How to Resize Photo on Instagram: Fit the Whole Photo Without Cropping

May 11, 2023

6 min to read

Jimmy Rodela

Content Writer @ Vista Social

How to Resize Photo on Instagram: Fit the Whole Photo Without Cropping
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There are loooads of perks when you post pics on Insta with the right size:

  • Instagram’s algorithm will favor your content
  • Your posts will have better readability and legibility
  • Your audience will have a better experience consuming your content
  • Your engagement rates could shoot up

We’re just scratching the surface, of course.

That’s why as a social media manager who handles several Instagram client accounts, you need to learn how to resize Instagram photos.

That’s what this guide is all about.

We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of resizing Instagram photos to ensure all the photos you publish fit Instagram’s square format to a t. 🙂

Table of Contents 

Why should you resize photos on Instagram?

Good news—Instagram is known to instantly resize images to fit the app screen.

The bad news? 

It does a poor job at it. 

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why you should manually resize images on Instagram:

  1. Publish images without losing quality. On Instagram, wrong image sizes may result in unwanted cropping or stretching—just blurry, ugly, and inconvenient all around. Imagine how bad it would look on your social media manager resume if you have a lot of unoptimized images in your portfolio. 
  2. Avoid unsightly black or white borders. If your image dimensions are too tall for the Instagram content format, you either have to live with the ugly black or white borders OR crop your image. This retains image clarity, but it screams lazy and unprofessional in the eyes of photography-savvy users. 
  3. Take full advantage of screen real estate. Screen space is precious in an image-sharing platform like Instagram. With the correct image size, you ensure every detail—be it a CTA, company logo, or watermark—is visible as intended. 

What are the best sizes for Instagram photos?

Always use the correct image dimensions—got it. 

The question is, what is the perfect image size for Instagram?

That depends on the content type you want to publish. 

Best image size for Instagram posts

Regular Instagram posts have three ideal aspect ratios: 1:1 (square), 1.91:1 (landscape), and 4.5 (vertical).

Square posts on Instagram look best with a resolution of 1080 x 1080. 

For landscape photos, the ideal resolution is 1080 x 566. 

Lastly, for vertical photos, the perfect size or resolution is 1080 x 1350. This is the biggest ideal resolution for Instagram posts—great if you want to share high-quality shots. 

Best image size for Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are typically made with videos. But if you know how to make a Reel with photos, you’ll know that image Reels are the biz in the right situations. 

The ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Reels is 9:16 (vertical). As for the correct Instagram Reels dimensions, you’re looking at a resolution of 1080 x 1920. 

Best image size for Instagram Stories

Similar to Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories also usually take on a video form—albeit shorter. 

They also take up the whole screen of most modern mobile phones when viewed. As such, the ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is also 9:16, whereas the perfect resolution is 1080 x 1920. 

Steps to resize photo on Instagram with Vista Social

Alright, you’re all set. 

It’s time to dig into the actual steps on how to easily resize photos for Instagram publishing.

How to use a free image resizer for Instagram 

If you know the ideal Instagram photo sizes, all you need is a free image resizer like this tool by Adobe. Within a couple of minutes, you should have a publish-ready photo with the best dimensions for Instagram. 

Free image resizer like this tool by Adobe.
Image Source:

A much better solution, however, is to seamlessly weave resizing images into your social media workflow. 

An all-in-one Social Media Management (SMM) platform like Vista Social will get the job done.

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How to resize Instagram images more efficiently with Vista Social  

Vista Social lets you easily resize images from the publisher or via the media library. 

When you see the image’s thumbnail, just click the three-dot settings icon and select ‘Edit image.’ 

Vista Social lets you easily resize images from the publisher or via the media library.

Here’s the fun part: Vista Social already has resizing templates based on the best Instagram aspect ratios. Just take your pick between landscape, portrait, or square and you’re pretty much done. 

Vista Social already has resizing templates based on the best Instagram aspect ratios.

How to resize images without cropping 

If you wish to resize your images while keeping every detail in the final output, you need to use an image editing tool. 

Canva, for example, works by letting you add a background to “pad” the image. This allows you to use a new aspect ratio for the same image without cropping any part out. 

Pad your image with Canva.
Image Source:

Fun fact: Did you know that Canva can be launched straight from the Vista Social dashboard? 

Alternatively, use an AI-capable image tool like Snapseed to expand the borders of your image and match a different aspect ratio. With the “Expand” tool, you simply need to drag the image’s borders to your desired size—the tool will automatically fill in the blanks with an AI-generated picture. 

Use Snapseed to expand the borders of your image and match a different aspect ratio.
Image Source: Snapseed app

With the right aspect ratio, you’re free to modify the image’s dimensions to the correct resolution—without cropping any part of the original. 

How to resize Reels and Stories

If you need to resize video Stories or Reels, you must first learn how to save Instagram Stories with music. You can then count on the VistaCreate integration to resize your video to the right dimensions. 

While you’re at it, consider additional strategies that will up the uniqueness and fun factor of your content. For instance, you can learn how to reverse audio on Instagram and ask the audience to guess the title or add a dramatic effect to your boomerang content.

Ready to give your content workflow and posts a major upgrade? Try AI Assistant powered by ChatGPT today! 🤖💙

Strategies to make the most out of Instagram photos

Knowing how to resize photos for Instagram is a handy little trick that puts you a step closer to content perfection. 

But you still have a long way to go. 

Before we wrap up this post, here are strategies to help you make the most out of your Instagram content: 

  • Compile multiple images into photo dumps. Photo dumps are a great way to utilize your unused media assets and showcase your or your client’s human side. Just be sure to use engaging photo dump captions to convey a compelling story with your compilation. 
  • Let clients chip in. A cool strategy is to save posts as Instagram drafts and let your clients add the finishing touches to your resized image. Give them the ability to tweak your post’s caption, add new hashtags, or conduct a final brand-safety check. 
  • Tap into your following for ideas. If you’re out of fresh ideas for your target audience, consider spying on what others are doing. Use your Instagram following list order, check out pages your top followers are following, and get a better handle on their preferences.
  • Make your Instagram post more interactive. Encourage user interactions by asking questions, participating in challenges, and mentioning or tagging other users. For Stories, leverage Instagram poll questions to engage followers en masse. 

Customers Also Ask

Does Instagram automatically resize photos? 

Yes, Instagram automatically adjusts an image’s dimensions and aspect ratio to fit the specified content type. Unfortunately, this can negatively affect the image’s quality and—by extension—the user experience. 

Why can’t I fit the whole picture on Instagram?

If parts of your photo are missing from the actual Instagram post, you may have used the wrong image dimensions. It’s also possible that you zoomed in unintentionally and cropped certain details away from the post.  

How can I resize a picture on Instagram without cropping it?

Use a free image resizer like Simple Image Resizer or PicResize to easily resize images within minutes. For best results, use an SMM platform with a built-in image editing tool and Canva integration like Vista Social. 

Upload the perfect shot with Vista Social

Looking for the best tools to cut down your Instagram images to the perfect sizes?

Vista Social’s built-in image editor and Canva integration are more than enough. 

What’s more, Vista Social also helps you schedule your post at the ideal times, track valuable performance insights, and optimize content with audio and hashtag suggestions. 

But don’t just take our word for it. 

Go on and take Vista Social for a spin today. Click here to create a free account and see what we’re all about!

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