How to View Original Full-Size Pictures & Profile Photos on Instagram
Today, many smartphone cameras deliver quality that’s close to premium DSLRs. It’s never been easier to capture a stunning work of art to share with your Instagram followers.
Sadly, many Instagram photos don’t look as high-quality as the originals.
The thing is, Instagram allows the maximum image size of 1080p x 1350p. If your photo is below this size, Instagram will enlarge it automatically. And if the resolution is higher, as it often is, Instagram will compress and resize your photo.
Luckily, there’s a way around this. You can see your Instagram pictures in all their glory by following a few simple steps.
How to See Instagram Photos in Full Resolution on Mobile and PC
The vast majority of Instagram users browse their feeds through the smartphone app. Unfortunately, the native app doesn’t allow you to see full-size pictures. Instead, you’ll have to use your smartphone or desktop browser.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to see full-resolution photos/images on Instagram:
- Go to Instagram’s website on your “mobile or PC browser” (any browser will work), and log in with your credentials.
- Since you can’t click on a picture directly from your feed, visit the “user’s profile” and then open the “photo” you want to see.
- In the address bar, insert “
media/?size=l“ (lowercase L) for large-size images to the “end of the URL.” So, change the photo’s original URL from
- Hit “Enter,” and you’ll see the picture in full size.
You can also see the photo in the medium or thumbnail version. To do so, add the following to the end of the photo’s URL:
media/?size=mfor medium size
media/?size=tfor thumbnail size
And if you like the full-size photo, you can save it by right-clicking anywhere on the picture and choosing the “Save Image As…” option.
How to See Full-Size Profile Pictures?
Now that you know how to see your favorite Instagram photos in full size, it’s time to move on to profile pictures. As you know, Instagram only shows you cropped circular versions of profile photos. The native app doesn’t allow you to see the full-size profile photo. If you tap on the image, you’ll only see the user’s Stories if they have any.
The good news is that there’s a way around this, no matter what platform you use.
For PC, Mac, and smartphone browsers, follow these steps:
- Go to “Instagram’s website” from your browser. You don’t have to log in to see the user’s profile picture.
- Find the “Instagram account” that you want to see the profile picture in full size.
- Copy the “profile’s username.”
- Go to “thumbtube.com” and paste the “username” into the search field.
- Click “Submit,” and you’ll see the full-size profile picture.
This tool works for all Instagram accounts, whether private or not. If you don’t get the full-size profile picture, the user initially uploaded the photo in low resolution.
If you use an iOS or Android device, you can get the “Qeeky app“ from the iOS App Store or Google Play. When you download it, follow the steps below to see full-size profile pictures:
- Open “Qeeky” on your device.
- Enter the “username” of the profile whose picture you want to see in the “search field.”
- Tap on the “circular photo” to see the full-size profile image.
Much like the browser solution, the app works for all Instagram accounts. The catch is the free version only shows you low-quality pictures.
To unlock the high-quality version, you’ll need the paid version of Qeeky. At the time of writing, Qeeky Pro costs $2.99. If you purchase the pro version, you’ll see the photos in their original size.
Why Does Instagram Reduce Image Size?
Now that you know how to see Instagram photos in full size, it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit about why images get reduced to a smaller resolution/size in the first place.
The thing is, it’s not Instagram that wants to reduce your image size; Meta (formerly known as Facebook) does. Meta owns both Instagram and WhatsApp, and all three platforms are known for reducing image size and quality. You might’ve noticed that the photos you send on WhatsApp sometimes look blurry.
There can be a few reasons for blurry images, but the most likely cause is Meta protecting servers from getting overwhelmed. Millions of photos are shared on Instagram daily, and most users go above and beyond to showcase their photography skills.
Pair the above with super-capable smartphone cameras, and you get photos that can be massive in size. That’s a lot of data that Instagram’s servers need to display a high-quality image. To ensure that they don’t get overloaded, Meta limits Instagram image sizes.
While most social media platforms do this, Meta’s compression is much more ruthless than Twitter or Tumbler. As a result, both Instagram and WhatsApp need to keep images smaller-sized.
Still, this doesn’t make many Instagram posts any less stunning. Instagram’s maximum image size is still enough to let you enjoy your favorite posts.
Whether you find an Instagram photo wallpaper-worthy or want to see it in its original size, you now know the process is pretty simple. As for profile photos, the browser method can be your best option. Apps like Qeeky generally offer low-quality images for free, so you’ll have to pay to see the high-quality versions. Of course, if you find that seeing the entire photo is worth the money, an app can be more convenient and easier to use.