Zoom Into Instagram Photos with This Neat iPhone Trick

Jul 1, 2014 - 4 Comments

Instagram The photo-centric social network of Instagram has no shortage of amazing and inspiring pictures, but something that has probably bugged more people than just me is the inability to zoom in on images posted to the service. Many first-time instagram users try to ‘double-tap’ to zoom, which of course just “hearts'” the picture rather than zooming, and eventually they learn there is no way to zoom into photos on Instagram… well, natively at least.

That’s why this little trick is so cool, it uses a feature built into iOS to allow zooming into Instagram photos anyway, letting you see more details on your iPhone with a quick tap gesture.


To zoom in to Instagram photos this way, you’ll need to enable the “Zoom” feature of iOS on your iPhone, and then use that three-finger tap feature to zoom into a picture. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open the Settings app and head to “General” followed by “Accessibility”
  2. Select ‘Zoom’ and flip the switch to the ON position
  3. Enable Zoom on iPhone in iOS

  4. Go back to Instagram and the photo you want to zoom in on, now use a three-finger double-tap to zoom in

For example, using the three-finger double-tap onto an image from the @OSXDaily Instagram feed (yes you should follow us there!) zooms in considerably, showing more details of a Mac setup post:

Zooming into Instagram photos with an iPhone trick

As another example, we’ll use this trick to zoom into an awesome surf photo from @robbiecrawford on Instagram (a great follow if you like wave and surf imagery BTW) :

Zoom in to Instagram pictures with an iPhone trick

As you can see, zoomed in makes a significant difference, increasing the little square into a full-screen zoomed version of the image.

You can adjust the zoom level by using a three-finger double-tap, then holding on the second tap and sliding up and down on screen with the three fingers. Swiping up with the three finger hold will zoom in further, while swiping down will zoom out. It takes a little bit of practice to use, but it works pretty great, and on any picture.

To exit back to the default zoom (no zoom) just double-tap with three fingers again.

Keep in mind this is not a proper zoom, it’s more like digital zoom, so images on screen will become more pixelated as you zoom into them. The way Instagram works at the moment there is no way around that, at least not without downloading the photos from the service to your computer and looking at them in higher resolution, anyway.

Perhaps best of all, is that you can use this trick to zoom without “hearting” (liking?) the picture, so you can zoom in on stuff that you may not otherwise want to publicly like on Instagram, but get a better look at.

The Accessibility based screen Zoom feature is available to enable on most modern versions of iOS, for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Heads up to Lifehacker for the crafty idea.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. Ryan says:

    Cool trick, but I’d rather Instagram have a native zoom feature, and higher image resolution support in general.

  2. Sam B says:

    Even easier… screenshot (power + home buttons) and open in Photos to zoom in

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