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Downloading HQ videos from Instagram

Apr 08, 2019 - permalink
One thing I just found out about Instagram is that for single-video posts (i.e. not as part of a gallery/multi-image post), there's a higher-quality version of the video than the one you get just playing it embedded on the page. The normal ones are 480x480 or 480x600, the HQ versions of the same videos can be 640x640 or 640x800, or higher. Some downloaders automatically get the better versions.

To use this video as an example, here's the 480x600 version that plays normally:


And here's the clearer 640x800 version I get using the right download site (it's still a direct download from Instagram):


Not sure if there's a way to download a HQ version from mult-image posts or if one even exists, I'll have to try some other add-ons or something.

EDIT:  Replaced the direct instagram example links with reuploads that won't expire, and a better example vid.

UPDATE:  After some recent changes by Instagram that broke the other methods, the site https://instavideosdownloader.com is one of the only options left that seems to work somewhat reliably, as it gets alternate versions from everything else that are at a lower bitrate, but a lot of times are the only higher-res ones available.  They're usually 720x720 or 720x900 instead.  I recommend comparing them to any other versions fullscreen to confirm which are actually higher quality overall, whichever is the larger file is usually the actual best one, even if it's not the highest resolution (to reiterate, if instavideosdownloader gives you say a 640x640 video but you can also download a 640x640 video using another method, the latter will usually be a larger filesize and better quality, I've also seen where a lower-resolution version from other sources is still a larger file and better quality than the higher-res version from instavideosdownloader).  It also seems to use alternate resized versions for still photos in some cases, so it's probably not the best option for those.

NEW UPDATE:  The Instagram Video Downloader Firefox add-on by lumieras seems have stopped working around 10/26/19.  This Instagram Downloader addon seems to be a good replacement for it, and handles multi-image galleries better.  Also, saving things directly from the Media tab on the Firefox Page Info window still seems to work for the most part with the current page coding, since Instagram seems to be surfacing the better versions directly on the pages now, it's just not as convenient.
Apr 24, 2019 - permalink
You can also use https://storiesig.com/ for stories or https://instasave.io/ for posts.
Really simple to use

[Note from chipperpip:  I actually don't recommend either of those sites myself, as they failed the get the better-quality versions of videos in my testing, although they should be fine for still photos]
May 02, 2019 - permalink
Important note, I've just found out this can also be the case for Instagram Story videos.  Saving the video directly off the website doesn't get the full resolution video, and neither do most download sites (like https://storiesig.com/, which I was using before).  It seems like in most cases the LQ version is 480x852 and the HQ is 640x1136 or 720x1280, which can make a big difference in clarity.

Of the other download sites I've tested, only these two:
get the higher-quality versions, the vast majority don't.  The Android app StorySaver also does, not sure about other apps.

On a side note, I've started using the free desktop program 4K Stogram, which can be set to just download all IG posts and stories from selected accounts automatically, and seems to always get the higher-quality versions of posts (EDIT:  That only applies for Story videos, see below).

I'm pretty irritated that using storiesig.com in the past means I've lost the chance to download the better versions of some Story videos forever, now that they've expired.

NOTE:  I've found out 4K Stogram only gets the HQ versions for Story videos currently, for standard video posts it gets a LQ version, although it's easy to right-click the thumbnail and bring it up on the website for download of the HQ using another method.  I still recommend it, it's the only way I've found to download Story videos automatically so you don't have to worry about them expiring if they don't get moved to Highlights.

EDIT:  Changed to reflect the fact that saving Story videos directly from the Instagram website no longer gets the HQ version.
May 06, 2019 - permalink
So, for videos in gallery/multi-image posts, it's harder for some reason, but it turns out there is a higher-quality version of the videos available some of the time, it's just more involved to get. 


EDIT:  There was a somewhat complicated method that involved copying parameters from the page source, but it no longer works, and it turns out https://instavideosdownloader.com generally gets better versions of those anyway, and is simpler to boot, so just use that instead.
May 06, 2019 - permalink
To sum up my findings, there are 3 scenarios for videos being posted on Instagram:
Single-video posts
Multi-image/gallery posts
Instagram Story posts
(There are also Instagram TV/IGTV videos, which seem to work the same as normal single-video posts for download purposes)

Here are the different ways I've found to get the highest quality videos of each type [EDIT:  A lot fewer options now, thanks Instagram!]:

Single-video post
Instagram Video Downloader Firefox add-on
https://instavideosdownloader.com (in some cases)

Multi-video/gallery post

Instagram Story post
4K Stogram desktop downloader
StorySaver Android app

It would be nice if 4K Stogram would also get the better versions of standard single-video posts, since it can be set to download automatically.  I've emailed the developer about it, hopefully they can fix that.
May 10, 2019 - permalink
Stickying this because it's helpful info.
Jul 24, 2019 - permalink
Ok, I've modified these posts after Instagram broke a bunch of previous methods, everything in them should be accurate now as of 7/24/19
Jul 24, 2019 - permalink
Thanks for keeping it up to date!
Nov 03, 2019 - permalink
For those who use Google Chrome, I'd recommend the Downloader for Instagram extension.
Dec 31, 2020 - permalink

Note that https://instavideosdownloader.com no longer really works so I've switched to using https://ingramer.com/downloader/instagram/ as an alternative, I'll have to see about editing those original posts.

Dec 31, 2020 - permalink

You can't edit posts that were imported from the old forum; best just make a new thread.

Jan 02, 2021 - permalink

I use the Firefox element inspector to upload photos and videos from Instagram. It is the most practical if you know a little HTML, you can copy the URLs directly, without downloading anything. I also use the Firefox extension Instagram-guest, it removes the login window.

Jan 06, 2021 - permalink

Instahighres.com is good. You just paste the entire source code into the website and it will spit out all the best quality versions of photos and videos from the post

Nov 02, 2022 - edited Nov 02, 2022 - permalink

I think this thread could use a good update... Most if not all links are dead/defunct.

Currently, I use 4KStogram (full paid version) for downloading. It's convenient for downloading entire profiles, and automatically updates profiles that you've input, so I think it's worth the money as it's a massive timesaver. The only downside is that it can fill up your hard drive VERY fast if you get too carried away.

As for free sites, you can currently use "igram," "sssinstagram," and "toolzu." There are probably more but this should be sufficient. I can verify that igram worked well for me, but I haven't used the other two so I can't vouche for them yet.

I used to use "snapinsta" for downloading the occasional single post (rather than entire profile), but they seem to be producing lower quality download links (recently I tried this Jacqueline Rios post and it gave me a 640x800 version, whereas I can get the same image at 1080x1350 anywhere else).

Nov 03, 2022 - permalink

I am using Instander. It's a insta copy with no Ads and download ability

Nov 04, 2022 - permalink

Also, "user beware" in regards to 4KStogram...

In my experience, if you're using the app regularly, then you need to severely limit your interaction on IG otherwise. Sometimes all it takes is to like 1 post or follow 1 more user and IG will block your account for "suspicious activity." They usually offer the option to bypass this by confirming your identity (by sending a code to your email or phone) and then a mandatory password reset.

It's quite annoying, so again "user beware."

Nov 07, 2022 - edited Nov 07, 2022 - permalink

I've been using the paid for version of 4K Stogram for a few years til recently. main issues:

  1. Yes you can too often get kicked out of Instagram by using it - and have to follow IG's process to get your account back. Basically 4kS goes against IG's terms and conditions (ie using third party programs to scrape content) but 4K wont admit that so they just tell users to limit use but you never know what will trigger an account lock out.

  2. Yes, the settings for 4K mean you could download Gigs of content very quickly with virtually with no limit.

  3. If you have to reinstall 4k after a PC crash but want to just pick up from where you left off, you can't set a "download from date" so you have to start from scratch or manually stop/start individual accounts you are monitoring.

It's potentially a useful program but it has some really irritating usability issues.

Nov 07, 2022 - permalink

The main way to use 4KStogram without getting blocked is to space out the downloads (in a way the program doesn't do automatically).

I manually updated my pinned accounts in batches of 15, starting each new batch about 10 minutes after the last one finished updating. Then when I turned on the option to auto-update the pinned accounts once a day, they do so at those same spaced-out times. Also, logging out and back into the account in 4KStogram once a day seems to help (I think Instagram has some issue with too many downloads under the same login session).

If I'm going to do intial downloads of large accounts (like 3,000+ posts, etc), I try to limit those to one per day, and swap to a different IG account first.

Also, possibly because 4KStogram seems to use mobile phone user agent strings when authenticating to Instagram, signing in to IG using the same account on your phone seems to make it suspicious and raise the chances of your account getting temp-blocked.

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