How To Not Crop Your Photos On Instagram

Have you ever tried to upload a photo to Instagram, only to be frustrated that this popular photo sharing app requires you to crop all your photos into squares? Even though Instagram wants to be a square-only photography network, there is a little-known trick that you can use to not crop your photos when you’re uploading them to Instagram. (Update: You can now upload non-square photos directly to Instagram!)

Not Crop Instagram

In this article I’m going to use one of my favorite iPhone landscape photos. If I cropped this photo into a square, it would lose its impact because I would be forced to cut out either the rock in the foreground or the orange cliff into the background.

Instagram only accepts square uploads, so the only solution is to turn this photo into a square by adding white margins. This allows me to trick Instagram into believing that this photo is a square and thus bypass the cropping menu. And since Instagram photos are shown against white background, the visual experience of my followers is not compromised.

While there are several apps that can do this, my favorite one is called Squaready, which is a free app with ads. They also have a paid version with the same functionality but no ads, which is what I’m going to use in the following example.

Step 1: Open Your Photo In Squaready

The first step is to open your photo by selecting the import icon in Squaready.

Not Crop Instagram 1

Next you have to select import source. If your photo is already on your iPhone, select Albums option.

Not Crop Instagram 2

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Step 2: Create The Layout For Your Photo

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

Not Crop Instagram 4

Do you see the row of icons at the bottom of the screen?  To add white margins on the sides of your photo, select the middle option on the bottom row of icons as shown by the red arrow. This option will automatically add margins to two sides of the photo without adding any margins to the other two sides.

If you’d like to add extra white space on all four sides of the image, select the next option as shown below. This button allows you to choose between three different margin widths. Press this button several times to adjust the width of the margins.

Not Crop Instagram 5

The button on the right allows you to switch between one large margin at the bottom, two equal margins on either side of the photo, or one large margin at the top. Press this button several times to see the difference.

Not Crop Instagram 6

There are some more options in this app such as changing the background color, but I generally don’t recommend using them. If you change the background to anything but white, the photo will look really strange on Instagram.

Step 3: Export Your Photo

Once you’ve created the layout for your Instagram, click on the export icon at the top right corner.

Not Crop Instagram 9

Here you can save your photo to Camera Roll or send it directly to Instagram by choosing the Instagram option. We’re going to send this image directly to Instagram since there’s not much else you can do with a photo that has this kind of white margins.

Not Crop Instagram 10

In the next step select the largest resolution, and then choose Instagram from the list of apps you see on the screen.

Not Crop Instagram 11

Step 4: Share Your Photo On Instagram

Once you select Instagram, the app will open automatically and the photo will be shown with white margins as seen below. You’re no longer asked to crop this photo into a square since you already uploaded a square image!

Not Crop Instagram 12

And here you can see what the end result looks like on my Instagram feed. If you’d like to check out my profile, you can find it at @iPhonePS on Instagram.

Not Crop Instagram 13

  • anglebirds

    Very useful. Thank you so much.

  • rob

    great tip!

  • 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:):)

    • 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?

    • 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!

  • frederico

    thank you! it saved my day!

  • 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 🙂

  • Timothy

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

    • 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.

  • 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..

  • thanks!

  • 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

    • 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?

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

    • Vsmh

      Use the app called fhotoroom and click on frames select square save to phone and select

    • Jesse Wood


  • Robby Bobby

    You could also use instafit free

  • Thelma

    You could try photo grid

  • bus

    for some reason i dont get the step “send instagram format” the resolution part. why is that?

    • Je-ann

      Hi there! Squaready gives you the option to Export your edited photo directly to Instagram. You want to choose the highest resolution for your photo. If you choose this option, your Instagram app will launch with the photo ready for upload.

  • Thanks for this – just what I needed. Worked perfectly

  • Gayelynn Quigley

    What about an Android Samsung Galaxy 5?
    Does the Free app work with it also?
    Appreciate any input.

  • THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • ACelticDragon

    I sometimes prefer to use a black border in Squaready, depending on the colour scheme of the photo. Sometimes makes it pop out more.

    @Ceridwyn2 on Instagram

  • Juan Francisco Durán Grunauer

    Now, there is Squareready for Video.

  • susie

    thanks for the tips, was head aching about the same topic

  • Ally DeLaine

    yay! awesome that worked PERFECTLY! Thanks heaps

  • Does the app replace your original photograph?

  • I’m seeing people posting cropped photos, but in their feed they show square. How do they do this?

    • Hi Paul. All photos automatically appear square when viewing the Instagram feed in thumbnail view. But when you tap on a photo to view it full screen, it will display in the actual aspect ratio that was chosen by the user when they uploaded it to Instagram. Hope that makes sense 🙂