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From Lightroom Mobile to Instagram – The Best Way To Do It (well, the right way anyway)

If you do this wrong, you won’t be happy with the results (but luckily the fix is actually incredibly easy, even though it’s not obvious).

But first: It’s only 20 days to the Photoshop World Conference 2018 (Orlando, FL – May 31st – June 2nd). It’s not too late – details and tickets at PhotoshopWorld.com – three solid days of Lightroom classes (and lots of Photoshop, lighting, photography, and more). 

OK, back to our tutorial. Here’s what to do (and what NOT to do):

STEP ONE: In Lightroom on your Mobile device, tap on the image you want to post to Instagram, then tap the Share button at the top of the screen. This brings up the share menu you see above. Tap on ‘Open In’ (as shown here, where the red dot is representing where I tapped).

STEP TWO: This brings your phone’s Share menu, and you’ll see an icon that says ‘Instagram.’ That not the one you want, but I’ll show you why in the next step.

STEP THREE: This is all you get. A single text field to write your caption. No location field; no help with hashtags, no option whether to make the image wide or square; no filters, no nuthin’. You would only do it this way if your goal was anonymity, and you didn’t want anyone to find your image. Ever.

STEP FOUR: Instead, keep looking through your phone’s Share options and look for a 2nd Instagram icon that says “Copy to Instagram.” This is the one you want to use (not that first one. Yeech!).

STEP FIVE: This brings up a screen asking if this image in Lightroom is to be shared to your Instagram Story, or your regular Image Feed (and here you can see I chose ‘Feed.”

STEP SIX: That’s better! When you tap that Plug sign under Feed it takes you to the familiar, full-featured regular Instagram App layout where you have all the regular options, including location services, the ability to tag people, sharing to other services simultaneously, and much more. So, in short, now you know the trick.

Okey dokey smokey, that’s it for me. Here’s wishing you a great weekend, and a Happy Mother’s Day to the most amazing, dedicated,  and just plain awesome people on this planet. This is simply nothing like a mom (and the older I get, the more I realize just how true that is, and also, I’m reminded of how blessed our family to have Kalebra as our children’s mother. She could teach a course). ☺

See you next week, and don’t forget to sign up for Photoshop World this week. You know you want to be there, and I want you there, too.





  1. Nikki 18 November, 2020 at 10:13 Reply

    Hi Scott, wondering if you can help please. I have always used the Copy to Instagram but that function has randomly disappeared. Do you know how to get it back when exporting photos from Lightroom mobile? Thanks.

    • Rob Sylvan 18 November, 2020 at 11:00 Reply

      I don’t know if it was due to an update to iOS or Lightroom or Instagram, but that option doesn’t exist anymore. Instead, there is a completely non-intuitive option to try. Do the normal share from Lr that you did before, and after tapping Share To and you see the icons for the different apps you can share to, do a long press on the Instagram icon and choose Open in App, then you should have the normal options as if you were starting in Instagram to upload a new photo.

  2. Sam Bazalo 17 March, 2019 at 17:16 Reply

    Cheers for this, this is a much better workflow and removes some quality issues I was having when I was going from Lightroom Mobile > Camera Roll > Instagram.

    The issue for me now is that I can’t upload multiple images to instagram in one post which is annoying.

    Any ideas on how you could upload multiple images with this workflow?

  3. Claire Jones 13 May, 2018 at 11:03 Reply

    Excellent – just tried it and it worked perfectly!! Thanks Scott!

    Within the ‘More…’ section, you can also move the icons around so I hid the original icon and moved the Copy to Instagram one further up the list.

  4. Martin Cooper 12 May, 2018 at 03:06 Reply

    You can remove the unwanted icon, scroll to the right until you get to “more” then select what apps you want to see.

  5. Anand Vadivelan 11 May, 2018 at 23:33 Reply

    Great tip, thanks Scott. On an Android at least on my google pixel phone it is different. I get the feed and stories options with location services etc., directly after clicking share option. Guess it is different on iPhones. And someone asked what if you had two Instagram accounts. On Instagram whichever account is active ly chosen gets the post, one needs to choose the account in Instagram first and then share from lightroom or photoshop.

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