Instagram is a great place to create and share photos with people all around the world, but if you want to save an image and keep it on your device, how can you do so? There are various options, as you'll see.
How to download all of your data from Instagram
Sadly, there’s no way to download just one image directly from Instagram, but instead you can request your entire library from the company. This will take a few hours (or possibly up to a couple of days) to assemble, then you’ll be sent a link to the folder which you download to your device.
To arrange the download, here’s what you need to do:
Open Instagram on your device and tap the profile icon the bottom right corner. On the next page, tap the three lines in the top right corner, then select Settings.
You’ll see a variety of options, but the one you need to tap is Security followed by Download Data.
Enter the email you want the link sent to and tap the Request Download button. You’ll need to sign in with your Instagram password to confirm, then finally tap Next > Done to complete the process.
Keep an eye on your inbox and you should see an email arrive with the link. Follow the instructions in the message and you’ll soon have a backup of all of your posted content.
How to download individual images from your Instagram account
While Instagram doesn’t provide a way to download individual images, workarounds exist. You may also find apps offering the same function, but if any of them requires you to log into your Instagram account, then we’d advise against taking that risk, as they'll then have your login details.
An easy and free way to download single images from Instagram is simply to access the web version in a web browser, either on a laptop, PC or on your phone or tablet.
Open the browser and navigate to Instagram. Log in to your account, then click on the profile icon in the top right corner and select Profile from the menu that appears. We're using a Windows laptop here.
Now you’ll see a grid of all your photos. Find the one you want to download and click on it to open the image. In the upper right corner of the sidebar to the picture, click the three dots and select Go to post.
The next page will look practically identical, but the secret sauce here is that you now have the dedicated URL to the image. So, go up to the top of the page, highlight the web address you see in the search bar and copy it into your clipboard (usually CTRL+C on Windows or cmd+C on macOS).
Next, go back to your profile page and click the bumpy circle to the right of the Edit Profile button. From the menu that appears, select Privacy and Security followed by unticking the Private Account option in the Account Privacy section.
You’ll only need to do this while you download the image, then you can turn it back on again to protect your account.
Open a new tab and go to Ingramer. This is a free service that can download Instagram images so long as you have the direct URL.
Paste the URL into the text field in the middle of the page and click Search. The site should find your image and display a version of it on the screen. Now, simply click the Download option at the bottom of the image and the photo will be saved to your hard drive.
How to download Instagram images from other people's account
If you want to make copies of Instagram posts from other people, then the process is basically the same as those outlined above for individual images. One major difference is that you don't own the images, so you should contact the creator and ask for their permission before you download them.
With permission granted, go to Instagram via a browser and search for their account. Find the image you want then select the three dots in the upper right corner to open the menu.
Choose the Go to post option then copy the URL in the address bar at the top of the page.
Visit Ingramer, paste the URL into the text field in the middle of the page, then click Search. You should now see the image, unless the Instagram account is set to Private, so all that's left to do is click the Download option underneath the picture to create a copy on your hard drive
Of course, if you don't want to go through all of these steps, there's always the simple option of taking a screenshot on your phone. We already have guides that explain how to do this on Android and iPhone, so take a look at those and you'll be able to make copies of photos that you can keep or share outside of Instagram.