How to View Instagram Reels on a Windows PC, Mac, or Chromebook

Instagramers enjoy Instagram Reels for short-form entertaining, inspiring, and educational content. However, unlike the mobile app, the desktop version restricts access to viewing Reels via subscribers’ profiles only. Fortunately, there are ways around this, and you can experience the mobile app version of Reels using a desktop.

How to View Instagram Reels on a Windows PC, Mac, or Chromebook

Read on to learn more.

How to Watch Instagram Reels on a Windows PC

The option to browse through a selection of Reels other than those found on people’s profiles is not available using the desktop version. You can access a broader selection via Google searches or using an Emulator; here’s how.

Enter a Google Search for Instagram Reels

Using this method offers access to Reels for a specific subject.

  1. Go to Google.com.
  2. Type “SITE: InstagramReel” into the search box. There will be thousands of Instagram Reel results displayed.
  3. Now place your cursor at the end of the search query you’ve just entered and hit the space bar twice.
  4. Type in your Reel topic of interest beside the query, for example: “SITE: InstagramReel dancing”.
  5. Hit “Enter,” then click on a result to be taken to the Reel footage on Instagram.com.

Use BlueStacks 5 Emulator

Alternatively, if you prefer not to enter Google searches to find Reels, you can use an Emulator to access the mobile app version from your PC. Several Emulators are available, including GameLoop, LD Player, MEmu Player, BlueStacks 5, and a few others. By installing an Android Emulator like BlueStacks 5, you can watch Instagram Reels flawlessly from your PC.

BlueStacks will work well as long as your computer has the following requirements.

  • Windows 7 OS and above
  • Intel or AMD Processor
  • At least 2GB of RAM
  • 5GB Free Disk Space
  • Update-to-date graphics card driver

Download and Install BlueStacks

  1. Go to the official BlueStacks 5 for Windows 11 page.
  2. In the top right, click on the “Download BlueStacks” button. The BlueStacks installer setup file will download.
  3. Right-click on the setup file to run it as administrator.
  4. Click “Install Now” or “Update” from the BlueStacks set up windows. The BlueStacks 5 Emulator will now start to install.
  5. Once the installation is complete, the Emulator will launch.

Install Instagram App in BlueStacks

  1. Once BlueStacks is open, you’ll see the “Play Store” icon on the home screen.
  2. Click on it, then sign in to your Google account.
  3. Search for the Instagram app, then install it.
  4. Once installed, open Instagram, then sign in.

How to Watch Instagram Reels

Using BlueStacks installed on your PC, you can watch Instagram Reels as you would using the mobile app. There are multiple ways to quickly access and watch a Reel; here are three.

  • Go through your feed until you find a Reels video. The icon will display on the bottom left of the video; tap on it to watch.
  • Alternatively, tap on the magnifying glass icon to go to the “Explore” feed. A large Reels video should appear at the top of the screen. Tap “Reels” and swipe down for more Reels videos.
  • Or, if you’ve posted Reels, you can watch them by tapping the “Reels” icon on your profile page.

How to Watch Instagram Reels on a Mac

When accessing Reels using the desktop, you can only view Reels by opening subscribers’ profiles instead of browsing for Reels. However, you can have the mobile app experience from your Mac by entering a search for Reels in Google or installing an Emulator.

Enter a Search Query in Google

  1. Navigate to Google.com.
  2. Enter the following into the search box “SITE: InstagramReel”.
  3. Put your cursor next to the end of the search query and hit the space bar twice.

  4. Type in a Reels topic of interest next to the query, so for Reels on “dancing” for example, the complete query should read: “SITE: InstagramReel dancing”.
  5. Hit “Enter,” then click on a result to watch on Instagram.com.

Use BlueStacks 5 Emulator

If you prefer not to use Google, you can use the BlueStacks 5 Emulator to emulate an Android mobile phone and access Instagram’s mobile app. Other Android Emulators include GameLoop, LD Player, and MEmu Player. Installing BlueStacks for macOS is easy and will work well once your Mac has the following system requirements.

  • macOS 10.12 (Sierra)
  • Intel or AMD Dual-Core processor
  • Intel HD 5200 or higher
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 8 GB of available disk space

Download and Install BlueStacks

  1. Visit the official BlueStacks website, then click on the “Download BlueStacks for Mac” button.
  2. Once the installer file is downloaded, double-click on it to open.
  3. In the BlueStacks Installer window, double-click on the BlueStacks icon to start the installation.
  4. You will be prompted to confirm whether you wish to use the BlueStacks Installer. Click “Open” to continue.
  5. In the new BlueStacks window, click on “Install Now.”
  6. You’ll be asked to verify your username and password. Fill in the required information, then click on “Install Helper.”
  7. In the “System Extension Blocked” popup window, click on “Open Security & Privacy.”
  8. In the “Security & Privacy” settings window from the “General” tab, click on “Allow.”
  9. If you’re running macOS 11 Big Sur, do the following:
  10. Click on “Restart” to reboot your Mac. If you receive a “BlueStacks interrupted” message, click “Cancel,” then close BlueStacks.
  11. Go to the “Security & Privacy” menu, then “Restart.”
  12. If you’re running macOS 10.15 Catalina or below, open the BlueStacks app.

Install Instagram App in BlueStacks

  1. In BlueStacks, open “Play Store.”
  2. Sign in to your Google account.
  3. Enter a search for the Instagram app, then install it.
  4. Open Instagram, then sign in to your account.
  5. If you can’t see the Reels icon, try closing Instagram and re-opening it.

How to Watch Instagram Reels

With BlueStacks, you can access and watch Instagram Reels as you would from your mobile device. Here are three options for quick access to Reels videos.

  • Look through your feed until you find a Reels video. Tap the Reels icon located on the bottom left of the video to watch it.
  • Use the “Explore” feed feature by tapping on the magnifying glass icon. You should see a large Reels video displayed at the top of the screen. Tap “Reels,” then swipe down for more videos.
  • Watch your Reels by tapping the “Reels” icon on your profile page.

How to Watch Instagram Reels on a Chromebook

To access a more comprehensive selection of Reels from your Chromebook, you can use Google searches or install the BlueStacks 5 Emulator.

Enter a Search Query in Google

  1. From Google.com, enter “SITE: InstagramReel” into the search box.
  2. Put your cursor next to the search query and hit the space bar twice.
  3. Type a subject for the Reels videos you wish to see. For example, your complete query will be: “SITE: InstagramReel dancing” for dancing Reels.
  4. Hit “Enter,” then click on a result to be shown the Reel on Instagram.com.

Use BlueStacks 5 Emulator

Alternatively, if you prefer not to enter Google searches, you can use an Emulator to mimic the mobile app Instagram experience. With an Android Emulator like BlueStacks 5, you can watch Instagram Reels from your Chromebook.

Installing BlueStacks is easy once your computer has the following requirements.

  • The latest ChromeOS version
  • Intel or AMD Processor
  • At least 2GB of RAM
  • 5GB Free Disk Space

Download and Install BlueStacks

  1. Visit BlueStacks.com, then on the top right, click on the “Download BlueStacks” button.
  2. Right-click on the setup file to run it as an administrator.
  3. From the BlueStacks setup window, click on “Install Now.” The BlueStacks 5 Emulator will kick off the installation process.
  4. Once the installation is complete, BlueStacks will launch.

Install Instagram App in BlueStacks

  1. In the BlueStacks app, the “Play Store” icon should be on the home screen.
  2. Click on it to sign in to your Google account.
  3. Enter a search for the Instagram app, then install it.
  4. Once installed, launch Instagram to sign in.

How to Watch Instagram Reels

In BlueStacks, you’ll benefit from the mobile app version of Instagram Reels with quick access to them; here are three ways.

  • Browse through your feed until you find a Reels video you like. Then tap the icon displayed on the bottom left of the video to watch.
  • Use the magnifying glass icon to go to the “Explore” feed. The top of the screen should display a large Reels video. Tap “Reels” and swipe down for more Reels videos.
  •  You can watch the Reels you’ve created by tapping the “Reels” icon on your profile page.

Time to Access Reels From Your Desktop

Instagram only allows full access to Instagram Reels from the mobile app and limited Reels access via the desktop. Fortunately, you can access a broader selection from your desktop by entering Google searches for specific Reels videos. Or use an Emulator like BlueStacks 5 to emulate a mobile device and install the Instagram mobile app to view more Reels. BlueStacks initially was only compatible with Windows but now works on macOS and ChromeOS.

Did you get access to more Reels videos from your desktop? What method did you use? Tell us in the comments section below.

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