31 Tricks and Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

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Wanna level up your Insta game? With these tricks and tools, you’ll be ‘gramming like a pro in no time.

Table of contents

General Instagram hacks

Instagram hacks for photo and video sharing

Instagram Story hacks

Instagram bio and profile hacks

Instagram hashtag hacks

Instagram direct messaging hacks

General Instagram hacks

1. Stop seeing posts or stories from accounts you follow but don’t love

You don’t want to see any more of your aunt’s ferret videos, but you don’t want to hurt her feelings with an unfollow, either. The solution? Give her a mute!

How to do it:

Method 1

  1. Go to the account you want to mute
  2. Tap the Following button
  3. Click mute
  4. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and Stories from the account
  5. You can also mute posts and Stories by pressing and holding on a Story in your tray, or from a profile

Method 2

  1. From your feed, find a post from the person you’d like to mute and click the three dots on the top right hand corner of the post
  2. Click mute
  3. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and Stories from the account
  4. You can also mute posts and Stories by pressing and holding on a Story in your tray, or from a profile

muting an Instagram account called Fergus the Ferret

2. Rearrange filters

Keep Amaro at your fingertips and get Nashville out of your sight by customizing your menu of filter options.

How to do it:

  1. When posting a photo or video, go to Filter
  2. Scroll to the end of your filters and tap Manage
  3. Press and hold the three line icon next to each filter on the left-hand side of the screen to rearrange the order of your filters
  4. Check or uncheck the circles next to each filter on the right-hand side of the screen to hide or unhide filters
  5. Click Done to save your settings

Instagram filtersreorganizing Instagram filters

3. See all posts you’ve liked

Take a walk down memory lane with a review of all your past photo likes. (So. Many. Puppos.)

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Open the hamburger menu in the top right corner
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Account
  5. Tap Posts You’ve Liked

author's liked photos (all of them are of puppies)

4. Clear your search history

Make sure no one ever finds out that you’ve been hunting for photos of “Mr Clean shirt off” by wiping your Instagram search history squeaky clean.

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Open the hamburger menu in the top right corner
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Security
  5. Scroll to the bottom, then tap Clear Search History or Search History

5. Set up notifications for other accounts

Add alerts for your favourite accounts and never miss a new post from your favourite Japanese mascot fan page again.

How to do it:

  1. Visit the the profile page of the account you’d like to get notifications for
  2. Tap the Following button
  3. Select Notifications
  4. Toggle the content you want to receive notifications about: Posts, Stories, IGTV or Live Videos

Instagram notifications options

6. Create shortcuts for common responses

iOS users can create auto-complete comments to respond to common questions, and save precious seconds. Time is money, people!

How to do it:

  1. On your Instagram profile, tap the hamburger menu and then Settings.
  2. Tap Creator and then Quick Replies.
  3. Tap New Quick Reply
  4. Choose a few words or a phrase to act as a Shortcut (e.g., OpeningHours).
  5. In the Message section, type the generic response you would like to create (e.g., “Hi! We’re only open for business during the Full Moon!”.).
  6. Tap Save
  7. Anytime you want to use that specific comment, type out your shortcut and your phone will automatically populate the full phrase.

creating quick response on Instagram

7. Bookmark your favourite posts

Think of “Collections” as your digital scrapbooks: save your favourite posts here.

How to do it:

  1. Go to a post you’d like to save
  2. Tap the bookmark icon underneath the post you want to save
  3. It’ll automatically be added to a generic collection, but if you’d like to send it to a specific one, choose Save Collection; here you can select an existing collection or tap the + icon to create and name a new one
  4. To see your saved posts and collections, visit your profile and tap the hamburger menu. Then tap Saved

Bookmarking an Instagram post

8. Remove old posts (without deleting them forever)

Like the Instagram equivalent of the Disney vault, you can hide old posts out of sight with the “Archive” function.

How to do it:

  1. Tap at the top of the post you want to remove
  2. Select Archive
  3. To review all archived posts, go to your profile and tap the hamburger icon in the top right corner
  4. Tap Archive
  5. At the top of the screen click Archive to view either Posts or Stories
  6. If you want to restore content to your public profile, simply tap Show on Profile at any time and it’ll show up in its original spot

9. Limit your screen time

Just because you can scroll forever doesn’t mean you should. Save yourself from yourself with Instagram’s built-in daily timer.

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu
  2. Tap Your Activity > Set Daily Reminder
  3. Choose an amount of time and tap Set Reminder

Instagram hacks for photo and video sharing

10. Create line breaks in your caption

Take control over the pacing of your caption with this trick to create line breaks.

How to do it:

  1. Edit your photo and proceed to the caption screen
  2. Write your caption
  3. To access the Return key, tap the 123 key on your device’s keyboard
  4. Use Return to add breaks to your caption

Note: While the breaks will start a new line, they won’t create the white space that you would see between two paragraphs. To create a paragraph break, write out your photo caption in your phone’s notes app and copy it over to Instagram. Wanna break up lines even further? Try using bullet points, dashes, or other punctuations.

Instagram caption with line breaks

11. Schedule your posts in advance

Prep your content to post at premium times with the help of Hootsuite’s Instagram scheduling tool.

How to do it:

Note: Check out our guide to scheduling posts on Instagram to learn how to do this from a personal account.

PS: Coming soon to Hootsuite: scheduling Instagram Stories!

12. Post to Instagram from your computer

Got a bunch of pics of your cat dressed as David Bowie on your desktop? Skip the extra step of sending them to your phone before you show them to the world (hello? We’re waiting!).

Depending on your operating system, there are a few different tools you can use to post to Instagram from your computer. One of them, of course, is Hootsuite. Our Composer even has editing and resizing functionality, making the publishing process smooth as butter.

How to do it:

13. Choose a cover photo for your video

Your hair looked particularly cute 10 seconds into your video, and you want the world to know. Here’s how to handpick the still that kicks off your vid.

How to do it:

  1. Use a graphic design tool like Canva to create an intro image, and then place at the beginning or end of your video with editing software
  2. Tap the + button on the bottom of your screen to select a video from your Library, or create one in the moment
  3. Next, tap Cover
  4. Select the intro image from the selection of stills

cover photo for a video entitled "My Handstand Journey"

14. Hide comments from your feed

A picture is worth a thousand words—so do you really need other people adding to the conversation? Here’s how to keep the comment section quiet.

How to do it:

  1. From your profile, select the hamburger menu from the top right and tap Settings
  2. Tap Privacy
  3. Tap Comments
  4. Set Manual Filters for specific words or phrases, or select Hide Offensive Comments to auto-filter for common rude language
  5. While you can’t disable comments across your profile, you can disable comments on a specific post by selecting Advanced Settings>Turn Off Commenting while you’re posting.

Instagram Story hacks

15. Record video hands-free

Hands-free mode is like a much more low maintenance Instagram Boyfriend. Reliable. Takes instruction well. Loyal. Loving.

How to do it:

  1. Swipe right from your home screen to open the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Swipe through the options at the side of the screen—normal, Boomerang, etc.—and stop at the Hands-Free recording option
  3. Tap the record button at the bottom of the screen to begin recording
  4. To stop recording, either let the maximum time run out or tap the capture button again

hands-free Instagram Story

16. Hide a story from specific users

For when everyone needs to see the hilarious prank you pulled on Daryl in accounting—except your boss.

How to do it:

Method 1

  1. Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Privacy> Story
  4. Tap Hide Story From
  5. Select the people you’d like to hide your story from, then tap Done (iOS) or the checkmark symbol (Android).
  6. To unhide your story from someone, tap the blue checkmark to unselect them.

Method 2

You can also choose people to hide your story from as you’re looking at who’s seen your story.

  1. Tap the three dots to the right of their name and select Hide Story From [Username].
  2. Note: Hiding your story from someone is different from blocking them, and doesn’t prevent them from seeing your profile and posts.

17. Use your own fonts on stories

Why Instagram won’t allow you to just use Jokerman font natively, we may never know. But where there’s a wackily designed ’90s serif, there’s a way.

How to do it:

  1. Open a fonts tool. There are plenty of free options via your web browser, like igfonts.io: be wary of third-party font keyboard apps that can monitor everything you ty, though!
  2. Type your message into your font tool of choice
  3. Select the font you want
  4. Copy the text and paste it into your story (though this works for profile bios and post captions, too)

different fonts in igfonts.ioInstagram story with unique font that says "I love avoiding spyware!"

18. Change the cover of your story highlights

Highlight your highlights with a fresh first image.

How to do it:

  1. Tap your highlight, then tap Edit Highlight
  2. Tap Edit Cover
  3. Select your photo from your camera roll

19. Write with all the colors of the rainbow

Change the hues of individual letters, or even harness the magic of the rainbow with this sneaky trick to color your world.

How to do it:

  1. Tap the camera icon on the top left to create a new Story
  2. Select Create
  3. Type your message, then select the portion of the text you’d like to change color
  4. Hold your left finger or thumb on the end cursor
  5. Hold your right finger or thumb on the color you want to end on
  6. Now slide both fingers to the right at the same time: your left hand will be unhighlighting the letters one at a time, while your right hand is changing the color selection for each

instagram story with differently colored type

20. Add extra photos to a Story

For when one snapshot of your DIY macrame dog bikini per post isn’t enough.

How to do it:

  1. Open a photo in your photo roll and tap the Export button
  2. Tap Copy
  3. Open Instagram Stories and double tap the screen to select the Paste option

Want more expert advice on how to make the most of your Instagram Stories? Head on over to our ultimate Stories guide on the blog.

Instagram bio and profile hacks

21. Hide photos you’ve been tagged in

Even if your friends’ feeds are full of photos of your Margarita Monday exploits, the world never has to know.

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Tap the person in a box icon beneath your bio to go to the Photos of You tab
  3. Tap the photo you want to remove from your profile
  4. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Tag Options
  5. Select Remove Me From Post or Hide from My Profile

Note: You can also prevent tagged photos from appearing on your profile in the first place. Just go to the Photos of You tab and select any photo. Then, select Edit on the top right. Here, you can toggle Manually Approve Tags.

Instagram tagging option

22. Add line breaks to bio

Break up that block of text and share your info in a visually appealing way.

How to do it:

  1. Open up a notes app and write out your bio as you’d like it to appear—line breaks included
  2. Select all the text and choose Copy
  3. Open the Instagram app
  4. Tap your profile image icon to visit your profile
  5. Tap the Edit Profile button
  6. Paste the text from your notes app into the bio field
  7. Tap Done to save your changes

23. Get your bio in more search results

Slip a keyword for your business into the name field of your bio, and you’ll be more likely to pop up in search results for that industry.

How to do it:

  1. Tap on Edit Profile on the top right of your Instagram profile
  2. In the Name section, change the text to include your keywords
  3. Tap Done on the top right corner of your screen

Instagram bio with keywords in it

24. Add special characters and use special fonts for your profile

Jazzing up your profile with fun fonts or the perfect wingding is as easy as a copy-and-paste. (One note: use special characters sparingly to accommodate accessibility! Not every accessible reading tool will be able to interpret them correctly.)

How to do it:

  1. Open a Word or Google doc.
  2. Start typing your bio. To place a special character, tap Insert, then Advanced Symbol.
  3. Add the icons where you would like them in your bio.
  4. Open your Instagram profile in a web browser and tap Edit Profile.
  5. Copy and paste your bio from the Word or Google doc to your Instagram bio and tap Done when you’re finished.

25. Switch to a business profile

Officially declaring yourself as a business on Instagram gives you some serious advantages, like running ads and getting insights. If you’re a brand, what are you waiting for?

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Account
  4. Tap Switch to Business Account
  5. We recommend that you connect your business account to a Facebook Page that is associated with your business. This will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses. At this time, only one Facebook Page can be connected to your business account
  6. Add details such as your business or accounts’s category and contact information
  7. Tap Done


For more tips on how to optimize your profile, check out our post of
Instagram Bio Ideas for Business.

Instagram hashtag hacks

26. Find the top (and most relevant) hashtags to use

If you want to be discovered, including hashtags in your post is key. Here’s how to figure out which ones are the best fit for getting your content its Star is Born moment.

How to do it:

  1. Select the magnifying glass icon to visit the Explore tab
  2. Type in a keyword and tap the Tags column
  3. Choose a hashtag from the list
  4. This will take you to a page of posts bearing that hashtag
  5. Above the “Top” and “Recent” portions of the page, there appears a small bar labeled “Related.” Next to this, Instagram will display a list of relevant hashtags that you can swipe through for inspiration (and further research)

hashtag page for #animalcrossingnewhorizons

27. Follow your favorite hashtags

Get inspiration in your feed and never miss the latest #NailArt masterpieces (are those… Tom and Jerry nails?).

How to do it:

  1. Select the magnifying glass icon to visit the Explore tab
  2. Type in the hashtag you want to follow
  3. On the hashtag page click the Follow button

instagram hashtag page for #nailart

28. Hide hashtags on posts and in stories

Yes, Hashtags get you discovered. But they can also be visual clutter. (Or just look a little… thirsty.) Here’s how to reap the benefits without cramping your style.

How to do it:

Method 1

  1. One easy way to hide your hashtags is to simply leave them out of your caption altogether and put them in a comment below your post
  2. Once you’ve got another comment, your hashtags will be safely hidden in the comments section

Method 2

Another method is to separate your hashtags from the rest of your caption by burying them beneath an avalanche of line breaks.

  1. Simply tap the 123 key when composing a caption
  2. Select Return
  3. Enter a piece of punctuation (whether a period, bullet, or dash), then hit Return again
  4. Repeat steps 2 to 4 at least five times
  5. Instagram hides captions after three lines, so your hashtags won’t be viewable unless your followers tap the more option on your post


adding periods to Instagram comment

Instagram direct messaging hacks

29. Turn off your activity status

You don’t have to let the world know when you are or aren’t online: maintain an aura of mystery!

How to do it:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu; tap Settings
  2. Tap Privacy
  3. Tap Activity Status
  4. Toggle off Activity Status

30. Send disappearing content to your friends

Create photos, videos or Boomerangs that are here today, gone tomorrow with Direct Messaging.

How to do it:

  1. From the home screen, tap the camera icon at the top left of the screen. Or swipe right to open the camera. Or open Instagram Direct by tapping the paper airplane icon at the top right of the screen, then tapping the camera icon in the top left
  2. Shoot a photo, video, or Boomerang
  3. Edit it as desired
  4. Tap the > icon at the bottom right of the screen
  5. Choose your recipient OR tap the + sign to create a new group chat
  6. Tap Send at the bottom of the screen

Note: If you select multiple recipients without creating a group, each user will be sent the same message separately.

31. Edit a friend’s pics

How do you show a friend you care? You put weird emojis on their photos. Here’s how to edit a pal’s pic.

How to do it:

  1. When viewing a photo message from a friend, tap the camera icon at the bottom and capture a reply
  2. Your reply includes a sticker of what you’re replying to
  3. Move and resize it, and add your own twist with stickers, text and drawings
  4. Make sure to send with the setting Allow Replay at the bottom so your friend can remix your pic

Want to see many of the hacks from this article in action? This Hootsuite Academy video’s got the scoop.


Manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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