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A client interface for the private Instagram API.

Project description

Instagram Private API

A Python wrapper for the Instagram private API with no 3rd party dependencies. Supports both the app and web APIs.

Python 2.7, 3.5 Release Docs Build



I wrote this to access Instagram's API when they clamped down on developer access. Because this is meant to achieve parity with the official public API, methods not available in the public API will generally have lower priority.

Problems? Please check the docs before submitting an issue.


An extension module is available to help with common tasks like pagination, posting photos or videos.


Documentation is available at


Install with pip:

pip install git+

To update:

pip install git+ --upgrade

To update with latest repo code:

pip install git+ --upgrade --force-reinstall

Tested on Python 2.7 and 3.5.


The app API client emulates the official app and has a larger set of functions. The web API client has a smaller set but can be used without logging in.

Your choice will depend on your use case.

The examples/ and tests/ are a good source of detailed sample code on how to use the clients, including a simple way to save the auth cookie for reuse.

Option 1: Use the official app's API

from instagram_private_api import Client, ClientCompatPatch

user_name = 'YOUR_LOGIN_USER_NAME'
password = 'YOUR_PASSWORD'

api = Client(user_name, password)
results = api.feed_timeline()
items = [item for item in results.get('feed_items', [])
         if item.get('media_or_ad')]
for item in items:
    # Manually patch the entity to match the public api as closely as possible, optional
    # To automatically patch entities, initialise the Client with auto_patch=True['media_or_ad'])

Option 2: Use the official website's API

from instagram_web_api import Client, ClientCompatPatch, ClientError, ClientLoginError

# Without any authentication
web_api = Client(auto_patch=True, drop_incompat_keys=False)
user_feed_info = web_api.user_feed('329452045', count=10)
for post in user_feed_info:
    print('%s from %s' % (post['link'], post['user']['username']))

# Some endpoints, e.g. user_following are available only after authentication
authed_web_api = Client(
    auto_patch=True, authenticate=True,
    username='YOUR_USERNAME', password='YOUR_PASSWORD')

following = authed_web_api.user_following('123456')
for user in following:

# Note: You can and should cache the cookie even for non-authenticated sessions.
# This saves the overhead of a single http request when the Client is initialised.

Avoiding Re-login

You are advised to persist/cache the auth cookie details to avoid logging in every time you make an api call. Excessive logins is a surefire way to get your account flagged for removal. It's also advisable to cache the client details such as user agent, etc together with the auth details.

The saved auth cookie can be reused for up to 90 days.


Want to keep this project going? Please donate generously



Make sure to review the contributing documentation before submitting an issue report or pull request.


Disclaimer: This is not affliated, endorsed or certified by Instagram. This is an independent and unofficial API. Strictly not for spam. Use at your own risk.

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