How to Edit Instagram Photos

Feel like getting a little artsy with Instagram?  Instagram has easy-to-use tools that allow you to add some cool effects to your photos and videos before you post them.  Choose from one of over 20 preset filters, or fine-tune things your own way with advanced editing options.  You can even make advanced edits on top of applying a filter effect!

To change an Instagram picture

  1. Choose or create a photo that you wish to post on Instagram.  (See steps 1 through 4 in our How to Add Photos to Instagram tutorial for instructions on how to do this.)  Stop when you reach the “Edit” screen.

  2. If you wish to add a filter to your photo, tap the Filters icon (), and then tap one of the filtering options at the bottom of the screen.  You can swipe to scroll left and right and see more filters.

  3. Instagram’s lux effect allows you to simulate a change in how your photo is lighted.  This may sharpen or soften some details, making them more or less noticeable.  To use it, tap the Lux icon () in the main “Edit” screen.  This will take you to a screen like the one below.

    Tap and move the slider around to select the degree of lux effect that you want to apply.  When you’re done, tap the checkmark to keep your changes, or tap the “X” to discard them.

  4. If you want to make other adjustments to your photo, tap the Effects icon () to bring up a list of effects that you can add to your photo.  You can swipe to scroll through them, and then tap to select the one that you want to use.  For example, let’s try the Tilt Shift effect.

  5. Instagram’s tilt-shift effect allows you to put focus on a certain area of your photo by blurring everything else around it.  To use it, begin by tapping either Radial or LinearRadial will apply the effect outward from a certain spot, while Linear will apply the effect in a line across the photo.

    The screen will turn white to show you the areas that will be blurred out (i.e. the area not covered in white will stay sharp).  You can tap and move around on the screen to change the location and direction of the effect, or you can “pinch” on the screen to increase or decrease the amount of the photo that the effect will cover.

    When you’re done, the white areas will disappear and give you a preview of what your photo will look like with the effect.  If you like what you see, tap the checkmark.  If you don’t and would like to get rid of your changes, tap the “X”.

  6. When you’re done making all changes to your photo, tap the arrow icon in the top-right corner.

To edit an Instagram video

Your options for editing a video on Instagram are a little bit different — and more limited — than they are for editing a photo.

  1. Choose or create a video that you wish to post on Instagram.  Stop when you reach the “Edit” screen.

  2. Like when editing a photo, you can add a filter effect to your video by tapping the Filters icon (), and then scrolling through and tapping on the one that you’d like to apply.

    Note that choosing a filter will cause your video to automatically start playing so that you can preview it.  To stop previewing your video (or to start it again), simply tap it.

  3. Tap the Cover Frame icon () to choose a part of your video that you wish to use as a still photo to represent your video on Instagram.  Simply tap one of the frames that appears at the bottom of the screen to select it.

  4. The final modification that you can make to your video is whether or not it has sound.  Tap the Sound icon () to mute the video.  It will turn blue and show the message “Video Sound Off”.  To turn sound back on for your video, simply tap the Sound icon again; it will change back to grey.

  5. When you’re done adjusting your video, tap the arrow icon in the top-right corner.

That’s a brief explanation of how you can edit photos and videos in Instagram!