How To Upload High Quality Videos To Instagram

You’d think that all Instagram videos are high quality… right? Wrong. Unfortunately, in order to handle the sheer amount of content being uploaded to its servers on a daily basis, Instagram actually compresses the quality of all videos uploaded to the platform. There is no way to avoid this.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for subpar videos. There are ways to maximize the quality of your uploaded footage, and we’re here to walk you through them. Just keep in mind that the process will take considerably longer than it takes to just film and upload videos directly from your phone. Patience is the price you’ll have to pay for high-quality Instagram videos!

To learn how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram, simply follow our step-by-step tutorial below. For all additional information, and if you have any further queries, please direct your attention to our FAQs at the end of this article.

How to upload high quality videos to Instagram

  1. Step One: shoot the video on a high-quality (4K if possible) video camera, rather than your phone (no matter how high-quality your phone’s camera is)
    1. Of course, if you don’t have a video camera, or access to one, then smartphone it is. Just make sure if this is the case, not to miss out on step two.
  2. Step Two: transfer the video losslessly to a computer (either by your video camera’s cable, or via Dropbox, AirDrop, WeTransfer or the like)
  3. Step Three: using video-editing software like FFMpeg, Lightworks, or Adobe Premier, edit your video however you like, and then compress it to reduce the size of the file, whilst maintaining optimum quality
  4. Step Four: transfer the compressed video back to your phone losslessly (either by the phone’s USB cable, or via Dropbox, AirDrop, We Transfer or the like)
  5. Step Five: upload your high quality video to Instagram by opening the Instagram app, tapping the (+) icon, selecting the appropriate destination (Reels, Story, Feed, IGTV), adding a catchy title and any relevant hashtags (up to 30 hashtags maximum)

  6. Step Six: finally, before you post your video, watch it back to ensure that you’re content with the quality of the video now that it’s finally reached the Instagram stage. If you’re not, head back to step three and compress the file a little smaller, then retry, try, and try again until content.
  7. Step Seven: select the video
  8. Step eight: click share as short video
  9. Step nine: click filter
  10. Step ten: new post

And there you have it. It might seem like a pretty roundabout way of uploading high-quality videos to Instagram, but trust us when we say it’s a tried and tested method and will deliver results every time. 

For any additional information, or if you still have any unanswered questions, please see our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

Aren’t all videos on Instagram high quality?

You might think so, right? After all, Instagram is the world’s number one photo and video sharing social networking app – connecting friends, celebrities, and public figures in one giant global network of image sharers for many years now. With the rising popularity of video-specific apps like TikTok, Instagram has jumped on the video bandwagon, introducing IGTV (for long-format videos), and Reels (for short 30 seconds, TikTok-Esque skits). 

As such, you’d surely imagine that all of the videos you see are going to be super high quality. However, not so. Instagram actually compresses every video a user uploads (the compression process is built right into the upload function). Doing so reduces the quality of your video until it’s satisfied with the file size. 

Thus, you’re going to need all the help you can get to make sure your Instagram videos are as high quality as possible!

Why does Instagram compress videos and video quality during the upload process?

Frustrating though it is, the reason is fairly self-explanatory. With over a billion global users, can you imagine the sort of servers Instagram would have to have, the sort of money it would take, to host a billion or more users’ high-quality videos? It’s kind of an incredible feat that so much content is hosted on the app as it is, without adding to the strain by allowing that content to be ultra HD.

In short, Instagram compresses your videos, thus worsening your video quality, to ensure that it maintains a manageable level of file-hosting, and doesn’t crash. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to upload high-quality videos to Instagram – it’s just going to take a little more patience.

Why would I want to upload actively high quality videos to Instagram?

With the increasing popularity of the video, over the image format, we now see Reels and IGTV videos and story clips on a regular basis. So much so, that if a genuinely HD video were to pop up in your Instagram feed, it would stop you in your tracks. Against the contrast of those Instagram-compressed, lower-quality videos, your footage would instantly stand out from the crowd. 

If you have a personal brand, are in charge of the PR and marketing for your company, or simply wish to build a following for a side project of yours, then standing out from the crowd is exactly what you want to do. 

It’s really, really hard to make a mark on the social media world today, with so many people posting so much content all of the time. As such, it can be pretty demoralizing to work so hard on a video for upload to Instagram, only for its impact to be dulled at the last moment because of Instagram’s upload-compression. 

If you’re putting time and effort into creating engaging content for your Instagram audience, you deserve to be able to upload it in truly high quality.

What’s the best way to ensure the quality of my Instagram videos?

This totally depends on the equipment and software you have access to and are able to work with. Here are some top tips:

  1. Try to avoid filming your video on a smartphone. Instead, use a high-quality video camera that, if possible, can shoot in 4K. 4K resolution is one of the highest manageable resolutions in video-capturing today, and starting off with a 4K video is a great first step.
  2. Edit and compress your video yourself, on a computer (rather than a phone), using some affordable and easy-to-navigate video editing software, like Adobe Premier).
  3. Ensure that the transfer of the compressed video to your phone is lossless. I.e. make sure that you don’t lose any quality when moving the finished video from your computer to your phone. The best way to do this is to use AirDrop, Dropbox, WeTransfer, or a USB cable.
  4. Check and double-check. Just because you’ve done all of the above doesn’t mean that your video might not still suffer a little from Instagram’s compression system, if the app still feels your file size is too large. Thus, we recommend checking and double-checking your footage before you finalise the posting of it to Instagram. If you feel it’s lost quality since you created it on your computer, then return there and compress it down yourself again.

What’s the best Instagram video platform to use to ensure high video quality?

Good question. Instagram has so many different avenues for video posting these days: IGTV, Stories, Feed, and Reels, each with its own particular advantages. 

Ultimately, if your video is a landscape and under 60 seconds, then we recommend posting it to your feed. If it is a landscape and longer than 60 seconds, then we recommend posting it to IGTV. If it is profiled and under 30 seconds, then we recommend posting it to Reels, and if it is profiled and over 30 seconds, we recommend posting it to your Story.