How to Post Photos to Instagram From Lightroom Classic Using the Lightroom for Mobile app

by Andrew S. Gibson
How to Post Photos to Instagram From Lightroom Classic Using the Lightroom for Mobile app

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Lightroom Classic users can post photos to Instagram using the Lightroom for mobile app. The instructions below show you how to do it.

Instagram page

How to share photos in Instagram from Lightroom Classic

1. Create a Collection in Lightroom Classic for storing photos which you will share on Instagram. Make sure you check the Sync with Lightroom box (marked below).

Lightroom Classic Instagram Collection

2. When you add photos to this Collection, Lightroom Classic creates Smart Previews (if they don’t already exist) and synchronizes with Lightroom for mobile.

Read The Ultimate Guide to Using Smart Previews in Lightroom to learn more about this process.

Instagram Collection in Lightroom

3. Open Lightroom for mobile. Your photos will appear there once the two programs have synchronized (below).

Synchronized Lightroom Collection in Instagram

4. Tap on a photo to view it full size, then tap the share icon in the top right corner (the one with the arrow pointing upwards out of a box, see below).

Share icon in Instagram

5. Tap Open In…, select Small – 2048px for Image Size, then tap the Instagram icon to upload the photo straight to your feed. If you want to add the photo to your story, use the Import with Instagram icon instead.

Send to Instagram from Lightroom

6. Write a caption for your photo, including any hashtags you want to add, and tap Share. Lightroom for mobile publishes the photo on Instagram.

Lightroom photo in Instagram

What if I don’t have Lightroom for mobile?

Lightroom for mobile is a free download, but if you don’t have it there’s another way to post your photos to Instagram from Lightroom Classic. There’s an extra step involved, and that’s exporting your photos from Lightroom Classic to a Dropbox folder on your computer (you can simplify the process by making an Export preset). Then go to the Dropbox app on your mobile device and open your photos in the Instagram app.

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Andrew S. Gibson May 2, 2018 - 9:57 am

Hi Brenda, no that would be harder. Remember you can only upload photos to Instagram from a mobile device. That means you’d have to transfer your screenshot to a phone or tablet first. Much easier to do it this way. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of which photos have been uploaded to Instagram in Lightroom.

Alice McKay June 3, 2019 - 10:29 pm

Is it possible to upload more than one photo to Instagram from Lightroom using Lightroom Mobile? I am able to upload photos in separate postings using the method you describe above, but I would like to know if I can have multiple photos in a single posting.

Andrew S. Gibson June 5, 2019 - 11:50 am

Hi Alice, as far as I know you can only share one photo to Instagram at a time.

ivy September 5, 2020 - 4:22 am

Hi Andrew, good post. Thank you for wrting that up. Just thought i would follow up to see if there is an update on the ability to share more than one image at a time? Is this still limited to just one at a time?

Andrew S. Gibson September 6, 2020 - 8:49 am

Hi Ivy, yes it’s still limited to one photo at a time.

Farren June 6, 2019 - 1:51 pm

Hi there! I found your post while doing some “googling”
I used lightroom mobile to edit some photos from iphonex and then uploaded them to instagram. I wanted these photos printed but when I uploaded them from instagram to shutterfly, the quality dropped when printed resulting in grainy pictures (although shutterfly didn’t give any low quality notices)

Any suggestions for how to print higher quality images that have been edited in lightroom mobile? Thanks 🙂

Andrew S. Gibson June 7, 2019 - 11:25 am

Hi Farren, Instagram compresses your photos leading to a loss of image quality. Try sending your photos so Shutterfly straight from your Camera Roll for better quality.

Richard Provost January 2, 2020 - 5:18 pm

Andrew Great article. I have a problem. I can load the photo to instagram but it doesn’t appear in my photos. What am I doing wrong? I’m using LR Classic 2020. When I upload to instagram my screen is different from step 6 on in your explanation.

Andrew S. Gibson January 6, 2020 - 7:59 pm

Hi Richard, sorry I don’t know. I just tested it and it worked fine for me. Are you logged into the Instagram app on your mobile device?

Richard Provost January 6, 2020 - 8:19 pm

Yes. I have found a workaround by putting my photos in camera roll and then uploading.

wilson lee March 20, 2020 - 5:54 am

When I “Create Collection”, it’s not giving me the sync option? Everything else looks the same to your screen grab but that. Thanks

Andrew S. Gibson March 20, 2020 - 8:50 am

Hi Wilson, couple of questions for you:

Which version of Lightroom are you using?
Are you signed into your Adobe account when using Lightroom?
Have you enable syncing in the activity center?
Do you have more than one Lightroom Catalog (you can only sync one Catalog)?

The answers should help us figure out the solution.

Sharon Beetem August 20, 2020 - 6:14 pm

LR/Instagram no longer works. Instagram has changed their protocol and the plug in no longer works. Any other suggestions for those of us who don’t want to fill our phones/tablets with photos taken from our DSLRs? (And don’t want to spend the money on Creative Cloud)

Andrew S. Gibson August 23, 2020 - 8:41 pm

Hi Sharon, you can do it with Dropbox. Simplify the process by making an Export preset to save the photos in your Dropbox folder. Go to the Dropbox app on your mobile device and open your photos in the Instagram app.


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