So far, Instagram limited the upload of new pictures to their own app. This made it impossible to upload pictures from a computer, adding an extra layer of complexity to people who, like me, take photos with a camera rather than with a phone. Recently, Instagram enabled the option to upload pictures from mobile browsers, effectively opening the door to bypassing their own app. From a computer it is possible to fake a mobile browser and therefore achieve an upload from the PC.

The secret is tweaking the User-Agent, a string that informs websites which browser is used. In Firefox you should open the configuration by typing about:config in the address bar and hitting enter. Search if you already have the property called general.useragent.override, if not, create it by right clicking and selecting New -> String. The value you add into this property will be used by Firefox to communicate which browser you are using. Instagram apparently does not verify if the value corresponds to a valid browser, it just checks for the string Mobile. If you want to use a valid value, you can type:

Mozilla/5.0 (Android 4.4; Mobile; rv:41.0) Gecko/41.0 Firefox/41.0

Open up instagram.com and after logging in, you will notice a plus symbol at the bottom of the screen. Follow the steps and you will have your photo uploaded. Remember that if you leave the string set to mobile, some websites will show you the mobile version instead of the desktop. You can revert it back by leaving its value empty.

If you are a Safari or Chrome user, you can check this article. However, if you just google around how to change the User Agent in your browser, you’ll find plenty of options. Even if you use Chrome or Safari, you can set it to the string I’ve left right above.

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