Instagram stories

Instagram launched a new feature this week called Stories, which allows you to post photos and videos that will not appear in your feed, but will be visible by your followers in a slideshow format, for up to 24 hours. This is a great way to share more on Instagram without polluting your feed with dozens of photos and videos you wouldn’t otherwise publish.

When first playing with Instagram Stories, I couldn’t figure out how to upload picture or videos that I had already taken. Instead, it seemed I was forced to first shoot using the Instagram app, and upload from there. After a few minutes, I finally figured it out, and because it’s not that obvious, I thought I should post about it as it may help a few readers wondering the same thing: how do you put photos or videos from your library on your Instagram story?

Uploading photos and videos from your library to your Instagram story

As it turns out, the feature was hiding in plain sight.

1) In the Instagram app, tap on the Camera icon in the upper left corner to add a new story. This will take you into camera mode.

create new instagram story

2) This is where you can choose to record a video, or snap a photo. But what we want to do is bring up our photo library. To do this, simply pull up on the screen, and an image picker will be revealed at the bottom.

add photo to stories on instagram

3) From there, simply choose the photo or video you want to upload. You may of course annotate it before uploading it.

pick photo to add to story

There are some limitations to this. First and foremost, only pictures or videos captured within the last 24 hours will be available and eligible to be shared on your story. Anything shot over 24 hours ago will not even show in the image picker.

The second limitation is that if you upload a video that is longer than 10 seconds, it will automatically be cropped to fit the the 10-second format. In that case, I’d suggest editing the video first to crop it as you want it, then upload it to your story.

Also read: How to upload photos older than 24 hours to your Instagram Story

And that is all there is to it. It’s definitely not complicated, but not completely obvious either.

  • Shaun Defense

    I also noticed you can tap on the left side or right side when viewing stories to navigate posts in that story. This is on top of swiping left and right to navigate stories.

  • The Fluffy Alpaca

    T H A N K Y O U !

  • Y2J

    If you wanted to post a picture from, say 25 hours ago, couldn’t you screenshot the photo in the photos app? Or are screenshots not eligible? You would have to really want to post that picture if you got through all this work lmao

    • I guess you could do that, yes

      • Y2J

        Seems like too much work for me because then you’ll have to go back and delete the screenshot and blah blah but cool to know it’s an option

      • I’m also wondering if you could just edit a photo meta data to fake a more recent date/time. That of course, would also be a ton of work.

  • Thanks this really helped!

  • Megan Tsend

    Has anyone else noticed when you add a photo off your camera roll you can’t resize the image, certain photos are cut off and I can’t make them smaller to include the whole photo

    • Widian Othman

      I searched the web many times to find a solution for this but couldn’t!
      Did you find a way to fix it? Thanks

      • RLA

        There is no current way to fix it. Instagram Stories is very “Featureless” for editing photos which is odd since the normal Instragram is one of the most feature heavy apps for editing pics.

  • Mingmingi

    tysm it helps me ❤

  • Melissa

    Does anyone know a way to edit a video clip you want to upload to Stories but was taken over 24 hours ago? Would editing it through a 3rd party app and re-saving it make it available to post to Stories? Wasn’t aware of the 24-hour limitation with uploading from Camera Roll and the videos I shot for a post for my boss are now all useless…

    • Georgia Brisco

      Did you figure out a way around this by any chance? :/

      • Melissa

        I had to download another video editing app so I could re-save the videos, but it worked! You don’t have to actually edit them, just open the video through the app and save again so the creation date is now from the current day and time.

    • Facundo Casares Basualdo

      try this: follow the normal process of posting on instagram. {+} , filter. now you can add tags, comments or hashtag. if you look on the top you will see “New Post”; click it and you will have the option “Direct Message”. send it to yourself. it can now be saved in your Camera Roll with the new date

  • Melissa

    And THANK YOU!

  • You are brilliant. Thanks.

  • Ahsan

    Really Grateful

  • Nick Franks

    Brilliant article. Thank you!

  • Julia Ahern

    OMG THANKYOU SO MUCH YOU’RE A LIFE SAVER. Lol but I’ve been trying to figure it out for a while

  • mauriciolazo

    Thank you! You are right, it was hiding in plain sight.

  • Jake Eames

    Thank you!

  • AbraSlam Lincoln

    Thank you!

  • This is GREAT! Thank you so much!

  • Smiley Hearts

    But again, only one photo or video can be uploaded from the gallery. Is there any way to upload multiple photos from the gallery?

  • Thanks for sharing! I have been nervous to even play around with it because I thought I could only record something live. I was scared something crazy would automatically post if I played around too much. lol I just checked it out and your steps still worked even with the IG format being a bit different now. 🙂

    • That’s right. I updated this post with new screenshots to avoid confusion. Thank you.

  • How can I upload bulk snaps to IG story? It can get super confusing with all the duplicates in the camera roll

    • You can’t upload images in bulk. It has to be done one at a time unfortunately.

  • Nicole MissNikki Johnson

    How do you make a video fit from your phone on Instagram Stories. I made a slideshow and it blows it up so the whole images are not seen

    • For best use, videos uploaded to your story have to be done in portrait mode. Even then, I think Instagram zooms in a little bit. Anything shot in landscape will be blown out to fir the vertical screen, usually drawing bad results since the photo or video becomes all zoomed in.

  • LC

    I’m too old for this.

  • Marsha Jones Youmans

    Omg this was so helpful!!!! Thank you!

  • Yuvna

    Thank you.

  • Alcione D’Jalo

    Thank you.

  • Shelley Dark

    Sebastien I can do it with one photo, but I can’t seem to do it with 5 or 6 photos. Any suggestions?

  • Frida ‘vree’ Kurniawati

    Wow, thanks, this is so helpful!

  • Nadia

    Many thanks!!!

  • THANK YOU FOR THIS! I’ve been trying to figure this out for god knows how long. Now I just feel dumb that it’s been this easy all along. Ha! Thanks!

  • Stila

    Thank you! Great for my new page @StilaTequila on insta. <3

  • Ryzard Shevs


  • Rajvi Chheda


  • Thank you! Haha I was starting to feel like I was too old to keep up with technology

  • Amber Hush

    Thank you! Also, if “edit” an older photo, it will also become available to use in your Instagram story.

  • Dilara Hacıoğlu

    Great feed thanks for sparing your time!

  • saranghaeyoo

    Omg.. thank you so so so so so much.. i’m glad you decide to share about this.. i had been curious how to put those gallery photo into insta story

  • Suguna Karri

    Thank you soo much

  • Keerthi Reddy

    Thank you 🙂

  • Leslie Irene

    Thank you!!!!

  • Charis Kapele

    Thaaaaaanks 🙂