What’s the right Instagram photo size to use for posts and Stories?
You know that moment when you see something Instagrammable, take a photo with your iPhone, post it, and… the best part gets cropped out? That happens because the dimensions of the image don't match Instagram's requirements. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick guide about what dimensions to use and how to resize a pic for posting on Instagram.
Instagram post size and aspect ratio
Before posting a photo on Instagram, consider two things: the aspect ratio and the image size.
Aspect ratio is the width of a photo in relation to its height. It’s shown by two numbers separated with a colon e.g., 5:4 or 16:9. The first number stands for the width and the second one for the height.
Similarly to the aspect ratio, image size shows the relation of the width and height of the pic, but in pixels. Instagram supports photos with sizes from 320 to 1080 pixels. It means that if you post a photo with a width less than 320px, Instagram will enlarge it. And if the width is over 1080px, Instagram will size it down.
Note: Instagram will still compress photos you post. But it’s best to follow the guidelines and post them with appropriate dimensions and aspect ratio to get the best quality of the image.
So here are the optimal Instagram photo sizes:
- A square photo should be 1080 by 1080 pixels with the aspect ratio of 1:1 so it won’t get cropped.
- With a landscape photo, Instagram recommends sticking to the size of 1080 by 566 pixels and the aspect ratio of 1.91:1 (you can also post it in 16:9 for better quality).
- With a portrait photo, keep it in the 4:5 aspect ratio and 1080 by 1350 pixels in size.
How do you post a full-size photo on Instagram?
You’ve probably noticed that when you take a photo with your iPhone and post it on Instagram, some parts of it get cut out. That’s because the aspect ratio of the iPhone camera is 3:4 while Instagram uses 1:1. However, it does let you post an almost-full-size photo. The top or the bottom of a vertical photo will still get cropped out though, because your original photo is 3:4, not 4:5.
So to post a picture on Instagram in full size, or almost:
- Open Instagram and tap the plus icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Library and choose a photo you’d like to post.
- Tap the small crop icon in the bottom left corner of the screen to see the photo in portrait or landscape mode.
- Drag the photo to adjust what gets cropped out.
- Tap Next to add filters, make edits, and write a caption.
- Hit Share.
Now that you’ve posted it, the photo will appear as a portrait or landscape in your feed. However, it will remind square in the grid view of your profile.
Can you post multiple pictures of different size to Instagram?
While Instagram allows you to post up to 10 photos in one post, the size and rotation for every shot will be the same depending on what mode (square, portrait or landscape) you choose.
Instagram Story size and aspect ratio
Instagram requires a Story to be a vertical image that is 1080px wide and 1920px tall, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. Anything that exceeds the required dimensions will be cut out.
However, you can undo the cropping and post the photo to your Story in full size. Just pinch the corners of the photo and resize it as you wish.
Unlike vertical photos, Instagram doesn’t crop horizontal shots. Instead, it uploads them with blank spaces above and below the pic to maintain the vertical format. If you want to post a horizontal photo without blank spaces, you can either readjust it by zooming in on the photo or rotate it using the Photos app editor.
Important: By default, Instagram will save all posted Stories to your Camera Roll. To make sure your iPhone doesn't drown in all those copies of photos, get an app like Gemini Photos to quickly find and remove them.
Instagram profile picture size
A profile photo in the Instagram app has an aspect ratio of 1:1 and the size of 100 by 100 pixels. But the web version uses a slightly higher resolution. That’s why it's better to use a photo bigger in size to have a good quality image on any device.
Also, note that even with the aspect ratio of 1:1, the profile image is round, meaning that the corners of the photo will be cropped out. Remember this when choosing a profile photo.
How to resize a photo for Instagram on iPhone
If you use an iPhone as your primary camera, you can prepare your shots for Instagram using the built-in editor in the Photos app. Here’s how to resize a picture for Instagram:
- Open the Photos app.
- Find a photo you want to resize and tap Edit.
- Tap the crop icon and then the rectangular icon in the lower right corner.
- Choose the aspect ratio you need (square, 4:5, or 9:16).
- Adjust the photo and tap Done.
To revert the photo to its original size, go back into the Edit mode, tap Revert, and then Revert to Original.
Many third-party Instagram photo editors also have cropping tools that are geared towards the size requirements of the Gram.
And that’s it! Now you know how to optimize the size and aspect ratio of your photos to upload them with the best quality possible.