How to Post Vertical Photos and Videos on Instagram (Without Cropping Them)

Instagram crops all vertical posts except for Reels to a 4:5, which means part of a vertical video or photo is cut off. But, if you add a background before publishing to Instagram, you can post the full 9:16 portrait without cropping.

How to Post Vertical Photos and Videos on Instagram (Without Cropping Them)

Instagram crops all vertical posts to a 4:5 aspect ratio, with the exception of Reels. Regular Instagram photo posts and carousels (photo or video carousels), must fit either the 1:1 or 4:5 aspect ratios. That means if you take a screenshot, film a video clip on your phone, want to share an Instagram Story to your feed, or want to reshare a TikTok or Snap video as part of a carousel, you’ll have to resize it first.

To post a full vertical video or image on Instagram without cropping to 4:5, add a background to make it into either a square or 4:5 rectangle. Then, you can post the whole photo or video without cropping out or changing the size. This technique works for pictures, GIFs, and videos. In this article, we’ll break down how to do that with a step-by-step tutorial.

Let’s get started.

How to Post Vertical Photos to Instagram without Cropping

To post a tall, portrait image on Instagram, you have to add it to a 4:5 canvas using a resizing tool. Here’s how:

  1. Upload to a Resizer Tool
  2. Add a 4:5 Background
  3. Download and Share

Now I’ll show you how to do that using an online video and image editing tool called Kapwing.

Step 1: Upload to the Resizer Tool

Head to Kapwing’s imager resizer tool and click the “Choose an image” button to get started.

Inside the editor, you’ll see the upload options.

You can upload the vertical or portrait photo you want to post directly from your device, import from the cloud (Kapwing supports Google Drive and Photos), or from a link if you’re storing the image elsewhere online.

Step 2: Resize and Add a Background

With your photo uploaded, it’s time to add a background that meets Instagram’s size requirements.

First, select the canvas – just click on the dark background behind the image instead of on the image itself. You’ll see the edit menu on the right side change from Image menu to the Canvas menu. Click on the “Resize Canvas” button.

This will let you change the size of the background without changing or cropping the image on top. Select one of the Instagram presets, 1:1 if you want square, or 4:5 if you want rectangular. I chose 4:5 for this example because I wanted as little blank space to either side of my photo as possible.

Make sure to select “Fit to center” and turn background blur off. When you turn the background blur off, the default background color will be white.

I recommend changing it to black, since most Instagram users have their phones set to dark mode. The black background will blend into the background of the IG interface and make it look like your image has no background at all, just a vertical photo posted to Instagram without cropping or resizing.

To change the color of the background, use the background color presets or custom color options in the resize modal or on the right side canvas edit menu.

Step 3: Download and Share

When you’re happy with your image and the background, click the “Export” button in the top right and choose your format and resolution settings.

Wait a few moments for Kapwing to process your export, then click the download button to save the image to your device. Your vertical photo is now within a 4:5 or 1:1 frame and it’s ready to publish to Instagram.

How to Post Vertical Videos on Instagram

The easiest way to share a vertical video on Instagram is by creating a Reel. In fact, all videos published to Instagram are now shared as Reels.

That means you can post any 9:16 video as a Reel on Instagram as long as it’s under 90 seconds. If you have a video that's not 9:16 that you want to share on Instagram, you'll want to resize it first.

However, if you want to share a video as a slide in a carousel, the 9:16 ratio does not apply. Carousel slides are limited to the same aspect ratio as regular photo posts, which is to say either 1:1 or 4:5.

You can share multiple images and photos of different sizes in the same carousel, though. All you have to do is resize them first.

Use Kapwing’s video resizing tool to lay your 9:16 video over a 4:5 or 1:1 canvas to resize it without cropping. The steps are the same as the previous tutorial for resizing an image:

  1. Upload the video to the resizer.
  2. Add a white or black background.
  3. Export and download.
  4. Share on Instagram!

And that’s all there is to it.

Try these trending Instagram tools:

FAQ: How to Share Vertical Photos on Instagram

1. Why is Instagram cropping my vertical photos?

The aspect ratio for Instagram photo and carousel posts must be between 1:1 and 4:5. Anything taller than 4:5 or wider than 1:1 will be cropped to fit within those dimensions. That means if you are trying to post a tall photo, you won’t be able to fit the whole photo on your Instagram feed.

2. How do I stop Instagram from cropping my portrait?

To keep Instagram from automatically cropping your portrait photos, resize the photo first using a resizing tool like Kapwing. This will allow you to convert the taller photo to a 1:1 or 4:5 aspect ratio by adding a black or white background behind the image, instead of by cropping it.

3. Does Instagram allow vertical videos?

All video posts under 90 seconds are now shared as Reels on Instagram, so you can post 9:16 videos to your Instagram feed without cropping them. If you want to share them as part of a carousel, though, you’ll have to stick with the 4:5 ratio and resize the video before sharing.

4. How do you make a full vertical picture fit on Instagram?

To make a full vertical picture fit on Instagram, try resizing it with a tool like Kapwing. You can convert your vertical image to a 4:5 or 1:1 aspect ratio by adding a background instead of cropping the image. You can also share a full vertical image on Instagram by sharing it either to your Stories or in a Reel.

Both Stories and Reels support the 9:16 aspect ratio, perfect for taller photos. Photo dump Reels are particularly trendy. Keep an eye out for different templates and trending sounds that accompany these photo sharing videos that many photographers and influencers on the app have started using to showcase their photos in video format.

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