Learn how to fix blurry Instagram photos in 2021 with this guide.
If you’re wondering how to fix blurry Instagram photos, join the club. Tens of thousands of users upload their photo to Instagram only to find it to not look as great as when they first edited it. Me included!
There are two reasons that your photos look blurry on Instagram:
- If your aspect ratio isn’t correct, then Instagram will crop it and compress your image.
- If your file size is over 1MB, then again, Instagram will compress it.
Luckily there are easy fixes to avoid image compression and make sure your image quality looks excellent when posting to Instagram. Here’s how to navigate this social media and upload quality photos all the time.
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Instagram Image Best Practices
For the majority of the time, people use their phone vertically meaning the long way up and down. They do not use it horizontally, which is side to side.
This is how users also use Instagram (vs. people watching YouTube may hold their mobile phone horizontally).
As a result, Instagram’s best practice to post portrait photos with the aspect ratio of 4:5. This makes the ideal photo size 1080px by 1350px. It will fill up most of the phone’s screen.
If you choose to post a square photo with an aspect ratio of 1:1, you’ll want a photo size of 1080px by 1080px.
If you choose to post a horizontal photo, which is not advised because of how users use a phone, then the long edge needs to be 1080px.
How to Fix Blurry Instagram Photos
For the purpose of making your Instagram photos blurry to clear, we’re going to be referring to Instagram’s best practice of posting with an aspect ratio of 4:5 and size or resolution of 1080px wide by 1350x tall.
Adobe Lightroom Desktop
Let’s start off with learning how to fix blurry Instagram photos with Adobe Lightroom on desktop.
I’ll show you how to crop and size your images for the best Instagram size, but if you are new to Lightroom and really want to master it, I recommend this Adobe Lightroom course I took.
To maintain the aspect ratio of Instagram’s best practice, crop your image to 4 x 5 / 8 x 10.
Then go to Export your photo with these settings:
- JPEG: Quality of 76+
- Play around with this. Some peoples’ photos are ok with 76 while other peoples’ photos are better off at a full 100. It can differ for your image.
- You basically want it to keep your photo sharp but under 1MB. If it’s above 1MB, Instagram will compress it and it will look blurry.
- Resize to Fit: Short Edge 1,080 pixels
- Resolution 72 pixels per inch
- Sharpen for Screen
If you export your photos from Adobe Lightroom to Instagram often, you can even set this as a Preset on the left side.
Important: Not only do you need to export your photo from Lightroom with these settings, you need to transfer them from your computer without losing quality.
To really get the maximum benefit out of Adobe Lightroom, take this Adobe Lightroom class I took. It is really worth the money, but if you’re on a budget, there are tons of free YouTube tutorials to follow.
Adobe Lightroom Mobile
Not everyone can afford a monthly subscription to Adobe Lightroom desktop and that’s ok! That’s because Adobe Lightroom Mobile is free and also quite powerful. You can still learn how to fix blurry Instagram photos in the mobile app.
Here are the settings to fix your blurry Instagram photos on Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
- When exporting your photos from Adobe Lightroom Mobile, tap on the Settings button next to “Export to Camera Roll”.
- Tap on Dimension, and change it to Custom.
- Adjust the Long Side (vertical side) to 1350px since we’re posting a vertical portrait; again as Instagram’s best practice.
Now you’re ready to post the photo to Instagram.
Did this help you? Help others too by Pinning or sharing it. Thank you!
How to Upload High Quality Photos to Instagram
Now that you’ve learned how to fix blurry Instagram photos by exporting them in accordance with Instagram’s best practice by keeping it under 1MB and transferring it to your phone in a way that it doesn’t lose any quality, it’s time to upload your photo to Instagram.
- Open the Instagram app on your phone.
- Go to your profile/feed.
- Tap on the + button.
- Choose the photo in your Library.
- Click Next 2x.
- Add a caption, tag people, add location, etc. and Share.
Pro Tip: If you click on ‘Advanced Settings’ at the very bottom, you can add in Alt Text. This not only makes your photos more accessible for people with visual impairment; this is like search engine optimizing your photo for Instagram and can help with your reach!
Hack Within the Instagram App to Make Instagram Photos and Carousels Even Clearer
The above directions on export pixel size is the most important thing to pay attention to, but if you find that your photos are still blurry and you want to fix that within the app, follow this:
- Once you upload a photo, before you publish, hit Edit.
- Swipe all the way to the right and slide the Sharpen tool to around 10 for a subtle clarity and 30 for more intense.
- Post as usual!
Learn How to Use Adobe Lightroom
If you’re serious about content creating, Adobe Lightroom is a must. It’s not just a powerful way to edit photos but it’s also a super helpful tool to use to organize photos. Get Adobe Lightroom here.
Learning how to use Adobe Lightroom comes with a lot of trial and error. There are a lot of free tutorials on YouTube but the class I found the most helpful is this comprehensive Lightroom guide on CreativeLive.
I actually had a CreativeLive pass, which allowed me to view unlimited classes. They were really helpful in my beginner years of content creating in all sorts of areas: business management, marketing, and of course, photography.
I hope your photos are crisp and clear after reading this post on how to fix blurry Instagram photos.
Happy content creating!