Instagram crops all vertical posts to a 4:5. Unless your video is under 30 seconds, it won't work on Reels. That means that it’s impossible to fit a full 9:16 video into a normal Instagram video post. If you take a screenshot, film a video clip on your phone, TikTok, or Snap, or if you want to post a Story to your feed, Instagram makes you crop part of it out unless you resize it first.

Screenshots from Instagram, showing that tall photos are cropped to a 4:5 aspect ratio.
A portrait video is cropped to 4x5 aspect ratio

To post a full vertical video or image on Instagram without cropping to 4:5, add a white background to make it into a square. Then, you can post the photo or video without cropping out or changing the size. This technique works for pictures, GIFs, and videos. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

  1. Upload to a Resizer Tool
  2. Add a Background
  3. Download and Share

Step 1: Upload to a Resizer Tool

Open Kapwing’s resizer and upload the vertical or portrait photo you want to post. Kapwing’s resizer is free to use and online, so you don’t need to download an app. It supports images, GIFs and videos.

A screenshot of the homescreen of Kapwing's Resizer tool.
Kapwing's Resizer is quick and intuitive, even for beginners. 

Note: If you want to edit or add filters to your photos, make sure to do this before resizing. That way, the white background won’t be affected by the color changes and adjustments.

Step 2: Resize and Add a Background

Choose the 1:1 option for Instagram (Kapwing also supports 16:9 sizing for YouTube and other formats). You can change the background color and use Kapwing’s zoom and positioning tools to zoom in, crop, or add a border. Click “Export Image” once the preview matches what you want your post to look like!

A screenshot of the Kapwing Studio, showing how to resize a photo to 1:1.
Choose a new size on the right panel

To take up more vertical space in the Instagram feed, you can also choose to resize your post to 4:5 (the “FB/Twitter Portrait” option on Kapwing).

Step 3: Download and Share

After a few moments, your image or video will be ready for download – you can remove the Kapwing watermark for free by signing into your account. Since your photo/video now has a 1:1 aspect ratio, you can now download and publish it without cropping on Instagram.

If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, sign in or sign up using your Google or Facebook account – once you've signed into a Kapwing account, the watermark in the lower right corner will be removed from your final image.

Screenshots from Kapwing, demonstrating how to download and save a photo to a mobile device.
Steps for saving the image on iPhones

I hope this article helps you share your un-cropped vertical videos and portrait photos with the world! Kapwing’s one-click editor was designed for people with no previous editing expertise, so don’t be afraid to try it out.

For more information on how to resize a video for Instagram, check out this video tutorial:

For more ideas, tutorials, and features, check back in at the Kapwing Resources page or our YouTube channel! And remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about!


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