as well as mobile devices.
On a desktop:
Step 1: Navigate to Instagram on the web.
Step 2: Find the picture you want to save. Click on the … and click Go to Post.
Step 3: Copy the photo’s URL from the web address bar in your browser.
Step 4: Go to DownloadGram’s website.
Step 5: Input the photo’s URL into the box with the auto-generated Instagram link.
Step 6: Click the Download button. Then, click the resulting Download image button to save your image.
On a mobile device:
Step 1: Open the Instagram app and find the photo you want to download.
Step 2: Tap on the … icon and click copy link.
Step 3: Follow steps 4-6 from the desktop instructions above, using a mobile web browser to paste the link at DownloadGram and tapping the download button.
Step 1: Download 4K Stogram onto your computer.
Step 2: After installation, open the program and insert an Instagram username, hashtag, or even location into the search bar.
Step 3: Click Subscribe.
Step 4: Click on each photo to download and automatically open the image.
Step 5: For the ability to do this for an unlimited number of profiles, purchase a license key here for $10.
If you’re not afraid of a bit of code, you can download an Instagram photo using Instagram itself on a desktop computer.
Step 1: Navigate to Instagram’s website.
Step 2: Find the Instagram photo you want to save and click on it. (Note: You may have to right-click or control-click and select “Open in new tab” for the next steps to work properly.)
Step 4: Right/control-click the photo, and then click View Page Source or equivalent.
Step 6: Locate the section that has meta property information (you can also find it by hitting control- or command-f and typing meta property into the search bar). Here, you’ll see a line of code that starts with <meta property=”og:image“.
Step 7: Copy the link that follows the “content=” after that meta property tag until the end of the quotation mark. Make sure you are copying the link that includes a common photo extension name like JPG or PNG. If you copy links without the extension name, this process won’t work.
Step 8: Paste the link into your browser and hit Enter.
Step 9: You will be taken to a page with just the photo. Now, right-click or control-click the image, and select Save Image As to save the photo.
Should you use an app to download Instagram photos?
The Instagram app doesn’t allow users to download individual photos. That hasn’t stopped third-party platforms from creating their own workaround for the problem though. The question is — are these third-party Instagram apps actually safe?
Instagram’s parent company Facebook is facing backlash for user data that was sold to a company for social media campaigns. That data was collected when users allowed third-party apps to access their Facebook profile.
Some of those third-party Instagram downloaders may be perfectly safe, creating the app solely to earn money by sending you annoying ads while you use the app. But many of them require you to log in to your Instagram account and allow the app to access your account information. Rather than open your account to potential risk, it’s safer to stick with downloading images using just the URL and an online web app, or Instagram’s own account download tool if you need to recover all of your posts.