How to Post on Instagram from Your Computer in 2023: A Mac User‘s Guide

Instagram has come a long way since its launch in 2010 as an iOS-only app focused on square photos. In the 12+ years since, it has rolled out on Android, added video, introduced Stories, and launched a slew of creative tools like filters, stickers and Reels. Throughout these changes, one thing remained constant: Instagram‘s identity as a mobile-first platform.

However, times are changing. In October 2021, Instagram launched the ability for users to upload photos and videos (under 60 seconds) directly from a browser on desktop computers. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained the decision as an acknowledgement that many people access the platform on a variety of devices:

"We know a lot of people use Instagram from their computer, so we wanted to make sure the experience was as good as possible. Upload functionality is just a start – we want to keep improving the experience over time with more features and capabilities."

The news was a long time coming for the many users who prefer to access Instagram via a web browser on a computer. According to a 2021 study by Sensor Tower, 35.8% of Instagram‘s total traffic comes from web browsers, up from 28.4% in 2020. Desktop is an especially important access point in certain regions – web browsers account for over 50% of Instagram traffic in some African countries.

Instagram Traffic from Web Browsers

Instagram traffic from web browsers by region. Source: Sensor Tower.

For content creators and social media managers who use a Mac, full-featured Instagram access on desktop is especially welcome. macOS is known for its robust ecosystem of creative tools for photo and video editing, graphic design and content planning. Being able to post directly to Instagram without having to first transfer files to a phone streamlines the content creation process.

But while the browser experience on Mac now more closely mirrors the mobile app, some limitations and quirks remain – especially for users who want to access more advanced Instagram features like Stories, Reels and Shopping. Luckily, there are several options for enhancing your Mac Instagram experience in 2023. Let‘s break them down.

Upload from on Mac: A Workaround

The option to upload photos and videos directly from a web browser is fully supported on PCs running Windows 10 and up. But Mac users who navigate to are still greeted with a limited version of the platform that only allows for browsing, searching, commenting and viewing messages.

However, there‘s a simple trick that allows you to access the full Instagram experience on your Mac, including the ability to create new posts. All you need to do is make Instagram think you‘re accessing the site from a mobile device instead of a desktop browser. Here‘s how:

  1. Open Safari or Chrome and navigate to
  2. Log in to your account if you haven‘t already
  3. Right click (or control+click) anywhere on the page and select "Inspect" from the menu that appears. This will open Developer Tools.
  4. In the Developer Tools window, click the "Toggle Device Toolbar" icon that looks like a tablet and phone. On Chrome this is in the top left corner, on Safari it‘s in the top right.
  5. The page will reload with a mobile view. You‘ll now see a + icon at the bottom of the screen to create a new post.

Inspector Window

While this workaround gets the job done, it‘s a bit clunky to use Developer Tools every time you want to post. The mobile layout can also be awkward to navigate with a mouse and keyboard if you‘re used to the desktop experience.

Use Professional Social Media Tools

For Mac-based social media managers and businesses who want a more robust solution, an all-in-one social media management platform like Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Agorapulse can be a great option. These tools allow you to manage your presence on Instagram as well as other key networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from a single dashboard.

Sprout Social Dashboard

The Sprout Social dashboard. Source: Sprout Social.

The main advantage of these platforms from a desktop Instagram perspective is their extensive post scheduling and automation capabilities. You can plan out weeks or months worth of Instagram content, edit it with the built-in image and video tools, write your captions and hashtags and set everything to automatically publish at designated times. They eliminate the hassle of having to manually log in and post each day.

These tools also allow you to view and reply to comments and DMs right from their dashboards and provide analytics to track your post performance and audience growth over time. Some, like Hootsuite, even have features for collaborating with your team on social content and getting approval from clients and stakeholders.

The main downside is the cost, which can quickly add up for a small business or solopreneur. Plans with Instagram posting privileges start at around $30-$60/month and climb into the hundreds from there depending on your needs. But if you‘re serious about growing your brand on Instagram and have the budget, investing in a professional tool can be worth the expense.

Top professional Instagram tools for Mac:

Try a Dedicated Instagram App for Mac

While Instagram doesn‘t have an official desktop app for Mac, there are some great third-party options that aim to fill the gap. These apps replicate the main features and interface of the mobile app for a more familiar Instagram experience on Mac while also adding desktop-specific enhancements like keyboard shortcuts and the ability to upload from your computer.

Some of the most popular dedicated Instagram apps for Mac in 2023 include:

  • Grids ($4.99) – Grids offers a simple way to view your feed, stories, notifications and profile on your Mac. You can browse in a grid or list layout, reply to comments inline and make basic edits to your profile. Posting isn‘t supported, but it‘s a clean, intuitive way to keep up with Instagram when you‘re on your computer.

  • Flume ($14.99) – Flume is a full-featured Instagram app that supports uploading photos and videos, viewing stories, browsing your feed, searching for users and hashtags, seeing notifications, replying to DMs and more. A pro upgrade ($19.99) unlocks multiple account support, a "zen mode" feed that hides comments and likes, and handy photo editing tools.

  • Uplet ($19.95) – Uplet focuses on enabling direct photo and video uploads from your Mac. You can drag and drop files from your desktop or use the built-in camera and basic editing tools. It supports gallery posts, filters, locations, people tagging and editing of metadata. But it doesn‘t have options for managing DMs, stories or your feed.

Grids for Instagram

Grids for Instagram. Source: Grids.

While these apps provide a convenient way to use Instagram on your Mac, it‘s worth noting that they operate in somewhat of a grey area in terms of Instagram‘s rules. The platform‘s terms prohibit accessing the service through unauthorized third-party clients, so there‘s always a chance your account could get flagged or suspended for using them. But in practice, this seems to be rare and mainly a concern for spammy or bot-like behavior.

If you‘re going to use one of these Mac Instagram apps, make sure to still follow Instagram‘s content policies and community guidelines. Avoid any rapid liking, commenting, following or unfollowing that could get your account banned. And expect occasional outages or bugs, especially after a major update to the official Instagram app.

Edit Photos on Mac, Post from Phone

Perhaps the main reason most Instagram users want to access the platform from their computer is for photo editing. Macs – especially the newer models with high-resolution Retina screens – provide a superior environment for getting your photos looking just right before sharing with your followers.

Most professional photographers and graphic designers prefer to edit on a Mac using tools like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom or alternatives like Affinity Photo, Luminar, and Pixelmator Pro. Even if you‘re just doing basic touch-ups, it‘s generally easier to get precise results with a mouse or stylus compared to tapping and swiping on a phone screen.

Once you have your photos perfected on your Mac, you‘ll need a way to get them to your phone for posting. The easiest option is to use iCloud Photos (or your cloud storage service of choice like Google Photos or Dropbox) to sync your edited images across your devices. Here‘s the basic process:

  1. Make sure iCloud Photos is enabled on both your Mac (System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud) and your iPhone (Settings > Photos).
  2. Import the photos you want to edit into the Apple Photos app on your Mac.
  3. Edit the photos using the built-in tools or your external editor of choice.
  4. Give the changes a few minutes to sync to iCloud. You‘ll see a progress indicator in the Photos app.
  5. On your iPhone, open the Photos app and navigate to the "Recents" album to find your edited photos.
  6. Save the photos to your phone and open the Instagram app to post as usual.

You can also use the continuity features built into macOS and iOS to speed up this process. For example, AirDrop lets you quickly beam files from your Mac to your iPhone over WiFi. You can right-click a photo on your Mac, select Share > AirDrop and then tap to accept on your phone. Or use Universal Clipboard to copy the photo on your Mac and paste it directly into the Instagram app on iOS.

While this method adds a couple extra steps compared to posting directly from your Mac, it lets you tap into the power of desktop editing while still playing by Instagram‘s rules. Plus, you can use the time between exporting your photos and publishing your post to engage with your audience in the app, reply to comments and DMs and catch up on your feed.

Schedule Posts with Creator Studio

For users who have a business or creator account on Instagram, Creator Studio is a handy, free tool provided by parent company Meta for managing and publishing your content from a web browser. While it‘s missing some features compared to the mobile app, it does support scheduling feed posts and IGTV videos up to 6 months in advance.

To get started with Creator Studio:

  1. Go to and click the Instagram icon at the top of the page.
  2. Follow the prompts to connect your Instagram account.
  3. Once connected, click "Create Post" and choose "Instagram Feed."
  4. Upload your photo or video, write your caption, add your location and tags, and set your posting schedule.
  5. Click "Publish" to schedule the post.

Creator Studio Instagram Post

Scheduling an Instagram post in Creator Studio. Source: Facebook.

In addition to scheduling posts, Creator Studio provides basic analytics around your account performance and audience growth. You can also read and reply to Instagram comments and DMs right from the platform.

But Creator Studio has some notable limitations. There‘s no ability to create or schedule Stories, Reels or carousel posts. The mobile preview of your post can be a bit wonky, especially for photos not sized to the standard Instagram square (1080×1080) or vertical (1080×1350) aspect ratios. And unlike some of the third-party scheduling tools, you can‘t work with multiple accounts in one place.

Still, for a free tool that lets you plan your feed posts in advance, Creator Studio is worth checking out — especially if you already use Facebook Business Manager to run ads or track your page insights.

Level Up Your Instagram Presence from Your Mac

No matter which method you choose, accessing Instagram from your Mac opens up new opportunities for your content, creativity and productivity. You can take advantage of powerful editing tools to make your photos and videos really shine. You can brainstorm and plan your posts in advance to tell a more cohesive brand story. And you can save time by uploading and scheduling your content in batches so you‘re not constantly context switching to your phone throughout the day.

The Instagram ecosystem is always evolving, and it‘s likely we‘ll continue to see the desktop experience become more feature-rich and aligned with the mobile app over time – especially as the platform expands further into e-commerce and advertising.

In the meantime, don‘t be afraid to experiment with different apps and workflows to find what makes sense for your specific needs and goals on Instagram. With a bit of creativity and the right tools, you can build an engaged community, express your vision and even drive business results, all without leaving your Mac.

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