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Although there’s is no official Instagram app for Macs, here we show you how to use Instagram on a Mac including on Apple Silicon M1, M2 and M3 chip Macs.

Is There An Instagram App For Macs?

There is no Instagram app for Macs. The Instagram app is only available for iOS, Android and Windows.

Note that the Gramblr, Flume, Visual Grub and Carousel for Mac Instagram apps are no longer available but all the ways of using Instagram on a Mac featured here are excellent alternatives to them.

Here then are the best ways to use and install Instagram on a Mac in order of ranking.

1. Instagram Online

instagram web on mac

By far the easiest way to use Instagram on a Mac is to use the official web version of Instagram.

Although when it was first released you couldn’t upload photos with the Instagram web app, you can now do pretty much anything you want with it including upload photos from a Mac.

The only things missing from the web version are Stories and the Instagram shop.

To use it, simply go to the Instagram website and enter your username and password.


2. PlayCover

If you want to install the Instagram app on your Mac then the easiest way is using PlayCover.

PlayCover is free to use as its an open source project that allows you to run iOS apps and games on Apple Silicon Macs (it does not support Intel Macs) with mouse, keyboard and controller support.

PlayCover works by putting the iOS Instagram app in an iPad wrapper which then allows the apps to run natively on Apple Silicon Macs.

PlayCover is safe to use on a Mac and works on all versions of macOS including the latest versions of Sonoma, Ventura and Monterey.

It can also be used to install other iOS apps which aren’t available for Mac such as Netflix too.

Here’s how to download the Instagram app on a Mac using PlayCover.

  • Download PlayCover and double click on the DMG file.
  • Drag PlayCover into your Applications folder.

install playcover on mac

  • Double click on the PlayCover app to open it or Ctrl-click on it and select “Open”.

open playcover on mac

  • Click “Open” when macOS warns you whether you want to open it.

playcover macos open app

  • When you first run PlayCover you may have to install Xcode Command Line Tools if you’ve never installed it before. This is an Apple tool that allows developers to create apps for Apple products and is perfectly safe to install. PlayCover will automatically do this for you when you click “Install”.

playcover mac xcode

  • To complete the installation you need to authenticate with either Touch ID or enter your admin password on your Mac.

script macos touch id password playcover

  • You must then download a decrypted IPA file for the Instagram iOS app. These are only available from third party sites such as Decrypt and ARM Converter. For example, if you search for “Instagram” in Decrypt you are given the option to download the Instagram IPA file by clicking on Download Latest.

instagram ios app decrypt

  • You then simply drag and drop the decrypted Instagram IPA file into PlayCover to add it to your PlayCover App Library. PlayCover will install the Instagram app and then you’ll get the message “Finished” when its installed. If you go to your PlayCover App Library, you’ll see Instagram has been installed. Note that Instagram will not appear in your Mac’s Applications folder – it only appears in your PlayCover App Library.

instagram app on mac with playcover

  • You can then double click on the the Instagram app to use it on your Mac. You’ll need to enter your Instagram username and password when you open the app.

3. Later

If you’re an Instagram business user or influencer, then you may find Later a good way to post to Instagram from your Mac.

Later is an official Instagram Partner and allows you to schedule posts and manage your Instagram feed on your Mac.

You can quickly plan a whole week of Instagram posts and via the visual editor, drag and drop the sequence and manage the content of them.

Later has free plans although business users have to subscribe.

later instagram on mac

4. Desktop For Instagram

If you’re already a Google Chrome user on Mac, then Desktop for Instagram is a Chrome add-on which allows you to check Instagram from your Chrome browser.

Once installed, just click on the Desktop for Instagram logo in the top right of Chrome, log-in and you can view your Instagram feed.

You can upload photos to your Instagram account and download videos and photos from it.

You can download the Desktop for Instagram Extension in Chrome.

desktop for instagram

5. OneUp

OneUp helps you manage social media channels of all kinds including Instagram.

You simply add your Instagram post to OneUp, select the interval and frequency of automatic recycling and post it now or schedule it for the future.

You can try OneUp for free on your Mac now.

oneup instagram on mac

About The Author


MacHow2 is a team of devoted and passionate Mac users that aim to help you get the most out of your Mac. Since 2013, we've been helping Mac users new and old with software and hardware recommendations or solving technical problems. If you've got any comments about this article, get involved by leaving a comment below. You can find out more About Us and how we work. You can also contact us using the contact form at the top of the site.

42 Responses

  1. flightdmtDee

    Thanks for the instructions. Used method 1 of Virtualbox and got all the way to the end. When I got to the login screen for Instagram it a window popped up that said Incompatible device, unfortunately the device doesn’t meet the minimum camera requirements. Option 2 didn’t work as it had the camera features problem too. What am I doing wrong? Does method 1 still work or are both methods now bugged?

    • MacHow2

      Unfortunately there are little glitches like this that seem to affect some users and not others. The only suggestion is to try and reinstalling by following the tutorial again as something may have gone wrong with your current install.

  2. Joey Marks

    Great rundown of options…been trying to figure this out for a while! Followed the Virtual Box / Emulator method and got all the way to done!! Only hitch is that even though I turned off the AutoRotate function in the Android emulator, Instagram runs sideways and I can’t figure out how to rotate it 90 degrees clockwise.

    As instructed, when I click the login button the page rotates to the appropriate position. But once in, it rotates back to it’s side.

    Any help would be appreciated! And thanks again for a great article.

    • MacHow2

      Glad it helped you! Trying hitting F12 twice quickly and as long as screen rotation is enabled, it should rotate 90 degrees to the left.

  3. Hannah

    Method 1 problem. Everything seemed to go according to plan using Method 1, and the Instagram icon showed up on the android screen, but when I click to launch it, I’m told “Incompatible device. Unfortunately, this device doesn’t seem to meet the minimum camera requirements.” Ideas? Workaround?

      • Hannah

        Macbook air, OS X (Yosemite) v10.10.1. Thanks for this excellent post, BTW. It’s a truly useful labor of love.

      • MacHow2

        You’re welcome and thanks! This may be a problem between VirtualBox, Yosemite and your Mac’s iSight camera. If you have access to one, what you could try doing is connecting a USB webcam camera instead to see if VirtualBox and Instagram will accept that instead.

      • Hannah

        While the Chrome extension would certainly make life (much) easier, my impression is that it will only let me access an existing Instagram account, but not create a new one. Without a smartphone or tablet, I’ve never been able to create my own Instagram account (alas). If that’s truly the case, I’ll either try to get things to work via VirtualBox and a USB webcam (I think I have one lying around somewhere) — or I’ll see if I can create an account through someone else’s tablet!

      • MacHow2

        It used to be possible to create an Instagram account using Bluestacks Android emulator on Mac but Bluestacks no longer works on Mac. However, Bluestacks does still work for Windows so if you have a PC anywhere, it’s worth trying. Otherwise yes, someone else’s tablet will do it.

  4. Thaissa

    I installed virtual box and everything went well. For some reason when I click to upload a photo on instagram the app just shuts down. Please help

    • MacHow2

      It may be because you haven’t allocated VirtualBox enough memory during the original setup process. You could also try closing any other applications that are running on your Mac and in VirtualBox as advised by Instagram.

    • MacHow2

      Hi Richard, Sorry this comment was missed. The problem is that OS X is probably recognizing the USB device before VirtualBox has chance to. You need to unmount it from OS X first so that VirtualBox can “grab it”. Try ejecting the USB device using Finder in OS X and then go to the Devices – USB Devices menu in VirtualBox and select the USB drive that you want to mount. Let us know if it helps.

  5. Richard

    Using the Virtual Box method:
    When I go to install Instagram, the play store tells me “Your device is not compatible with this version.”
    is there a workaround for this?


    • MacHow2

      Hi Richard, If you”re receiving that message, try going into the Play Store via the Android web browser instead and installing Instagram that way.

      • Richard

        Thanks for this, but when i do that i get an error that brings me back to the play store that says the same as before.

        here is the workflow FYI:
        Android web browser -> : Instagram site -> Install Now -> Choose Device “No Carrier innotech GmbH VirtualBox” -> Click install -> “Congratulations Instagram will be installed soon” ->Error comes up at top left “Error downloading ‘instagram'” -> Clicking the error brings me to the google play store app with the instagram page loaded and the same note as before “Your device is not compatible”

        Any thoughts?

      • MacHow2

        Richard, Having looked into this now, it seems the “device not compatible” message is a bug that affects some Android users that Instagram is looking into with Google. However, Google suggests a temporary fix for some users is to clear your Google Play Store data cache by going: Settings > Application Manager > All > Google Play Store > Clear data. Hope it helps.

      • MacHow2

        Richard, There’s now a new way to install Instagram on your Mac which doesn’t require the Play store. The article has now been revised to explain how to do it. Let us know if you have problems.

  6. Guy Bradley

    PS, the link you give to download bluestacks for Mac at the start of these instructions is linked to a PC version.

    • MacHow2

      Hi Guy, Glad it helped you install Instagram on your Mac. The link you mention simply links to the Bluestacks homepage but they have now withdrawn the Bluestacks download for Mac so it only goes to the PC version now.

  7. Guy Bradley

    Thanks so much, your work is so helpful and easy to follow. I explicitly followed your instructions but the bluestacks search button doesn’t work. I get an error the app is not responding. I then tried going to “my apps” and using the “app search app”. Sometimes I get the same error. Sometimes it works. When it does work instagram downloads but doesn’t appear in “my apps”.

  8. Decapandapus

    They haven’t updated it for Macbooks for awhile and/or it doesn’t work on my Air. Please help!

    • MacHow2

      Uploading from iPhoto to Instagram on your Mac is not possible because iPhoto images are stored in an Apple iPhoto Library which Bluestacks can’t access. The easiest way of getting iPhoto pictures into Bluestacks is to simply take a screenshot of them and then save them in your Pictures folder and upload them to Instagram on your Mac that way.

  9. nate

    i followed all of the instructions but when i click install it just says searching app stores. it just keeps on searching.

  10. gracenande123

    I have problems, Looks like the Bluestacks takes hours to load and if I try to search it doesn’t show “instagram”. I have used this for one day and the next day it doesn’t work why?

    • MacHow2

      Do you mean you managed to install Instagram for Mac using the instructions above but the next day when you opened Bluestacks, Instagram had disappeared?

      • gracenande123

        No this was last week after following the steps with a friend that showed me this. I did quit after noticing it wasn’t working so I cam back and found out about the older version of Bluestacks.
        I did use it yesterday, it was working but as I try today it doesn’t work(It’s slow like the new version of Blustacks, yesterday it was fast).

      • MacHow2

        It sounds like it may be a problem with Bluestacks servers which sometimes can be slow.

    • MacHow2

      It may be that you’ve moved the folder somewhere else on your Mac. Just create a new folder in your Pictures folder on your Mac and use that instead.


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