How to Not Crop Your Photos on Instagram

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In this article you are going to learn how not to crop your portrait or landscape photos in Instagram. Let’s say I want to post the following photo to Instagram. This photo was taken in Glasgow Necropolis, a must-see place for anyone visiting the city.

Not Crop Intagram

Since Instagram only accepts square photos and the photo above is a 3 by 4 landscape, I will be asked to crop it before I can upload it to Instagram. I will see the following window in which any non-square image must be cropped to a square aspect ratio.

Instagram Crop Screen

The built-in image cropping tool is a convenient way to turn your photos into square Instagrams. The only problem is that some compositions, like the one above, don’t really fit into square aspect ratios.

The best solution to this problem is using a free app called SquareReady (they also have a paid version if you don’t want ads). This app can be used to add white margins on the top and bottom of landscape photos, or on both sides of portrait photos. That way the photo will already be square before you open it with Instagram, and you won’t be asked to crop it.

The first step is to open your photo by selecting the folder icon in SquareReady, which is marked by number one in screenshot below.

SquareReady Layout

After you have selected your photo from the library, your screen should look like this.

Cropping in SquareReady1

Do you see the row of icons at the bottom of the screen?  To add white margins on the sides of your photo, simply select the third option on the bottom row of icons. Your screen should now look like this, which is exactly what we need.

Cropping in SquareReady2

There are a few more options in this app such as changing the background color and adding margins along all sides of the photo, but I don’t recommend using them. If you change the background to anything but white, the photo will look really strange on Instagram. I also wouldn’t try adding margins on all four sides of the photo. Your photo is already very small on most smartphone screens, so why make it even smaller?

Once you’ve created the perfect layout for your Instagram, click on the export arrow on the top right corner. Here you can save your composition to Camera Roll, or even better, send it straight to Instagram by choosing “Send in Instagram Format” option. Select the largest resolution, and then choose Instagram from the list of apps you see on your screen.

This will launch Instagram with your photo already selected, and you won’t be asked to crop it since it’s already square. After you add a description and upload your photo, it will look like this on your Instagram feed.

Instagram Landscape Photo

If you also want to take great photos with your iPhone, please join 11,273 subscribers who receive my free iPhone photography email tips that you won’t find anywhere on this blog.

  • anglebirds

    Very useful. Thank you so much.

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Thanks anglebirds!

  • rob

    great tip!

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Thanks Rob!

  • Lujii

    First time i seriously get helped on internet properly, thank you so much, now i can post everything normally with no tiny captures. Thank you again:):)

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Thank you so much, Lujii! I’m really happy this article helped you.

  • Yarik

    Thanks for the tip, will this app work for video too? because i want to upload videos from my camera roll to instagram but i cant fit everything in. Or is there another app that can help me with that?

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Hi Yarik,

      I did some research, but I’m afraid there’s no easy solution at this point. Let me know if you find anything!

  • Mandy

    Thank you for this advice, easy to follow instructions that actually helped. Cheers!

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Thank you Mandy!

  • frederico

    thank you! it saved my day!

    • Emil Pakarklis

      I’m happy I could help you!

  • Iz

    Thankyou so much, instagram has been annoying me lately with the whole cropping out your photos thing! this article has truly saved me getting annoyed further. Once again thankyou :)

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Great, I’m happy I could help :)

  • Timothy

    Have you try Crop Video Square for iPhone? It’s better!

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Nope, not yet.

      Actually I wanted to do an app like that the moment Instagram released video, but I didn’t have enough money to invest.

  • rachel

    you could use any photo editing apps, after edited the photo, there is a function on “share to instagram”…VoOLAAA, your photo perfectly fits in..

  • Someone Else


  • Miles Rashaad

    This must be an older version because it definitely is not giving me the margins on top and bottom only. Its either all sides or nothing which is exactly what I do not want.

    I just want top and bottom margins only. #widescreen

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Try adjusting the photo placement with two fingers.

    • Miles Rashaad

      It only allows me to adjust all sides, not just the top and bottom.

  • kel

    What do I do if I have a windows phone? Help!

    • KamyarP


  • Tadeh

    InstaSize & PicLab. There is other softwares

  • jayson

    What do I do if I have a windows tablet?

    • Emil Pakarklis

      Give it to charity and get an iPad :) In all seriousness, I don’t know.