How to download videos and photos from Instagram


The big Facebook blackout of 2021 is over (for now), but in the DNS snafu that toppled the popular but controversial social network, there was collateral damage. Namely, other services owned by Facebook, including WhatsApp and Instagram, have also gone dark, and with them, your digital memories. That’s why it’s a good idea to back up your social accounts occasionally, even if they’re already in the cloud, like all of your Insta photos. We will show you how.

But what about the memories you’ve seen posted by others? Like on Facebook or YouTube, there are copyright and revenue reasons for not grabbing someone else’s video. But we know that you will only be using our instructions on how to download photos and videos from Instagram for good.

Upload your Instagram content

The steps to do this couldn’t be simpler. On the desktop, go to, click on your avatar icon at the top right and select Settings> Privacy and security. Click the link under Data Download that says Download request.

In the mobile app, the steps are slightly different. Go to your profile (the icon at the bottom right), then click on the 3-line menu at the top right to select Settings> Security> Download data.

You will see a Get a copy of your information page. On the desktop, you have the choice of downloading it in an easy-to-navigate HTML format or getting it as a JSON data file that you can import into other services. Choose one and click Next. You will then need to re-enter your Instagram password and click Request Download.

On the mobile app, you have no choice. All you need to do is click Request Download.

Instagram promises to link to you within at least 48 hours, as it can take that long if you have a lot of data saved on your account. I had mine in less than a minute. You can see it here, along with a warning that the link in the email will stop working after four days because “it may contain personal information.”


To download to the desktop, enter your password (and if you have enabled two-factor authentication, the second authentication code), and you will again be redirected to, where you can retrieve the compressed file. (in ZIP format). I’m by no means the biggest Instagrammer, and my file was 105MB, so expect a lot of data if you’ve been uploading for years.

Once you extract the data, if you have the HTML version, just click on the index.html file to start browsing everything. It will include comments, contacts, account information and much more. For the important stuff, scroll down to Content to find posts, profile photos and stories. (Yes, all those “fleeting” stories you posted that disappeared after 24 hours are there.) If you want the actual video and image files, search the downloads for a Media case.

Upload video and photos of others to Instagram

Saving pictures and videos from Instagram is not easy. You can’t just long-press a photo posted in the app for a save option, or even right-click to save a photo in the desktop browser. This goes double for video.

The only way to save third party Instagram content to your device is to use a third party tool. One of the most versatile is ad-supported Toolzu. It will allow you to upload a person’s profile picture, videos, photos, even videos to Stories or IGTV (now Instagram Video). That won’t make Reels, the Instagram version of a TikTok clip. All you need is the exact URL to get a specific photo or video.


However, if you use the profile uploader on Toolzu, you just need to enter the person’s Instagram username, and it shows the last 12 posts for easy upload as JPG for photos or MP4 for photos. videos. For anything older than these 12 posts, you need the URL. Toolzu also works like a charm on mobile.

Entering a specific link from Instagram is not always easy. When you’re on a desktop, you can usually right-click to Copy link address, but it doesn’t always work in all areas. In Stories, for example, even with a desktop browser, you will have to pause the video and copy the URL to the address bar; on mobile, while playing a Story video, you can click the 3 dot menu and select Copy Link.

Mobile link copy

Toolzu is far from the only tool capable of handling Instagram downloads. Office tools like our favorite for YouTube downloads, 4K Video Downloader, can handle most tasks (but it seems to be choking on Instagram Reels). One that performed well in the tests was an ad-supported multilingual website wizard called iGram– it even supports reels, if you can get the specific url of a video. It does not have the batch processing capability offered by Toolzu.

Now you have the tools and information you need to put almost any Instagram on your own hard drive. Use your powers only for good.

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