Instagram marketing

How to Create Instagram Stories Right From Your Laptop

  • 9 Minutes
Laptop stories are faster stories.

Over the past few years, social media burnout has become more and more common among Instagram marketing professionals. In a job that requires social media managers to always be “on,” it can be difficult to put the phone down and unplug.

If you ask any social media manager, they’ll probably tell you they could use some time away from their Instagram accounts every now and then. In fact, taking ”technology breaks” or space away from our smartphones is downright necessary. It’s been shown to improve productivity, mindfulness, and even lead to better sleep! Learning to post on Instagram from your computer is an excellent way to help you turn your phone off and avoid the constant ping of notifications from various social media platforms.

Learning how to post on Instagram from a PC or Mac can also free up hours in your workflow and give you more flexibility. And what social media manager wouldn’t want that?

Keep reading to learn how to better protect your time and streamline your workflow by creating and scheduling IG Stories from your laptop.

Why Instagram Stories Are Valuable For Your Business

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to make an Instagram Story from your laptop or desktop, it’s worth discussing why Instagram Stories are an absolute must for your small business. 

The Instagram platform has received a lot of criticism over the past few years for promoting an overly curated and somewhat unrealistic picture of reality. If the popularity of TikTok has been any indicator, social media users are increasingly craving authenticity and a less polished, more human look at their favorite brands. 

One of the best ways to show off a more real and organic side of your business is through Instagram Stories. IG Stories are a vital part of any social media marketer’s Instagram strategy – or at least they should be – and can add value to your business in multiple ways:

  • Offer your audience a more in-depth look at the people behind your brand
  • Show your behind-the-scenes processes
  • Engage with your audience directly with features like polls, quiz stickers, countdowns, and gifs
  • Drive traffic to your website or landing pages through Link Stickers 
  • Foster deeper connections with your brand

Can you post to Instagram from a Mac or PC?

The short answer is yes, but there are limitations. 

In October 2021, Instagram announced that users could now create and publish posts to the browser version of the app. While this was welcome news to social media managers, the downside was that this new browser version didn’t include the ability to post Instagram Stories. 

At present you cannot post Instagram Stories, Reels, or start a Live video without using the Instagram mobile app.

Thankfully, there’s a workaround! This is one of those tricks that feels illegal to know and makes you feel a bit like a hacker while executing.

Below, we’ll show you two different ways to create and post Instagram Stories right from your computer.

Option 1: Post Instagram Stories Through Your Mac or PC’s Web Browser

To create an Instagram Story from your laptop or desktop, follow these simple steps (screenshots included):

  1. Head to Instagram’s website ( and log in to your account. In this example, the browser we’re using is Google Chrome, but you can also use Safari or another web browser.

Alt text: How to Make Instagram Stories on Desktop

When you log in and look at the top-left corner, you’ll see there isn’t currently an option to upload directly to your story from the home page. But we can fix that! 

Alt text: How to Make an Instagram Story Browser Version

  1. Here’s where it gets a bit technical. If you’re using a Mac, either click the three dots next to your Google Account profile in the top-right corner, or use Command, Shift, I to open up the “Developer Tools” panel. If you’re using a PC, use CTRL, Shift, I

Alternatively, you can also open this window by right clicking anywhere on the screen and clicking Inspect.

Alt text: Create Instagram Stories on Google Chrome

You should see a screen open that looks like this:

Alt text: Create Instagram Stories on Web Browser

  1. On the top bar where it says Dimensions: Responsive, click to change it to iPhone X or iPhone XR. Then, keeping the Developer Tools panel open, refresh your browser.

Alt text: How to Create Instagram Stories Without a Phone

Presto! You should see a little + sign pop up next to your Instagram profile picture indicating that you can now upload your story.

Alt text: Make Instagram Stories on Browser

  1. Next, click on your profile icon and upload a photo from your files. Add any stickers, gifs, or text as needed. You can use your mouse or trackpad on your keyboard to move these elements around on your image.

Alt text: Add Instagram Stories from Your Laptop

  1. Finish up by clicking Add to your story

Alt text: Create Instagram Stories on Your Laptop

Don’t forget to change your browser back to Responsive mode when you’re done to make sure that your webpages run normally again.

Alt text: Add Instagram Stories from Browser Site

Option 2: Schedule Instagram Stories Using a Third-Party App Like Sked Social

While the method for posting Instagram Stories above can make you feel like a cool tech-savvy computer whiz, we have an alternative way to post that can be done quicker and requires less work.

Our all-in-one Instagram tool lets you schedule and auto-post Instagram Stories from your computer with ease! The days of sitting by your phone waiting for annoying reminder notifications are behind you. You can even schedule feed posts alongside your stories to complete your social media marketing strategy.

Not only does Sked Social allow you to post Instagram Stories from your Mac or PC, it also allows you to cross-post your best Instagram content across other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and more – with only a few clicks!

Here’s how to auto-schedule Instagram Stories using Sked Social:

  1. Log in to your account and click the orange Create Post button in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

Don’t have an account with us yet? Start scheduling your Stories with our 7-day free trial.

Alt text: How to Schedule Instagram Stories with Sked Social

  1. Click the toggle that says Switch to story, Reel or IGTV post and make sure you select Story from the Type dropdown menu. This step is key to switching from a feed post layout to a Story layout.

Alt text: Sked Social Instagram Story Scheduler

  1. Scroll up to the Media box and click Add media here. Drag and drop or upload photos from your files or saved media library. You should see the image you selected pop up in a preview on the right side of the page.

Alt text: Upload photos to Sked Social Instagram Story Scheduler

Pro Tip: When it comes to Instagram Stories, size matters! For best results, Instagram recommends using the resolution of 1080w x 1920h, which suits most phones.

However, phones as new as the iPhone 11 don’t have a full 1080 pixels in width. This means that Instagram might crop, resize or resample the image to display on devices in ways that are out of your control. And we don’t want that.

To avoid the risk of Instagram cropping important components like texts or logos out of the frame, follow our handy sizing guide when designing assets for Instagram Stories:

Alt text: Instagram Story Sizing Guide

You’ll also want to avoid compression of your story, which can happen when your file size is too high for the Instagram platform. This can result in your text or images looking fuzzy – not ideal. 

To keep your images and text looking crisp and clean, make sure to:

  • Export your Story design in good quality (75-85%) with a lower file size for designer media
  • Export at 1080 wide and up to 1350 tall
  1. Lastly, decide whether you want your story to post automatically or manually. If you want to make an Instagram Story that posts automatically, skip to Step 5. If you prefer greater customization, opt for a push notification to your phone by checking the box next to Publish story manually. 

When you check this box, you’ll receive a push notification on the Sked app on your iOS or Android device at the time you assign and you’ll be able to download the media and post with the native Instagram app.

Alt text: how to auto-publish Instagram Stories

Inside our manual Instagram Story scheduler, you can even add little notes, hashtags, or reminders for yourself for when the time comes to post, or save your Story captions in hashtags in one of our templates.

Quick note: Currently, there is no support for stickers like Link Stickers, Polls, Q & A, Music or other interactive elements. If you need to add one, select to Publish Manually and add your desired elements straight from your mobile device.

  1. Lastly, it’s time to prepare your Instagram Story for publishing. Simply click on the dropdown menu that says Draft and decide if you want to post your story now or later. 

Alt text: How to schedule Instagram Stories

If you want to schedule it for later, select the date and time that you want it to post. If you’re ready to post now, hit Post Now and then Save and you should see your Story appear on the ‘gram in only a few short minutes.

That’s it – you’re done! 

For a more thorough walkthrough of how to post Instagram Stories from your desktop using Sked Social, check out our video on how to schedule Instagram Stories.

Ready to put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode and start enjoying more work/life balance? Try out Sked Social with our 7-day free trial and enjoy the benefits of posting Instagram Stories directly from your laptop today!

Photo of Photo of Kyra Goodman

As Head of Evangelism and Social Media at Sked Social, Kyra Goodman is the voice and face behind social media strategy, content creation, community management and organic growth. When she’s not creating scroll-stopping content for her audiences, you can find her travelling the world, trying new recipes, or cozying up with a fiction book. Follow her and Sked @getskedsocial.

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