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The Only Instagram Image Size Guide You Need in 2021

13 min read

Instagram image sizes on pink background

Let’s face it: we’re living for all the fantastic new ways you can post your best photos and videos on Instagram. From portrait, landscape, and square photo options, Instagram Stories, Reels, IGTV videos, and videos in your feed…

There are so many incredible ways to engage with your followers and deliver eye-catching content.

However amazing these new options are, it can be a little tricky to figure out the ideal Instagram image size for your content, right? 

That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide for you to decode all the different Instagram post dimensions for each piece of content, and the best photo resolution to upload to Instagram for optimal clarity.

(Yes, posting pictures on Instagram can lower image quality!)

And just in case you need a cheat sheet to keep track of all these Instagram image sizes (because let’s face it, there’s a lot!), we’ve included a handy cheat sheet and a Pinnable infographic. Major score! 🥅

What are the dimensions for Instagram?

Instagram video and photo sizes have varying dimensions depending on the orientation of the photo and tool it’s being posted with. Here’s a quick list of the most common Instagram photo and video dimensions:

Instagram Photo Post Sizes

When Instagram first launched in 2012 (it seems so long ago now!), users could only upload photos in a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Users who wanted to display their beautiful landscape and portrait photos were forced to crop their photos into a square or use other apps to create workarounds. Talk about time-consuming!

Thankfully, Instagram listened to user feedback and introduced horizontal and vertical photo capabilities in 2015. 🙌

With that in mind, let’s talk about the best image size for Instagram photo posts, including the traditional square, portrait, and landscape!

Instagram Square Photo Size

Ideal Size: 1080px by 1080px

The aspect ratio of a traditional photo post is 1:1 square.

This is usually the easiest photo size to get right on the first try because of the auto-cropping function on most photo editing app and Instagram itself.

Not to mention, you can shoot a square picture directly in the iOS camera!

For best results, your photo should be between 320px by 320px and 1080px by 1080px.

Instagram Portrait Size

Ideal Photo Size: 1080px by 1350px
Wondering how to fit a full picture on Instagram without cropping?

You can do that with portrait and landscape photos! Portrait photos are also fairly easy to get right on the first try, although you will have to crop oversize vertical photos to fit within the Instagram dimensions.

What size is Instagram portrait?

The ideal Instagram portrait aspect ratio is 4:5, and the ideal photo size is 1080px by 1350px.

If you upload a larger portrait, say a 4:6 or 9:16 (the size of a Snapchat photo), you’ll be prompted to crop a portion of the photo out to fit.

Instagram Horizontal Photo Size

Ideal Photo Size: 1080px by 1350px 

We’ll be honest: getting the right Instagram horizontal photo dimensions can be tricky!

That’s because the perfect Instagram landscape photo aspect ratio is 1.91:1.

With these dimensions, your horizontal photo will display beautifully in Instagram without a border.

However, you can actually upload landscape photos up to an aspect ratio of 16:9, and the app will automatically add a border around the photo.

How do you get landscape on Instagram?

Instagram has made adding landscape photos to your feed easier than ever. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Instagram
  2. Tap the Add Post button (a square with a plus sign)
  3. Choose your photo or video to upload
  4. Tap the full-size button in at the bottom left of the photo display (it looks like two corners). This will automatically adjust your photo into the landscape ratio (or portrait if the photo orientation is vertical)
  5. You can further adjust the cropping of the photo by pinching to zoom in and out.
  6. Tap Next to continue with your upload!

If you frequently use landscape photos in your feed, it’s best to stick to the same aspect ratio for each.

Otherwise, your followers may be unnecessarily distracted from your show-stopping photos as they scroll!

To nab the best horizontal photo size for Instagram on the first try, make sure the height of your photo is at least 1080px (we’re sensing a theme here! 🔍).

This will keep your photo quality high on mobile and desktop!  

Before we move on to Instagram video post dimensions, let’s do a quick recap! 

What is the best Instagram aspect ratio

Instagram has three available aspect ratios for your photos and videos.

Previously, the 1:1 aspect ratio (square) was the only available option, but Instagram now allows portrait and landscape photos!

The aspect ratio for portrait photos is 4:5, while the aspect ratio for landscape photos is 1.91:1.

The best Instagram image size for posts are:

  • 1080px by 1080px (Square) 
  • 1080px by 1350px (Portrait) and 
  • 1080px by 608px (Landscape).

Whew, that’s a lot of different aspect ratios to keep track of! 🤯Thankfully, Tailwind for Instagram has a handy cropping function that automatically trims your uploaded post image to the closest acceptable ratio. 

If you want to crop your photo to a square, portrait, or landscape, you can just click on our Crop button and choose your desired ratio! 💥

Instagram Video Post Dimensions

Ideal Video Resolution: Square and Carousel – 1080px x 1080px Portrait – 1080px x 1350px Landscape – 1080px x 608px 

If video is your favorite medium to connect with your followers, it’s important to get the right dimensions to make uploading and posting your content a breeze.

That way, you can upload on-the-go footage!

If you’re looking to dive deeper into video, we penned a complete guide to Instagram video sizes and dimensions that is jam-packed with tips and tools to edit your Instagram videos.

It also contains all the video requirements you ever wanted to know about when it comes to Instagram.

But we’ll still cover some of those requirements below, including aspect ratios, length, and required dimensions!

Instagram video Sizes

What are the dimensions for Instagram video?

Just like photo posts, you have the option of using square, horizontal or landscape videos in your feed. The ideal dimensions for each are:

  • Square and Carousel – 1080px x 1080px
  • Portrait – 1080px x 1350px
  • Landscape – 1080px x 608px 

The aspect ratio of each is the same as photo posts, except our recommendation for landscape videos:

  • 1:1 aspect ratio for square and carousel videos
  • 4:5 aspect ratio for portrait videos
  • 16:9 aspect ratio for landscape videos

The reason that we recommend a 16:9 aspect ratio for landscape videos is that it will take a lot of time and effort to edit your video into the 1.9:1 aspect ratio used in photo posts.

Instagram users are accustomed to viewing videos in 16:9 ratio, so the time and effort to crop and edit your video to change it from 16:9 probably isn’t worth it. 😪

There’s also some minimum and maximum requirements to know when it comes to uploading your Instagram videos to your feed. Your Instagram video post must have a maximum of:

  • 30 frames per second
  • 60 seconds in length
  • File size of 4 GB

If your video exceeds any of these requirements, you won’t be able to upload, so keep these important numbers in mind when planning your video content! 😎

Like Instagram photo posts, the orientation you shoot your video in (square, landscape, or portrait) will determine what the minimum and maximum resolutions are for each. The minimum resolutions are:

  • Square and Carousel Instagram Video Minimum Resolution is 600 x 600
  • Portrait Instagram Video Minimum Resolution is 600 x 750
  • Landscape Instagram Video Minimum Resolution is 600 x 315

Because your video file will be compressed when you upload, we suggest using the maximum resolution allowed. The maximum resolutions are:

  • Square Instagram Video Maximum Resolution is 1080 x 1080
  • Portrait Instagram Video Maximum Resolution is 1080 x 1350
  • Landscape Instagram Video Maximum Resolution is 1080 x 608
  • Carousel Instagram Video Maximum Resolution is 1080 x 1080.

By using the max resolution in your videos you can preserve crystal clarity.

Instagram Stories and Reels Dimensions

Ideal Instagram Stories Size: 1080px x 1920px

Instagram Stories are another amazing tool for connecting with your followers and posting everything from text posts, hosting Instagram Lives and uploading photos and videos!

Instagram Stories content is meant to be viewed in portrait mode, so even though you can post landscape photos and videos, they won’t show up as well on Stories. 

That’s also another reason that the aspect ratios for Instagram Stories are different from the other post sizes we went over before! 

You can upload photos and videos to Instagram Stories in any aspect ratio from 1:9:1 to 9:16.

However, you’re more likely to capture attention (and make your posts easier to see and understand) if you fill up the entire Stories screen with no borders.

The photo dimension you need to fill the entire Instagram Stories screen perfectly is a 9:16 aspect ratio, and a 1080px by 1920px size.

Instagram Reels use the same dimensions as Instagram Stories – 1080 x 1920 px and an aspect ratio of 9:16.

However, there are some things you should know!

  • Instagram Reels preview in the feed at a 4:5 Portrait size (cropped from the top and bottom and centered)
  • The caption of your Reel displays in an overlay in the bottom corner of the video
  • Reels can be any length up to 30 seconds

IGTV Post Dimensions

Ideal Cover Photo Size: 420px x 654px

IGTV, or “Youtube for Instagram” as it’s sometimes called, debuted with a portrait-only option in 2018.

Previously, users had to shoot their content (sometimes an hours worth!) in a 9:16 long horizontal ratio. However, after a crush of feedback from users who found this difficult to film long-form content this way 😩, Instagram opted to allow landscape videos on IGTV in May 2019.

Hooray! 🎉

This opens up a ton of new options for shooting IGTV content, and a few post dimensions to keep in mind. Here are all the dimensions to think about when it comes to your IGTV videos!

  • Vertical IGTV videos have a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 (portrait) and a maximum of 9:16 (think Instagram Stories)
  • Horizontal IGTV videos have a minimum aspect ratio of 5:4 and a maximum of 16:9
  • The One-Minute Preview Option for IGTV (which places a preview snippet in your feed) is cropped to a 4:5 aspect ratio in the user feed
  • The One-Minute Preview is cropped to a 1:1 Square in your 9-grid
  • Your IGTV Cover Photo (you can choose a still from your video, or upload one!) should have an aspect ratio of 1:1:55 and resolution of 420px by 654px. 

Instagram Dimensions FAQ

  • Do Instagram photos have to be square?

Your Instagram photos don’t have to be square – you can also upload rectangular portraits and landscape photos to your grid without cropping! The trick is to make sure that your photo is up to 1080px on the shortest side.

Keep in mind there are limits – If you upload a photo that exceeds the aspect ratios (the width-to-height ratio of a photo), you’ll have to crop your photo. ☹️

  • Does Instagram lower image quality?

Noticing that your photos are uploading fuzzy? Uploading files that are larger than 1080px may be the culprit.

If you upload an image that’s larger than these measurements, Instagram will automatically compress the image for display. Extreme photo compression can distort image details, majorly impacting quality. ☹️

The same is true when you upload an image that’s smaller than 320px by 320px.

Instagram will expand the image, causing pixelation and fuzziness. 👎 

To get the best possible photo in your feed, aim for square photo sizes of 1080px by 1080px.

The compressed version that displays on Instagram will be around 600px by 600px, which will appear flawless on the Instagram mobile and desktop without affecting resolution!

If nothing seems to solve your compression woes, try uploading from your desktop.

Instagram’s web application preserves photo quality much more effectively than the mobile app!

  • How do you fit a full picture on Instagram?

If you want to upload your full portrait creation to Instagram without cropping to a square, you can use the handy full-size button when uploading your photo to automatically adjust your portrait (or landscape photo) to the maximum aspect ratio available.

Just tap the expand arrows in the bottom left corner of your photo to fit the whole picture on Instagram!

Speaking of detail, the same rules about photo compression and enlarging apply here.

To get the best resolution for Instagram, size your portrait photo around 1080px by 1350px. That way, automatic compression won’t affect the quality of your vertical shot!

What’s The Best Instagram Image Size?

Whew! All the exciting new features on Instagram have opened up a world of new content opportunities and amazing ways to engage with your followers. They’ve also created a few new aspect ratios and dimensions to keep in mind when creating that content!

What size should photos be for Instagram?

  • Instagram Photo Square: 1080px x 1080px
  • Instagram Photo Portrait: 1080px x 1350px
  • Instagram Photo Landscape: 1080px x 608px
  • Instagram Video Square: 600px x 600px
  • Instagram Video Portrait: 600px x 750px
  • Instagram Video Landscape: 600px x 315px
  • Instagram Video Carousel: 600px x 600px
  • Instagram Stories Photo: 1080px x 1920px
  • IGTV Cover Photo: 420px x 654px

Instagram Image and Video Sizes

Type of Instagram Post Aspect Ratio Instagram Post Size
Square Photo 1:1 1080 x 1080px
Landscape Photo 1.91:1 1080 x 608px
Portrait Photo 4:5 1080 x 1350px
Instagram Stories 9:16 1080 x 1920px
Instagram Reels 9:16 1080 x 1920px
IGTV Cover Photo 1:1.55 420 x 654px
Instagram Square Video 1:1 1080 x 1080px
Instagram Landscape Video 1.91:1 1080 x 608px
Instagram Portrait Video 4:5 1080 x 1350px

If you’re stressing about which type of image size makes the most sense for your content, and whether using a mix of portrait, landscape, and square photos will affect the look and feel of your 9-grid… don’t worry!

Your content will appear in a landscape, portrait or square aspect in your users’ feeds, but will be cropped to a 1:1 square preview in your actual 9-grid.

Your users will have to select your photo (or stumble across it while scrolling!) to see the full picture. 

Plus, you can always plan out your feed and double-check how all of your photos work together with an Instagram planning tool, like Tailwind’s 9-Grid Preview!

Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!

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Before You Go, Pin It For Later 📌:

Confused by all the Instagram image sizes out there between posts, Stories, IGTV and video? Our all-in-one guide (and handy cheat sheet!) will help!

Kristen Dahlin is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. Kristen lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, boxer Lila, and a very temperamental flower garden.

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