How To Take A Photo Using Instagram Without Sharing / Uploading Guide

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Every photo taken on Instagram is automatically uploaded directly to your Instagram feed by sharing the photo with the world (or at least the one you follow). But what if you want to take a picture or two with Instagram, use these cool filters and don’t share them with anyone? It’s not exactly an option in the Instagram app, but you can use a cool trick on your iPhone (or Android if it floats your boat) to indirectly get that ability for yourself.

This works when you take pictures with Instagram without uploading them, and also by applying and saving filter additions to the pictures without uploading them to Instagram. The second option means you can basically apply multiple filters to the same photo if you want.

How to take photos from instagram without uploading it

Uploading Instagram photos is very easy:

  1. Use one of the following tricks to switch to AirPlane mode on iPhone (note that all Instagram versions work the same way):
    • Modern iOS versions: Swipe to the bottom of the screen to call up the control center and tap the airplane icon to enter Airplane mode
    • Airplane mode with control center

    • Older iOS: Open Settings and switch AirPlane mode to ON – this temporarily removes all cellular and wireless communications from your device

    Airplane mode

  2. Launch Instagram and take a photo, apply the filter and edits as usual, and select Share
  3. The image cannot be shared, so tap the (X) button and select Delete
  4. Now visit the “Photos” app on iPhone and find the Instagram photo stored in your camera roll

You can apply filters, blurs and borders as usual, naming an image is useless because it’s not published:

Take photos with Instagram without sharing them

It is necessary to tap X and delete the image from the download queue, otherwise the image may actually be downloaded when you turn off AirPlane mode and use Instagram again in the future.

Using Instagram without publishing photos

That’s all there is to it. Because AirPlane mode stops all data transfers, the sharing process fails and the image is never uploaded to Instagram, instead being kept locally on iPhone. Simple and effective, although a little strange. And yes, this works exactly the same way in all versions of the Instagram app, whether new or old.

Save and use Instagram filters without downloading them

This is a pretty handy trick if you want to apply some quick filters to your images and then edit them directly with apps like Snapseed or AfterGlow. ​​​​​​I found this by accident the other day I lost cell service, but as Petapixel points out, deliberately switching to AirPlane mode is a useful strategy if you want to get filters without uploading images to your IG feed. Don’t forget to turn off AirPlane mode again when you’re done, or iPhone will be left unattended.

Want to see more great Instagram tips? One here!

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FAQ: Take Photo Using Instagram Without Sharing / Uploading

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Apple devices only.

mac OS or iOS

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