Currently, Instagram’s website has significant limitations. Compared to the app, Instagram on a desktop is very basic. The biggest limitation is that in the web version you can’t create or read your direct messages, they don’t even appear in the interface. It’s as if the direct message feature doesn’t even exist. Something surprising for such an important feature.
However, there is no need to panic. Although the web version of Instagram will not allow you to access your DMs, there are three different paths that will allow you to use the DM features of Instagram in a desktop environment.
In this article, I’ll show you a few different approaches and walk you through the setup process for each of them.
Download the Instagram Windows 10 app:
If you have Windows 10, an easy way to access your DMs is to download the Instagram app for Windows 10. The app is a much better website alternative if you are using a PC.
This application allows you to manage your profile, send messages to your friends, and take photos and videos on the go with your computer’s webcam and microphone.
Getting this app is as easy as going to the Microsoft App Store and downloading it. Here are all the steps:
- Click Get and wait for the download to complete.
- Start Instagram from your Start menu. Allow the app to access your Instagram contacts.
- Click Login at the bottom. Watch carefully because it is easy to miss it.
Log in with your Instagram credentials.
You are now looking at your Instagram feed, which will look more like the smartphone app than the desktop website.
The important difference? Look in the upper right corner of the Instagram window. There you go, that paper airplane icon.
Tap (well, click; it’s now on a Windows desktop) this icon and you can see its direct messages.
Sending messages in the app is very easy. From the DM section of the application:
- Click on Send message.
- In the search box, enter the name or username of the person you want to send a message to and click in the circle next to the correct person.
- Click Next when the message window appears, enter your message and click Send.
- It’s as easy as sending the message from your phone.
Sending images and videos
If a normal message is too old-fashioned for you, feels like a selfie is coming, or you’ve got a chat, check out the snapshot, edit, and send feature of this handy desktop app.
However, you must first allow the app to communicate with your camera and microphone.
- Click the camera icon. It’s at the bottom left of your message window or at the top of your main feed.
- Click Enable Camera Access.
- Click Yes to confirm.
- Click Enable Microphone Access.
- Click Yes to confirm.
Now, (assuming you have a webcam on your PC) you should see yourself as if you are about to take a selfie from your smartphone. Click the button to take a photo or click and hold to start a video. Once you’ve taken the photo, you can add stickers, captions, and more just like the Instagram mobile app.
When you’re ready to send it, click Send To. You will be redirected to a list of your subscribers. Select all the followers you want to share your new creation with, then click Submit.
Cannot activate microphone access
If you’re like me when I first tried to do this, you’ll still unsuccessfully click the Enable Microphone Access button.
For many people, Instagram’s microphone permissions are turned off by default. Fortunately, lighting them up is a snap.
- Press the Windows key and “I” at the same time. This will open your settings.
- Click on Privacy.
- Click Microphone in the list on the left side.
- Scroll down to Instagram and make sure the microphone permissions are turned on. The bar should be blue when illuminated.
- After that go back and try to re-enable microphone access.
Also, keep in mind that even though it is more powerful than the website, the desktop app still doesn’t match the mobile version.
Instead of just sharing how you feel, you can take photos and videos on the go and share them only through direct messages. You cannot share anything saved on your computer, nor take photos and videos on the go and share them globally.
Using Vysor to Mirror Your Smartphone
Vysor is a handy utility program that allows you to connect your Android smartphone (not available for iOS, sorry) to your Windows 10, Mac, or Linux PC via USB cable or wireless network.
Run a utility on your phone to initiate the connection and another utility on the PC side to receive the connection, then your smartphone screen is reflected perfectly on your desktop.
Use your mouse and keyboard to navigate, making it easy to manage large workflows on Instagram. Best of all, it’s your real phone, just easier to use, so any changes you make to locale and your file library will be done where they should be. It is an extremely elegant solution.
Vysor is available in two versions, free and paid. The free version works well, but it limits the screen resolution so that the image on your desktop is not as high as that of your smartphone. Moreover, in the free version, you need to use a USB cable to connect your device; You cannot connect wirelessly.
The premium version has a few other perks, such as full-screen mode, drag and drop files, and the ability to share your Vysor session with people on other computers. The paid version of Vysor costs $ 2.50 per month, $ 10 per year, or $ 40 for a lifetime subscription.
For anyone who uses their smartphone and desktop, this is one of the best investments you can make, and the free version is quite adequate for testing features and seeing if Vysor will work for you.
Setting up Vysor is relatively straightforward.
- On your Android smartphone, download and install the Vysor app from the Google Play Store. On your Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop, download and install the Vysor desktop app.
- Connect your Android smartphone to your desktop computer with a USB cable. Run the Vysor app on your smartphone.
- Run the Vysor app on your desktop.
- Click “View” in the Vysor desktop application to connect the two machines.
There are a variety of settings you can change to fit the screen, etc., but the defaults will work fine.
Sometimes using Instagram on your PC is more convenient than having to use it on your phone. Unfortunately, the Instagram website just isn’t as powerful as the mobile app.
As a result, you will have to resort to other methods if you want to use Instagram on your PC. Luckily, it’s easier than you might think.
Now you can run Instagram on your phone, but mirror it on your desktop and work much more efficiently and efficiently.