Well…it’s happened again. I’ve stumbled across another one of those social media tasks that should be soooo simple, yet isn’t. Similar to my articles on switching between Twitter mobile and desktop and reorganizing your Facebook photos, I expect that there are a lot of people out there searching for the answer to this one too.
How do I upload photos from my digital camera, desktop PC or Mac to Instagram?
After returning from a much-needed family vacation from social media via a Disney cruise to the Bahamas, I now have tons of photos stored on my digital camera. So I’d like to share some of them via Instagram, but since they aren’t on my phone or my table, I can’t share them. You see, unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t offer any way to upload photos from the Web interface.
So, I turned to Google for ways to post my photos. Here are some queries that I tried to find a solution:
- Upload photos Instagram from my desktop
- Upload photos from a PC to Instagram
- Add photos to Instagram via the Web
- Instagram workaround for uploading photos
- App for uploading Instagram photos from PC or Mac
- Upload Instagram photos from my computer
Unfortunately, all of these queries really pointed to the same set of outdated (and now non-functional) tips, hints, workarounds and “solutions”. I gave them a try to see if they worked and then found the one that seemed to be the easiest and worked flawlessly.
Non-Solution #1 – Use Gramblr.com
The first out of date solution is to use a product called Gramblr. This app is a desktop app that says it allows you to upload photos from your PC directly to Instagram. The problem is that the app isn’t available. Right on their front page, they acknowledge that they’re working out issues with the Mac version of their software, but when you click the link to the PC version of the download, you get a 404 error. Booo!
So Gramblr is out as a potential solution.
Non-Solution #2 – Use BlueStacks
The second recommendation, from CNet, is to use an app emulator called BlueStacks. This was one of the worst, cludgy, and non-functional suggestions that I tried. I installed BlueStacks just fine, then installed the Android version of Instagram and then fired it up. I could browse, like and comment on the photos just fine, albeit horribly slow (and I have a pretty beefy PC). But when I tried to add a photo, no go.
The article says:
To upload a photo from your desktop, click the camera button, then select the polaroid icons in the lower-right of the app window. This will prompt you to select a photo from your drive. (If you use Instagram on Android, this entire process will be familiar.) Then, edit and upload the photo as usual.
Unfortunately, the Android version that is specifically called out in this article, doesn’t allow you to browse the local file structure on your PC. Sure, I could take an additional step and install ES File Explorer, map a network drive to my PC folders via IP address and then share…but that’s a LOT of extra steps and work just to share a photo.
So…BlueStacks is out as a potential solution.
Somewhat Solution #3 – Use Botio
I call Botio.net a “somewhat solution” because, while it might work, I don’t recommend it. You see, Botio asks you for your Instagram username and password. I’m not comfortable passing that information through a site/application that I know nothing about so I chose not to try it.
Like I said, I don’t recommend it, but if you decide to give it a try it claims to allow you to upload one photo at a time via their Web interface. If you try it, let us know how it works by adding a comment.
So, at least for me…Botio is out.
The Real Solution (Well…Kinda) – Use Dropbox
So all those “solutions” that tout allowing you to upload photos from your PC or Mac….they don’t. And there’s probably a good reason for that. Instagram was designed to be a mobile app, capturing the world around you via your phone. They didn’t build an upload interface because that’s not how they saw the app being used. But…since humans are humans, we often use the app in ways that differ from how the developers intended it.
The fastest and easiest way to share your photos to Instagram from your PC or Mac desktop is just to use Dropbox. Dropbox is a great free app that allows you to easily share photos and files from your desktop to mobile phone or tablet, so I just dropped the photos I wanted to share in a Dropbox folder on my PC and then shared them from my Android tablet.
Dropbox takes 2 minutes to install on your PC and then you can create as many folders as you’d like. I created a folder called “Cruise” and then just dropped the photos into the folder.
Then I headed over to my tablet, where I had the Dropbox app installed and then long-pressed on the photo to open it in the Photo Gallery. From there, I could share directly to Instagram.
Note: The Android Dropbox app doesn’t allow you to share directly to Instagram, so that’s the reason for opening the photo in the gallery first.
There you have it. Three non-solutions and one workaround to allow you to share photos from your desktop or digital camera to Instagram. I hope these helps and would love to hear about any other workarounds out there.