Instagram, the ever popular app that allows you to share photos and videos with your friends, family and followers isn't limited to just your phone or tablet. Here, we show you how to use Instagram on a Mac.

Upload photos to Instagram on a Mac using Safari

Instagram is first-and-foremost designed to be used on a mobile device, but you can view, like and comment on photos and videos on the desktop site. Just visit www.instagram.com and login to your account.

You can't, however, upload photos or videos to your account there - or at least you can't at first glance. There is a way to 'trick' Instagram into thinking you're accessing the site via an iPhone, which does allow for photo uploads.

How? First off, open Safari and head to Preferences > Advanced and make sure Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar is toggled on. From there, head to the Instagram website and log in to your account. Then select Develop > User Agent > Safari - iOS 10 - iPhone.

The Instagram website should automatically reload (manually refresh if not) and display the mobile version of the site, complete with upload functionality. Select the Camera icon, browse for the image you'd like to post and select Choose.

You'll then see a preview of the image with basic editing options (rotate, choice between 16:9 or square aspect ratio) - once you're happy with the image, click Next, add your caption and share it with your Instagram followers.

The drawbacks to using this technique? You can only upload images and not videos via Safari, and you also lose access to Instagram's advanced editing option and range of filters. 

That's a big drawback, but there are workarounds available.

You might also like: How to add iPhone Live Photos to Instagram

Upload photos to Instagram via third-party apps

There are a number of third-party apps available on the Mac App Store that offer a range of abilities, from being able to browse your feed to checking your notifications and – unlike the website – allowing you to post images from your Mac onto Instagram.

Flume

Among the most popular is Flume, which presents your Instagram feed in a stylish window with swipe support and hidden menus for a clean and intuitive experience.

At a glance, it appears that the app just shows a stream of pictures with no text, and no options to like or comment. However, clicking a photo will bring up the caption, along with icons that'll allow you to comment on the photo and like it.

The app also shows your recent notifications, top pictures and even offers curated profile recommendations based on what you post.

It also includes the ability to use Instagram Direct, allowing users to share media, profiles, hashtags and more privately.

The most impressive feature of Flume, though, is its photo and video upload support, a feature offered by very few third-party Instagram apps. Just hover your mouse over the bottom left of the app and the menu will appear. You can then click the camera icon and either take a photo or video right there and then, or upload one from your Mac.

There is a catch, though: Flume is free to download but with a limited number of uploads before you'll need to upgrade via an in-app purchase to Flume Pro. You can download Flume for free here.

Uplet

While Uplet doesn't offer the ability to browse your Instagram feed natively, it does offer features that power-users may be interested in. Uplet is a simple app available on the Mac App Store that allows users to drag and drop photos & videos and bulk upload them to Instagram in a few seconds - but there's more.

You can edit each photo and video like on Instagram, and add individual captions to each photo. It also has the crop option featured in the app, allowing users the ability to upload either the original or square-size photo. While this isn't for casual users, it allows those die-hard Instagram fans to upload multiple posts all at once. Our only complaint? It is yet to support the new Instagram multi-photo post option, although we imagine support will be coming in the near future.

Uplet costs £9.99 on the Mac App Store, but a free (limited) demo can also be found on the Uplet website

How to use an Emulator to upload photos to Instagram

Another way to upload photos to Instagram from a Mac is an emulator. One of the most consistent and trusted emulators we've come across is Bluestacks, a free Android emulator that can be downloaded here.

How to use Instagram on Mac - Bluestacks

Once downloaded, you'll need to setup an emulated Android device. For this you'll need a Google account and a Bluestacks account, and you'll need to link the two within Bluestacks. Once that's done, you can use the Android emultator to navigate to the Play Store (which is Android's equivalent of the App Store) and download Instagram.

You can then sign-in to your Instagram account, and use the app as you would if you were using a mobile device. This means you can upload photos without being forced to use your phone.