At present, Instagram doesn’t directly allow users to send or read direct messages from the desktop website. However, there’s a simple workaround that let’s users not only message with their followers, but also take and send photos and videos from their desktop computers.
Also see our article How To Unlink Instagram and Facebook
After all, although Instagram may want to encourage users to share on the fly from their smartphones, users have their own ideas, and more and more often the popular app is catering to their whims.
Downloading Instagram Windows 10 App
Windows 10 now offers an Instagram app that makes it possible to manage your profile, message with friends, and take photos on the fly. Getting this app is as easy as going to the Microsoft App store and downloading it. Then doing the following:
1. Click Get, and wait for the download to complete.
2. Click Launch.
3. Allow the app to access your Instagram contacts.
4. Click Sign In at the very bottom. Look closely, because it’s easy to miss.
5. Log in using your Instagram credentials.
Now you should be looking at your Instagram feed, which will look more like the smartphone app than the desktop website.
Can’t wait to share the latest with your Instagram pals, but your phone is dead or charging? Messaging through this PC app is easy.
1. Find the person you want to message.
2. Click Message.
3. Type your message in the field at the bottom of the screen.
4. Click Send.
It’s honestly as easy as if you’d just sent the message from your phone. As for why Instagram insists on having people download the app instead of simply making the desktop website more functional, your guess is as good as ours. Their obsession with limited functionality has long been a mystery.
Sending Images and Videos
If a regular message is just too passe for you or you feel a selfie coming on, then check out the image taking, editing, and sending feature of this handy desktop app. First, however, you’ll need to help the app communicate with your camera and microphone.
1. Click on the camera icon. This is located on the bottom left of your message window or at the top of your main feed.
2. Click Enable Camera Access.
3. Click Yes to confirm.
4. Click Enable Microphone Access.
5. Click Yes to confirm.
Now you should be looking at yourself as if you were about to take a selfie from your smartphone. Click the button to take a photo, or click and hold it to start a video. Once you’ve taken the image, you can add stickers, captions, and more.
When you’re ready to send it, click Send To. You’ll be redirected to a list of your followers. Select all of the followers that you want to share your new creation with. Then click Send.
Can’t Enable Microphone Access
If you’re anything like me when I first tried to do this, then you’ll keep clicking the Enable Microphone Access button fruitlessly. For a lot of people, Instagram’s microphone permissions are turned off by default. Thankfully, turning them on is a piece of cake.
1. Hit the Windows key and I at the same time. This will bring up your settings.
2. Click Privacy.
3. Click Microphone from the list on the left hand side.
4. Scroll down to Instagram and make sure the microphone permissions are toggled on. The bar should be blue.
Now go back and try enabling microphone access in steps 4-5 of the last section again. Why do you have to effectively enable microphone access twice on your computer? Who knows, but trust us; this will work.
Hold Your Horses
Before you get too excited and start scrolling through your favorite desktop pics to share to the desktop app, understand that this app does not give you full smartphone app functionality. You can take photos and videos on the fly and share them via direct messaging only. You can’t share anything saved to your computer, nor can you take photos and videos on the fly and share them in general. There are other workarounds for that, but this ain’t one of them.