Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (2023)

Instagram is a huge social media platform with over 1 billion total accounts and over 500 million daily users worldwide. However, it is not a perfect platform and some users have noticed that their images on the platform are inferior compared to the original photo.

Why does Instagram ruin your image quality?

Instagram uses massive compression algorithms on all uploaded images, reducing the size of your photo, lowering the quality and freeing up a lot of storage space for the business. It is important to reduce your costs and keep the platform free.

This is the main reason why Instagram destroys your photo quality, but there are other specifications involved in this process. I will cover all of them in this post and teach you how to stop Instagram from downgrading your images. Check it out below:


1. Reasons why your photo quality changes on Instagram
1.1. compression algorithms
1.2. Loading with incorrect aspect ratio
1.3. Using an image format other than JPEG (.jpg)
1.4. Upload images to the desktop
1.5. android phone
2. How do you prevent Instagram from ruining your photo quality?
2.1. Use your phone's native camera
2.2. Compress before sending to Photoshop/Lightroom
2.3. Check your internet connection
3. What if Instagram also changes your photo colors?

1.Reasons why your photo quality changes on Instagram:

compression algorithms

The main reason for the low quality of Instagram images is the platform's compression algorithm. It cuts the data in your photos to reduce the required size in your data centers.

Let me show this with an example. I uploaded one of my photos to Instagram to see how much the app would compress it. In my case, I uploaded a 5.67 MB photo with a resolution of 4192 × 2760 pixels, which resulted in a 0.061 MB (61 KB) photo with a resolution of 1080 × 607 pixels.

By the way, I downloaded my Instagram photo to thesite, a tool to download photos from Instagram.

Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (1)
Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (2)

That was over 90% compression of the original data! Such a big reduction always has a loss of quality, as you can see in the first photo. Because of this, the compression algorithm is the main cause of poor quality photos on Instagram.

Loading with incorrect aspect ratio

Another reason why your image quality changes on Instagram is that you are uploading your images with the wrong aspect ratio and resolution.

Below I have listed the best aspect ratios and resolution sizes that you can use to upload your photos to Instagram and avoid cropping and reducing image quality.

  • Vertical image (4:5 aspect ratio) → resolution: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Square image (aspect ratio 1:1) → resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Horizontal image (aspect ratio 16:9) → resolution: 1080 x 607 pixelsline 2
(Video) Why does Instagram Change the Color of My Picture?

If you upload a photo to Instagram with the wrong aspect ratio or resolution and crop it, the compression algorithm will significantly reduce the value of your image as it compresses your file twice.

The first compression occurs when Instagram crops your image to the recommended aspect ratio and resolution, and the second when you upload your image to its platform.

The biggest enemy of image quality on Instagram is the compression algorithm. This way, if your images are less compressed during the upload, they will have better quality at the end of the process.

To reduce this compression when cropping the image in the app, you can crop it in professional image editing software. On mobile, you can download the Lightroom app for free, and on desktop, you can use the paid Lightroom CC and Photoshop tools.

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When exporting your files with these editing software, remember to choose the right resolutions and you're done!

Using an image format other than JPEG (.jpg)

Instagram's native image format is JPEG. Therefore, if you send an image in a format other than JPEG (for example, .png or bipmat), the application will need to convert it to the correct format. Everything Instagram does for your image results in algorithmic compression that can destroy your image quality.

For this reason, if you wish to keep your image in high quality, you must send it tocorrect image formatNo instagram.

Upload images to the desktop

Instagram is a mobile platform and prefers that you upload your images to a smartphone for the best results. So the best way to keep your photo in the best possible quality is to upload it to your phone.

android phone

Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (4)

Have you noticed that almost all Instagram influencers only use iPhones for work? Apple cell phones are a status symbol, but other than that, Instagram celebrities also use them to get better results in social media posts, and it's not because of the quality of the cell phone's camera.

Go to mobile camera reviewerDxOMark, we can see that the latest iPhone is not the winner when they professionally compare the picture and video quality, and some Android phones are ahead of Apple phones on the podium.

I'm an Android user, and if you're also using an Android phone, I have to be honest with you: we're at a disadvantage on Instagram compared to the iPhone guys. However, contrary to online rumors that Apple is paying Instagram for better results, the reason is much simpler.

Instagram's developers need to produce a version of their app for iOS, the iPhone's operating system that only runs on a dozen smartphones, and another for Android, for which millions of different smartphones from different brands are released every year.

It would be a huge hassle for the Instagram team to create a version of their app for each different Android smartphone, and it would also cost a lot. That's why they prefer to release a generic version of Android that runs on all Android phones. This isn't ideal, but there are good reasons for this.

Therefore, Apple has few phones in its portfolio and because of this, Instagram iOS developers have less trouble creating the iPhone version of their app, giving them more time and opportunities to improve their iOS software.

However, these issues are more common on Instagram Stories. If you compare the feed, the quality is similar between Android and Apple phones.

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Also, there are other tips to improve image quality on Instagram app that works on any phone. For example, you can use your phone's native camera and compress your image in editing software before uploading it to Instagram. I'll explain it better in the next paragraphs:

2. How do you prevent Instagram from ruining your photo quality?

To prevent Instagram from lowering your image quality, there are a few tips you can use to reduce the compression that Instagram puts on your photo:

Use your phone's native camera

Instagram's camera is handy and useful, but just like the app's other features, its camera compresses much of your image and destroys the quality of the photo.

So, instead of using Instagram's camera to produce your images, the best way to preserve image quality is to shoot with your phone's native camera, which has the right compression algorithm for you. After that, all you have to do is correct the aspect ratio with an editing software and upload your photo to the Instagram app as usual.

Compress before sending to Photoshop/Lightroom

The compression algorithms of the most famous editing software are much more accurate and give better results than the Instagram algorithm. Therefore, to prevent Instagram from spoiling the image quality, it is also an excellent choice to compress your image with an editing software before uploading it to Instagram.

Here I add the percentage of compression you can put in your editing software to get the best results when uploading your images to social media.

  • Lightroom for mobile devices → 70%
  • Photoshop (Desktop) → 72%
  • Lightroom (desktop) → 72%

Tip: If you've edited your photos on the desktop and want to quickly share them from your phone, you can
This site works with Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac devices and is the easiest and fastest way to access your photos across multiple gadgets.
Just open the website on your phone and computer at the same time and share your desired files.

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  • Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (6)
  • Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (7)

Check your internet connection

If you upload your photos over a poor quality internet connection, the Instagram app has less processing power to compress and upload your photo. So if you are using a slow internet connection, you will have low quality photos and videos in your stories and feeds.

If that's the case and you want the best quality images on Instagram, it's a good idea to upload your files if you're connected to fast Wi-Fi or 4G.

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3. What if Instagram also changes your photo colors?

The main reason why this happens to you is related to the color profile you use in your photos when uploading them to the platform.

The color profile is like the color palette in your photo. Some color profiles have a wider range of tones that you can use in your image, and others have a narrower range.

Typically, Adobe editing software saves your images using the Adobe RGB (aRGB) profile. This profile has a better color palette but is not compatible with the profile used on Instagram.

Instagram uses the sRGB color profile by default. So, if you try to insert an image created in another profile, the app will have difficulty displaying your image with the correct colors, as it uses a different color palette.

To avoid recurrence, you need to change your color profile to sRGB in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The way to do this is quite simple and you just need to change the color profile to sRGB in the export settings. After that your photos will not be changed after you post them on social media.

Prevent Instagram from Ruining Your Image Quality | my other eye (8)

And that's it folks. I hope you enjoyed the post!

What do you think of these tips? Did they work for you? Let us know in the comments!

If you have any questions, ask me in the comments section below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Claudio Pereira


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He is a Brazilian who writes in English, a medical student and a photographer in his spare time. The passion for photography started in 2012 and after he discovered it he never stopped.


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