How to add photos and videos from your camera roll to your Instagram story

By , Aug 5, 2016

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.

A video posted by iDB (@idownloadblog) on

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

Instagram add new 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 down on the screen, and an image picker will be revealed at the top.

upload story to instagram

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

choose photo video to upload

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.

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

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  • 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

  • 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…

  • Melissa

    And THANK YOU!

  • You are brilliant. Thanks.

  • Ahsan

    Really Grateful