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Instagram Hacks: 39 Tricks and Features You Need to Know

These Instagram hacks will save you tons of time and have you posting like a pro on your personal or business accounts.

Stacey McLachlan, Hannah Macready July 21, 2022
Cover Image

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over one billion monthly active users. And while you may think you know everything about this photo and video sharing app, there are actually a lot of Instagram hacks and features that you probably don’t know about.

In this blog post, we’re going to share with you 39 of the best Instagram hacks and features on the app. From using hashtags to get more followers, to editing your photos like a pro, to finding the best filters for your images, these tricks will definitely take your Instagram game up a notch.

Let’s dive in.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a fitness influencer used to grow from 0 to 600,000+ followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

General Instagram hacks

Ready to impress your fans and wow your followers? These Instagram hacks will make people think you’re a technological genius.

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:

Muting Stories, Posts, and Notes

  1. Go to the account you want to mute
  2. Tap the Following button
  3. Click Mute
  4. Choose whether to mute posts, Stories, Notes, or all
  5. You can also mute Stories by clicking the three dots in the right-hand corner and pressing Mute
  6. If you want to mute directly from a post in your feed, click the three dots in the top right of the post and choose Hide. Then, click Mute

instagram hack mute single account

instagram hack mute posts and stories from single account

Muting Messages

  1. Click the message icon in the top right corner of your feed
  2. Choose a message from the account you want to mute
  3. Click on their profile name at the top of the screen
  4. Choose to Mute messages, Mute calls, or both

instagram hack mute account from messages

2. Rearrange filters

Keep Lark at your fingertips and get Hefe out of your sight. This secret Instagram feature lets you customize your menu of filter options.

How to do it:

  1. When posting a photo or video, go to Filter
  2. Press and hold the filter you want to move, and move it up or down the list
  3. Move any filters you don’t regularly use to the end of the list

rearranging filter list when posting instagram video

3. See all posts you’ve liked

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

How to do it:

  • Go to your profile
  • Open the hamburger menu in the top right corner
  • Tap Your activity
  • Tap Likes
  • Click on any photos or videos you want to view again

If you used to like posts, you won’t be able to see them here.

instagram profile popup showing settings and activity view

how to find interactions on instagram profile

screen showing likes and interactions on instagram

4. Clear your search history

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

How to do it:

  • Go to your profile
  • Open the hamburger menu in the top right corner
  • Tap Your activity
  • Tap Recent searches
  • Click Clear all and confirm

recent searches under instagram activity panel

list of instagram recent searches with clear all button highlighted

5. Set up notifications for other accounts

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

How to do it:

  • Visit the profile page of the account you’d like to get notifications for
  • Tap the Alarm bell button in the top right
  • Toggle the content you want to receive notifications about: Posts, Stories, Reels or Live Videos

alarm bell button on instagram profile

toggle notifications on or off for stories, reels, posts, and instagram lives

6. Bookmark your favorite posts

Think of “Collections” as your digital scrapbooks. Use this Instagram trick to save your favourite posts for later.

How to do it:

  • Go to a post you’d like to save
  • Tap the bookmark icon underneath the post you want to save
  • This automatically adds the post to a generic collection. If you’d like to send it to a specific one, choose Save Collection; here you can select an existing collection or create and name a new one
  • To see your saved posts and collections, visit your profile and tap the hamburger menu. Then tap Saved

Instagram hacks bookmark fix

adding picture of dog to new instagram saved collection

how to access saved collections from instagram profile

7. Archive old posts (without deleting them forever)

This Instagram hack is the equivalent of the Disney vault. You can hide old posts out of sight with the “Archive” function.

How to do it:

  • Tap at the top of the post you want to remove
  • Select Archive
  • To review all archived posts, go to your profile and tap the hamburger icon in the top right corner
  • Tap Archive
  • At the top of the screen click Archive to view either Posts or Stories

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.

archive button on single instagram post

button to show all archived instagram posts

view of stories, posts, and instagram live archives

8. 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:

  • Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu
  • Tap Time Spent
  • Tap Set daily reminder to take breaks
  • Or, tap Set daily time limits
  • Choose an amount of time and tap Turn On

time spent option in instagram activity settings

two options showing set daily breaks and set daily time limits on instagram activity

10, 20, and 30 minute options for daily instagram breaks

Instagram hacks for photo and video sharing

Make your feed stand out with these Instagram features for your photos and video content.

9. Create line breaks in your caption

One of our favorite Instagram caption tricks is creating line breaks that let you take control over the pacing of your caption.

How to do it:

  • Edit your photo and proceed to the caption screen
  • Write your caption
  • To access the Return key, enter 123 on your device’s keyboard
  • 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.

photo caption showing numbers 123 bringing up return function on keyboard

10. Schedule your posts in advance

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

How to do it:

Watch this video to find out how to schedule Instagram posts (and Stories! and Reels!) in advance:

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

PS: You can schedule Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, and Carousels with Hootsuite too!

11. 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 Visme or Adobe Spark to create an intro image, and then place it at the beginning or end of your video with editing software
  2. Choose a Filter and Trim, then tap Next
  3. Click your video on the top left of the screen, where it says Cover
  4. Select the intro image from your camera roll

video upload screen on instagram

add cover photo to video option on instagram

12. 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 an Instagram hack that helps you keep the comment section quiet.

How to do it:

  • From your profile, select the hamburger menu from the top right and tap Settings
  • Tap Privacy
  • Tap Comments
  • Allow or Block comments from specific profiles

comment settings instagram

comment allow or block options instagram

Instagram Story tricks

Read on for our favorite Instagram Story hacks or watch the video below for our favorite tricks of 2022:

13. Record video hands-free

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

How to do it:

  • Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  • Tap Story
  • Tap Camera
  • Swipe through the options at the side of the screen—normal, Boomerang, etc.—and stop at the Hands-Free recording option
  • Tap the record button at the bottom of the screen to begin recording
  • To stop recording, either let the maximum time run out or tap the capture button again

hands-free option on instagram stories screen

14. 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

  • Go to your profile and tap the hamburger menu
  • Tap Settings
  • Then tap Privacy
  • Next tap Story
  • Tap Hide Story From
  • Select the people you’d like to hide your story from, then tap Done (iOS) or the checkmark symbol (Android)
  • 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.

  • Tap on the bottom of your screen
  • Tap Story settings
  • Click Hide story from
  • Choose the users you want to hide your Story from

Note: Hiding your story from someone is different from blocking them, and doesn’t prevent them from seeing your profile and posts.

hide story from specific users option on instagram

15. 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 font tool. There are plenty of free options via your web browser, like Be wary of third-party font keyboard apps that can monitor everything you type, 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)

range of creative fonts using

16. Change the cover of your Story highlights

Use this Instagram trick to highlight your highlights with a fresh first image.

How to do it:

  • Tap your highlight, then tap Edit Highlight
  • Tap Edit Cover
  • Select your photo from your camera roll

edit highlight option on instagram story highlight

17. 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:

  • Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  • Select Story
  • Type your message, then select the portion of the text you’d like to change color
  • Choose a color from the color wheel at the top of the screen
  • Repeat for any words you want to change the color of

rainbow instagram story text

18. 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. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Select Story
  3. Click the photo icon at the bottom left of your screen
  4. Click the Select button in the top right
  5. Select multiple photos to post to your Story
  6. Click the arrow twice to post

Or, watch this video on how to add multiple photos in one Instagram Story:

Want more tips and tricks for Stories? Check out our long list of the best Instagram Story hacks in 2021.

19. Find more colors to draw with

Don’t let your creativity falter because of Instagram’s short color list. Get every color under the sun with this Instagram hack.

How to do it:

  1. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Select Story
  3. Upload a photo or video
  4. Click in the top right corner
  5. Then, click Draw
  6. Choose the pen icon
  7. Hold down on one of the colors at the bottom of the screen. A gradient palette will appear and you can choose any colour to use in your Story

example of finding gradient palette on instagram story

Instagram bio and profile hacks

Don’t let your bio be an afterthought! These Instagram features will help you manage your profile, presence, and discoverability.

20. 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.

remove tag from instagram post settings

21. Add line breaks to bio

Use this Instagram trick to 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 biofield
  7. Tap Done to save your changes

22. Get your bio in more search results

Harness that Instagram SEO by slipping keywords 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
  4. Or, change your Category to reflect your keywords

Earnest Ice Cream

23. 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
  6. Tap Done when you’re finished.

various special characters from google document

Instagram hashtag hacks

When it comes to discovery, hashtags might be the most important of all Instagram features. So make sure you know these simple hashtag hacks.

24. 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 it’s 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. Search top posts for similar and relevant hashtags

relevant hashtags shown for #socialmedia

25. 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

social media hashtag follow button

26. Hide hashtags on posts

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 type in 123 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

hashtags shown in comments section of instagram post

27. Hide hashtags in Stories

Help your Story be seen by more people, without cluttering it up with hashtags.

How to do it:

  1. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Tap Story
  3. Choose an image to upload to your Story
  4. Add hashtags using the Story sticker, or by adding them as text
  5. Tap on your hashtag and pinch it down with two fingers. Begin to minimize it until you can’t see it anymore.

Note: You can also use this trick with location tags and mentions if you want to keep your Stories visually clean.

purple flower gif

Instagram direct messaging hacks

Need some help managing the people sliding into your DMs? These Instagram tricks are exactly what you need.

28. 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

activity status options in instagram

29. Send disappearing content to your friends

New in 2022, Instagram announces Notes–a feature that lets you post disappearing notes to your followers.

How to do it:

  1. Click the message icon in the top right of your screen
  2. Click the + sign under Notes
  3. Compose your note
  4. Choose to share with Followers you follow back or Close Friends

Note: Notes can be a maximum of 60 characters in length.

new notes feature in instagram

30. Create chat groups

If you want to stay in touch with your closest friends or make a chat with your best customers, this Instagram hack can help.

How to do it:

  1. Click the message icon in the top right of your screen
  2. Click the new chat icon
  3. Add the group members you want to chat with
  4. If you want to change the group name, theme, or add more members, click the chat name at the top of your screen

creating instagram group chat with hootsuite and hootsuite hr

group chat customization options in instagram

Instagram for Business hacks

Use these Instagram hacks to make your business stand out online.

31. 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. Then 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’ category and contact information
  7. Tap Done

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

32. Make it easy to shop

Opening an Etsy shop or trying to bump up your e-commerce sales? Shoppable Instagram posts make it easy to promote and sell products directly from your feed.

How to do it:

  1. Create a Facebook Shop and Catalog
  2. Go to Instagram and click Settings
  3. Click Shopping
  4. Click Products
  5. Choose the product catalog you want to connect to Instagram
  6. Click Done

Once complete, you’ll be able to tag products in posts just like you tag other accounts.

kate spade instagram post showing multiple tagged products

33. Send automated welcome messages to new followers

Welcome new followers with a fun welcome message. This Instagram hack automates an important touchpoint so you can stay connected to your fans.

How to do it:

  1. Create an account with StimSocial
  2. Add your Instagram account
  3. Choose a subscription plan
  4. Craft your one-of-a-kind welcome message

34. Add a link tree

Organize your links with a user-friendly link tree. Here’s how to build one with Hootsuite.

How to do it:

  1. Visit the Hootsuite app directory and download the app
  2. Authorize your Instagram accounts
  3. Create a new link tree page in the app’s stream
  4. Add links, text, and background images
  5. Publish your page

example of hootsuite link tree on instagram

If you don’t use Hootsuite, consider building a link tree for your Instagram bio with a tool like or build your own.

Instagram Reels hacks

Of all the new Instagram features, Reels are the latest and greatest. Use these Instagram tricks to make your Reels go viral!

35. Schedule Reels

Schedule your Reels in advance and you never have to worry about missing the moment. All you need is a social media management tool. We’ll show you how to do it using our favourite one: Hootsuite.

How to do it:

  1. Open Hootsuite Composer
  2. Select Instagram Story
  3. Choose your Instagram profile
  4. Upload your video and add copy
  5. Under the Notes for publisher section write, “Post to Reels”
  6. Choose the date and time you want to publish the Reel. You’ll receive a push notification when it’s time to post!

scheduling a reel using hootsuite composer

36. Make Reels out of Story highlights

Why have one piece of video content when you can have more? Here’s how to make the most out of your Stories by converting them into Reels.

How to do it:

1. Select the Stories Highlight you want to use for your Reel and then tap the “Convert to Reel” button.

2. Pick your audio (you can search, use music you’ve saved, or pick from the suggested tracks) and Instagram does the work to synch the audio with your clip

crying cat tested positive for missing my friends suggested audio

search music

3. Click “Next,” and you have a final editing screen where you can add effects, stickers, text, etc.

soft skylight aesthetics and special effects

4. When you’re done fine-tuning, the last step is setting your sharing settings. This is also where you can add a caption, tag people, locations, and edit or add a custom cover.

edit cover write caption tag people and add location

5. You can adjust the Advanced Settings if necessary, specifically if your Reel is part of a paid partnership. Here you can also enable auto-generated captions and manage your data usage, if necessary.

advanced settings show caption for accessibility

6. Tap Share and watch your new Reel highlight go viral! (Hopefully.)

37. Include closed captions

85% of Facebook content is watched without sound–so it’s safe to assume your audience is skipping the audio on your Reels. To improve accessibility, and make it easier for people to understand your content add captions to your Reels.

How to do it:

  1. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Select Reels
  3. Upload your Reel
  4. Click the stickers button on the top toolbar
  5. Choose captions

Note: One of the best Instagram caption tricks is to wait until the audio has been transcribed and then go through and edit the text for any mistakes.

captions sticker in instagram reels

38. Use a green screen

Ever wondered how influencers get those cool backgrounds for their Reels? Use this Instagram feature to get your very own green screen.

How to do it:

  1. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Select Reels
  3. Choose the camera option
  4. Scroll through the filters at the bottom of your screen until you find green screen
  5. Choose a filter and click Try it now

39. Choose a cover photo that matches your feed

Don’t let your latest Reel muck up the aesthetic pleasure of your Instagram feed! Customize your Reel cover photo and keep that front page sparkling.

How to do it:

  1. Click the + button at the top right of your feed
  2. Select Reels
  3. Upload your Reel
  4. When you’re finished editing, click Next
  5. Click Edit cover
  6. Choose a cover image that matches your feed’s aesthetic

various reels and posts aesthetically arranged on kate spade feed

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By Stacey McLachlan

Stacey McLachlan is an award-winning writer and editor from Vancouver with more than a decade of experience working for print and digital publications.

She is editor-at-large for Western Living and Vancouver Magazine, author of the National Magazine Award-nominated 'City Informer' column, and a regular contributor to Dwell. Her previous work covers a wide range of topics, from SEO-focused thought-leadership to profiles of mushroom foragers, but her specialties include design, people, social media strategy, and humor.

You can usually find her at the beach, or cleaning sand out of her bag.

Read more by Stacey McLachlan
By Hannah Macready

Hannah Macready is a freelance writer with 12 years of experience in social media and digital marketing. Her work has appeared in publications such as Fast Company and The Globe & Mail, and has been used in global social media campaigns for brands like Grosvenor Americas and Intuit Mailchimp. In her spare time, Hannah likes exploring the outdoors with her two dogs, Soup and Salad.

Read more by Hannah Macready

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