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Download pictures (or videos) along with their captions and other metadata from Instagram.

Project Description

Download pictures (or videos) along with their captions and other metadata from Instagram.


Instaloader is written in Python, thus ensure having Python (at least version 3.5) installed.

If you intend to use this tool under Windows, it is recommended to install win-unicode-console.

If you have pip installed, you may install Instaloader using

pip3 install instaloader

Alternatively, to get the most current version of Instaloader from our Git repository:

pip3 install git+

(pass --upgrade to upgrade if Instaloader is already installed)

Instaloader requires requests, which will be installed automatically, if it is not already installed.

How to automatically download pictures from Instagram

To download all pictures and videos of a profile, as well as the profile picture, do

instaloader profile [profile ...]

where profile is the name of a profile you want to download. Instead of only one profile, you may also specify a list of profiles.

To later update your local copy of that profiles, you may run

instaloader --fast-update profile [profile ...]

When --fast-update is given, Instaloader stops when arriving at the first already-downloaded picture.

Instaloader can also be used to download private profiles. To do so, invoke it with

instaloader --login=your_username profile [profile ...]

When invoked like this, it also stores the session cookies in a file in your temporary directory, which will be reused later when --login is given. So you can download private profiles non-interactively when you already have a valid session cookie file.

Besides downloading private profiles, being logged in allows to download stories:

instaloader --login=your_username --stories profile [profile ...]

You may also download the most recent pictures by hashtag:

instaloader "#hashtag"

This downloads the requested posts into a directory named according to the specified hashtag and the filenames correspond to the timestamp of the posts. As with all download tasks, this behavior can easily be customized, for example encode the poster’s profile name in the filenames:

instaloader --filename-pattern={date}_{profile} "#hashtag"

If you want to download all followees of a given profile, call

instaloader --login=your_username @profile

To download all the pictures from your feed which you have liked, call

instaloader --login=your_username :feed-liked

or to download all pictures from your feed:

instaloader --login=your_username :feed-all

Download all stories from the profiles you follow:

instaloader --login=your_username --filename-pattern={date}_{profile} :stories

Advanced Options

The following flags can be given to Instaloader to specify how profiles should be downloaded.

To get a list of all flags, their abbreviations and their descriptions, you may run instaloader --help.

What to Download

Specify a list of profiles or #hashtags. For each of these, Instaloader creates a folder and downloads all posts along with the pictures’s captions and the current profile picture. If an already-downloaded profile has been renamed, Instaloader automatically finds it by its unique ID and renames the folder likewise.

Instead of a profile or a #hashtag, the special targets :feed-all (pictures from your feed), :feed-liked (pictures from your feed which you liked), and :stories (stories of your followees) can be specified.

 Only download profile picture.
--skip-videos Do not download videos.
--geotags Download geotags when available. Geotags are stored as a text file with the location’s name and a Google Maps link. This requires an additional request to the Instagram server for each picture, which is why it is disabled by default.
--comments Download and update comments for each post. This requires an additional request to the Instagram server for each post, which is why it is disabled by default.
--stories Also download stories of each profile that is downloaded. Requires --login.
--stories-only Rather than downloading regular posts of each specified profile, only download stories. Requires --login.

When to Stop Downloading

If none of these options are given, Instaloader goes through all pictures matching the specified targets.

--fast-update For each target, stop when encountering the first already-downloaded picture. This flag is recommended when you use Instaloader to update your personal Instagram archive.
--count COUNT Do not attempt to download more than COUNT posts. Applies only to #hashtag, :feed-all and :feed-liked.

Login (Download Private Profiles)

Instaloader can login to Instagram. This allows downloading private profiles. To login, pass the --login option. Your session cookie (not your password!) will be saved to a local file to be reused next time you want Instaloader to login.

 Login name (profile name) for your Instagram account.
--sessionfile SESSIONFILE
 Path for loading and storing session key file. Defaults to a path within your temporary directory, encoding your local username and your Instagram profile name.
--password YOUR-PASSWORD
 Password for your Instagram account. Without this option, you’ll be prompted for your password interactively if there is not yet a valid session file.

How to Download

--dirname-pattern DIRNAME_PATTERN
 Name of directory where to store posts. {profile} is replaced by the profile name, {target} is replaced by the target you specified, i.e. either :feed, #hashtag or the profile name. Defaults to {target}.
--filename-pattern FILENAME_PATTERN
 Prefix of filenames. Posts are stored in the directory whose pattern is given with --dirname-pattern. {profile} is replaced by the profile name, {target} is replaced by the target you specified, i.e. either :feed, #hashtag or the profile name. Also, the fields {date} and {shortcode} can be specified. Defaults to {date:%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S}.
--user-agent USER_AGENT
 User Agent to use for HTTP requests. Per default, Instaloader pretends being Chrome/51.
--no-sleep Do not sleep between requests to Instagram’s servers. This makes downloading faster, but may be suspicious.

Miscellaneous Options

 Do not display captions while downloading.
--quiet Disable user interaction, i.e. do not print messages (except errors) and fail if login credentials are needed but not given. This makes Instaloader suitable as a cron job.

Usage as Python module

You may also use parts of Instaloader as library to do other interesting things.

For example, to get a list of all followees and a list of all followers of a profile, do

import instaloader

# Get instance
loader = instaloader.Instaloader()

# Login

# Retrieve followees
followees = loader.get_followees(PROFILE)
print(PROFILE + " follows these profiles:")
for f in followees:
    print("\t%s\t%s" % (f['username'], f['full_name']))

# Retrieve followers
followers = loader.get_followers(PROFILE)
print("Followers of " + PROFILE + ":")
for f in followers:
    print("\t%s\t%s" % (f['username'], f['full_name']))

Then, you may download all pictures of all followees with

for f in followees:
    except instaloader.NonfatalException:

You could also download your last 20 liked pics with

loader.download_feed_pics(max_count=20, fast_update=True,
                         filter_func=lambda node:
                               not node["likes"]["viewer_has_liked"] if "likes" in node else not node["viewer_has_liked"])

To download the last 20 pictures with hashtag #cat, do

loader.download_hashtag('cat', max_count=20)

If logged in, Instaloader is also able to download user stories:


Each Instagram profile has its own unique ID which stays unmodified even if a user changes his/her username. To get said ID, given the profile’s name, you may call


get_followees() also returns unique IDs for all loaded followees. To get the current username of a profile, given this unique ID get_username_by_id() can be used. For example:



This code is in no way affiliated with, authorized, maintained or endorsed by Instagram or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries. This is an independent and unofficial project. Use at your own risk.

Release History

Release History

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File Name & Checksum SHA256 Checksum Help Version File Type Upload Date
instaloader-2.2.3.tar.gz (22.4 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Aug 13, 2017

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