Here's How to Save Instagram Photos Without Taking a Screenshot, Ryan Craggs/Thrillist

Despite what you may have read in the frenzy of stories over the last few days, the people you follow or simply check out while browsing on Instagram will not get a notification when you surreptitiously take a screenshot of their posts. That is, if you're creepy enough to do that in the first place.

That's right: if you really, really want to save that photo of your friend's giant lobster roll or the one occasional photo you actually enjoy from your friend's endless stream of black and white architecture shots or whatever, then screenshot away. It's definitely kind of creepy, but rest assured nobody will know. (Unfortunately, that's not the case for what you've liked). However, people will get a notification when you screenshot one of the new disappearing images or videos they send to you via Instagram Direct messages, according to a report by The Verge.

But as a Mashable points out, there's actually a better way to save Instagram photos that doesn't involve cropping screenshots, and best of all, you'll get a higher quality version of the image. It takes a few extra steps, though.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Open the image you want to save on Instagram via your desktop browser (Chrome, for example). You'll have to click the time stamp so that the post appears by itself (not your whole timeline).

2. Click where it says View on your browser's top menu, followed by Developer > View Source. Note: You can also do this just by right-clicking the image and clicking View Page Source.

3. Somewhere on the long page of code is a URL to the actual image file on Instagram's server. Instead of reading through the whole thing, though, you can just search the page of "jpg" and you should come across the correct URL fairly quickly. It'll look like this (URL highlighted):


We tried this on several photos and the image's URL always appeared on line 162, but it's unclear if that'll be the case all the time. 

4. Copy the image URL (it won't appear as a clickable hyperlink) and paste it into your browser, and you'll end up with the full version of the image.

5. Save it -- just like you normally would save an image on the internet.

This method is nothing new, but it could be the pro-tip you need amid all the confusion and paranoia surrounding taking screenshots of Instagram posts -- that is, if you're willing to go through all the steps. Oh, and you'll just have to live with being sort of creepy wanting to save other people's photos in the first place. People do creepier things on social media, after all. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and does indeed see how doing this could be creepy. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.