Instagram is an online goldmine of fantastic photography where people upload their favourite and best snaps straight from their phone. It’s no surprise you’ll probably want to download your prize photos, or those you’ve been tagged in at some point, especially if you want them used to personalise your iPhone case.

While Instagram offers budding photographers a lovely platform to share, curate and display their photos, it’s less accommodating when it comes to downloading them, and if you’ve just witnessed your PC crash and take your photos with it, maybe Instagram is all you have left.

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t support direct downloads of the images it hosts, making it seem like the images you upload are forever trapped on their website unable to be reclaimed, but that’s not entirely true. There are several ways to get photos downloaded from Instagram, some involve using programs lovingly made by fellow photography fans, while others involve a bit more effort. All are easy to do and leave you with a copy of your photos right on your hard drive.

Once you have the images they can be printed online, transferred to iPad tablet covers, or used to decorate the wall.

If you’re wondering how to save Instagram photos, here are three easy answers for you:

Method 1: The Photobox way

It’s possible to print Instagram photos with PhotoBox. You can upload your photos from Instagram (or Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox or Google+) in a few simple clicks, so you don’t have to worry about the process of getting them off the site, organising them in a way that makes sense, and then uploading them again. Just a click or two later and they’ll be uploaded to the site and have them made into beautiful prints for you in no time.

Method 2: Use a program

There are several programs available to let you download images from Instagram, albeit ones that aren’t officially affiliated with the app. Some need to be downloaded to your desktop while others are hosted on websites and just require you to enter the image URL. There are also apps you can download that run ‘over’ Instagram, putting a download option right on your screen as you view any photo feed.

This can be a time-consuming way to go about grabbing images off Instagram if you already know what you want to download and aren’t just browsing and downloading, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to get photos without having to explore the back-end of the web. If you do choose to do that, though, there’s a couple of ways you can go about it…

Method 3: Go digging

You can, in fact, download images straight from Instagram, provided you go digging a little bit, and aren’t scared of the wall of code that awaits you. This is the best route to take if you just want to download one or two photos because it doesn’t require anything more than Instagram itself, without extra downloads. You’ll need to have Google Chrome installed and it’s probably worth doing it on your desktop rather than mobile. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Using Google Chrome, go to the page of the photo you want to download
  2. Make sure you’re logged in
  3. Right click the photo and select “Inspect”
  4. A sidebar full of coding will appear, not to fear, you just need to find the URL of the photo – just hit Ctrl+F and search for “.jpg”
  5. Once you’ve found it, open the link in a new tab and you’ll be transported to a page hosting only the photo
  6. Right click and save as you normally would

Success, you now have a folder full of Instagram photos to keep safe or print off. Make sure you’re keeping them well organised and keep our handy tips in mind for the next time you’re browsing Instagram. Soon enough you’ll have yourself a great image library. Insta prints make great inspiration for personalising mobile phone cases and covers (Photobox fulfils all major models, including Samsung phone cases).