How To Post Portrait or Vertical Photos on Instagram without cropping

Instagram has made a lot of relevant updates to make photo and video sharing more fun and convenient for its users. When Instagram was launched, it only allowed users to upload square photos. This meant that a substantial portion of your photos could be cropped.

Instagram’s square photo dimensions became a major drawback to photographers and Instagram users as the image quality, content, and resolution of images can be sacrificed. The company always said they only allowed square images to provide a consistent experience when browsing. As more professional photographers began using the app, this approach fell short.

Fortunately, Instagram has seen the need to update and resolve this major issue. Instagram has given its users more freedom to be creative with their images. Now, pictures can be uploaded in landscape or portrait orientation.

Understanding Instagram Images

So how can you post portrait photos on Instagram without cropping?

The vast majority of Instagram images are squared off. That’s fine for the most part but does tend to impact the composition of a photo, especially if it’s a portrait or landscape subject.

When you upload an image or load it into Instagram, the image is automatically cropped to 4:5. That’s okay for the random picture or selfie that makes up the majority of Instagram posts, but when we want to showcase something special, it’s not so good. No one wants to put a lot of time and effort into capturing the perfect photo only for Instagram to ruin it by cropping the image.

Instagram did add different orientations not long ago but images still take a little tweaking to get right. Now, you can post images at a maximum size of 600 x 600 for square images, 1080 × 607 for landscapes, and 480 × 600 for portraits. The actual stored size differs slightly but when you measure images within Instagram, these are what typically come up.


So, if you’re one of the many Instagram users that’s tired of having their photos cropped, let’s take a look at how you can post portrait or vertical photos on Instagram without cropping.

Post Portrait Photos on Instagram

Depending on the size of your image, you may now be able to post a portrait image on Instagram without having to crop it.

Here’s how you can check:

Step 1

Open Instagram and create a new post.

Step 2

Select the image from your collection.

Step 3

Select the small crop icon in the bottom left of the main image screen.

Step 4

Adjust the image within the grid until it’s how you like it.

Using the crop icon shifts the shape from the usual square to its vertical or portrait orientation. This way, you wouldn’t need to shave off the edges of your photos as opposed to the old square orientation.

Post Landscape Images on Instagram

What if you want to post a landscape picture without cropping?

Well, fortunately, the same process above works in landscape orientation too. Since the two sizes were added to Instagram, it will pick up the shape and size of the image and let you post the most suitable size.

The same instructions apply for portrait and landscape photos, so you can simply refer to the above steps and select a landscape image that you want to upload.

Manually Cropping Instagram Images

Sometimes, the image just doesn’t look right with the new setup on Instagram and you need to do a little bit of manual editing first. The new orientation feature is good but also has a few glitches, and if it won’t show your image off at its best, it may be better to manually edit the image and upload it as a square — even if it means sacrificing the composition.

There are a lot of photo editing apps that can help you edit your images first before uploading them to Instagram. You can use Paint.Net for cropping but you can do it with most photo editors. Just follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Download the image to your computer and load it into your image editor.
  2. Crop your image to 5:4 using the image editor and edit until the subject is front and center.
  3. Upload the image to Instagram and post as normal.

If that doesn’t quite work or leaves the image subject hanging out to dry, you can add a white border to either side of the image to create the 5:4 ratio.

This can often make the image look better. It has the advantage of leaving your image in its original form but will be viewed slightly smaller than usual.

This method works great if you aren’t happy with the way your image looks when you upload it straight to Instagram without editing.

Use an App to Prepare an Image for Instagram

There are a number of third-party apps that can help prepare images for Instagram and help you resize an image with or without cropping. Even though you can now post portrait and landscape, these apps still make life a little easier when preparing something for publishing.

Two of the photo editing apps we can recommend are No Crop & Square for Instagram for Android and Whitagram for iPhone. Although, there are a lot more photo editing apps for you to explore. Both of the apps mentioned above achieve the same goal as the manual editing method and will resize your images ready for posting or add a black or white border on either side to make them fit better. If you want to keep everything on your phone and not download it to your computer, these and other apps like it are well worth a try.

Final Thoughts

Most photographers find squaring off an image takes something away from the effect. Instagram users have been stuck on using the square dimension for years, but thanks to the apps recent updates, there is now more flexibility in uploading photos. Adding portrait and landscape orientation gives the professional photographers and those enthusiastic amateurs more options when composing their shots, and our experience as Instagram users is also enhanced. Everyone’s a winner!

Want to find more apps to help you create eye-catching Instagram posts?

Check out our article on the Most Popular Instagram Apps.

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