Instagram launched an official app for Windows 10 last year, but it's missing one key function: there’s no way to upload photos to Instagram from your PC. There’s no way to upload photos from the website either, and there's no dedicated app for Mac OS X.
This is a pain – particularly if you want to share pictures you’ve taken with a digital camera rather than a smartphone, or you want to make a few sneaky edits using a photo editor first.
This might change in the future, but in the meantime there are two handy ways to get around it and upload photos to Instagram from your PC.
Update: A new version of BlueStacks App Player was released in July that makes it even easier to upload pictures to Instagram, so we've updated this guide accordingly.
- If you need to spruce up your photos before you upload them to Instagram, check out our list of the best free photo editors
1. The BlueStacks method
The Instagram app for Android is superb, and you can run it on your desktop using free Android emulator BlueStacks App Player, enabling you to upload photos to Instagram from your PC or Mac.
Download and install BlueStacks, then wait a few minutes while the engine starts for the first time. Dismiss the tutorial using the cross at the top right, make sure the correct language is selected and tap the arrow button.
2. Log in and set up BlueStacks
Click ‘Continue’, then log in using your Google account. Review the terms of service and, if you agree, click ‘OK’.
The next checkboxes are completely optional; if you’re only using BlueStacks to upload to Instagram, feel free to uncheck them all. Click the Next arrow, then enter your name (it'll only be used to personalize some apps).
3. Install Instagram
You'll now see a version of the Google Play Store. Search for Instagram (the search bar is in the top right), select the official app when it appears and click Install. The app will request access to information including your contacts and location – click Accept.
After a moment, the Instagram icon will appear under the My Apps tab. Click it once to launch it.
4. Upload, filter and share
BlueStacks will change to the size and shape of a vertically-oriented smartphone. Sign into your Instagram account with your usual details (the login link is at the bottom). Your Instagram feed will appear as it would on a phone.
Click the plus icon at the bottom, then select Gallery. Click the Gallery drop-down menu at the top left and select Other, then click Pick from Windows. Find the photo you want to upload, select it and click Open.
You can now crop the picture, add filters and a caption, and share it with your followers via all the usual social networks.
5. The Dropbox method
Another way to circumvent Instagram’s desktop-blocking and upload photos from your PC or Mac is to use cloud storage service Dropbox.
6. Upload and sync photos
Drag a photo from your PC or Mac into your new Dropbox folder and it will be synced with the mobile app automatically.
Grab your phone, open the Dropbox app and tap your photo to select it. Tap the downward-pointing arrow in the top right. Select ‘Export’, then choose the Instagram app.