How to Save Instagram Photos to your Desktop
"I just want to save Instagram photos" but it's 2017 and Instagram is constantly updating. It feels like Instagram changes itself more than most people change their sheets (which should be weekly by the way). So how can you save Instagram photos to your desktop? The old school method of "right click > save as" is no longer effective. After an update last year, many Instagram enthusiasts who still own a laptop reported that the functionality that has aided us through so many research projects has now turned its back as the social giant steps up its game. It's been reported that with Instagram's new "save in app" feature, they did away with the manual actions to save to a desktop or laptop computer. Along with the advent of third party repost apps (if you're in the market, check out Regrann) allowing easy reshares, there's definitely plenty of workaround alternatives.
But what if you just want to simply save Instagram photos to your desktop - no muss, no fuss? We've got you covered (until Instagram's next update, at least).
Save Instagram Photos - In Three Steps
Step 1 - Find the photo you want to save on your desktop browser.
Instagram has a web version of its popular photo application - however, beyond following, unfollowing, commenting and editing your bio, the desktop app doesn't offer the ability to post photos. Nor does it offer the ability to save images - or does it? The first step in saving Instagram photos (not screenshots) to your desktop is pulling up the image in your browser. For our example, we'll be using Google's Chrome browser on a Dell XPS (hush, Apple fan boys). Your results may vary using other browsers.
Instagram profiles share the same URL structure across the entire platform making searching for a profile as easy as remembering the profile name. The URL structure for Instagram accounts looks like this "https://www.instagram.com/[INSERT HANDLE HERE - NO SPACES]/" Since our Instagram handle is "TargetRocket", our URL is https://www.instagram.com/TargetRocket/ (go ahead and give us a follow).
We're going to teach you how to save this photo from our Instagram account so go ahead and click the link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRgJd9_ggEQ/?taken-by=targetrocket
Step 2 - Right click the photo you want to save and select "View page source"
Now that you're on the above image through the Instagram URL we linked to, right click on the page and click "View page source" from the dropdown. What you see next should make you run in backend horror, but stay with us. The source code is a text listing of commands to be compiled or assembled into an executable computer program. So that ugly stuff creates that really pretty stuff you see in the app. It's also what we'll need to save the image.
Step 3 - "Ctrl + F" type in "jpg" > Copy / paste the Link into a new Window > Right Click & Save As
So now we need to sift through this code - quickly. Press the "Control" Key and the "F" Key on your keyboard to open up your browser's search feature (it should appear in the top right corner). In the search box, type these three letters: "jpg" (case doesn't matter).
With the search box open and "jpg" typed in it, hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard. At the first instance of "jpg" - STOP. That's the line of code we need to save this photo. On the browser we're using, it's line 232 that containts the magic text.
Copy and paste the URL in line 232 starting with https: all the way to the .jpg - DO NOT copy the quotation marks (these little guys ") before and after this URL. If you copy the quotations and paste them into a Chrome browser, Google will search for the information within the quotes exactly - useful in search, not useful for saving Instagram photos. For the example we're using, you should have copied this URL: https://scontent-lga3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/17126076_1580398738644640_3706342904256528384_n.jpg (note how we left off the quotes before and after the URL).
Now open a new window and paste that URL into your browser and click "Enter" - the result should be an image you can now Right Click > Save Image As.
And there you go - three steps to saving Instagram Photos to your computer or laptop. But remember - with great power comes great responsibility. The rules of copyright still apply - don't repost content that doesn't belong to you unless express permission was given. If you do have the authorization to repost an image, always give credit where credit is due (this cool shot of a DSLR camera came the amazing photographer Jay Simmons from Unsplash.com - the anti-stock photo website).