The Best Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram in 2024

by David Em

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After editing an image, use the correct Lightroom export settings for Instagram. It ensures you post eye-catching and high-quality photos.

Lightroom export settings on a computer and a phone.
Photo by David Em/Portraits Refined.

Social media is a way to market your photography and get inspiration.

Instagram is among the top five social media platforms in the world.

It’s an excellent way to showcase your photography and build brand awareness.

Image sizes and settings play a role in how your photos look.

After editing your images, export them with the correct settings. It ensures your images look crisp and clear after uploading them.

The following is your complete guide to Lightroom export settings for Instagram.

Lightroom export settings for Instagram for the best quality

Hands holding a phone with Instagram on the screen.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

High-quality photos make your Instagram profile look professional.

Make every photo look its best by using the following Lightroom export settings:

  • Aspect ratio: 4:5 (vertical), 1.91:1 (horizontal), 1:1 (square).
  • Dimensions: 2,160 pixels wide and leave the height blank.
  • Resolution: 72 pixels per inch.
  • Quality: 100
  • Color space: sRGB
  • File format: JPEG
  • Output sharpening: Sharpen for Screen.

The Lightroom export settings are the last part of your editing workflow.

Use them to upload images with top-notch quality. It’ll impress potential clients and followers.

Aspect ratio and dimensions

Image in Lightroom using the aspect ratio tool.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

Image cropping is crucial because Instagram only supports three aspect ratios.

The aspect ratio is the relationship between the short and long sides of the photo.

The following are the aspect ratios that Instagram recommends:

  • Vertical: 4:5
  • Horizontal: 1.91:1
  • Square: 1:1

The aspect ratio matters because it ensures the full image appears on Instagram. It’s a significant Lightroom export setting.

The wrong aspect ratio will force you to crop the image. It may leave parts of the frame out when you post it.

Image sizing

Lightroom export settings showing image sizing.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

Instagram recommends setting the width to at least 1,080 pixels.

You can leave the height blank, as it’ll adjust depending on the aspect ratio. Also, check the Resize to Fit box.

Instead of exporting the image at 1,080 pixels wide, double it to 2,160.

Your photo will be high-quality if Instagram increases the image sizing later. It may also lead to sharper images.

Image resolution

Lightroom export settings showing image resolution.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

The standard image resolution for online images is 72 pixels per inch (PPI). It’s enough to upload high-quality photos to Instagram.

Anything higher than 72 PPI isn’t noticeable on the platform.

Color space

Color space setting in Lightroom.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

A color space is a range of colors on a spectrum that a device or platform uses to display colors.

The two most common are RGB (red, green, blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key).

RGB is the primary color space for screens and CMYK for printers.

Set the color space to sRGB (standard red, green, blue) when exporting images for Instagram.

Other color spaces may result in discoloration after uploading the photo.

File format

Image format setting in Lightroom.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

The ideal image format for Instagram is JPEG. If you shoot in RAW, convert it to JPEG in the Lightroom export settings after editing.

While you can upload a PNG file, Instagram doesn’t support transparent files. So, JPEG is the way to go.


Quality export setting in Lightroom.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

The higher the quality, the larger the file size. When Instagram compresses the image, you’ll lose a bit of quality.

Set the quality to 100 to maintain as much as possible.

If you want a lower quality rating due to file size, keep it at 80 or above.

Output sharpening

Sharpening export setting in Lightroom.
Screenshot by David Em/Portraits Refined.

Your image can look fantastic on your computer, but something may be off when you upload it to Instagram.

A common reason is the output sharpening setting. It’s one of the most impactful Lightroom export settings.

Check the Sharpen box and set it for Screen. The amount is up to you, as you can leave it as standard or change it.

Sharpening for Screen ensures the picture looks crisp on Instagram.


Use the ideal Lightroom export settings for Instagram to upload the best photos. It’s how you can avoid blurry and fuzzy images.

The optimal width is 2,160 pixels wide, and the aspect ratio is 4:5, 1.91:1, or 1:1.

As a Lightroom user, changing the settings is straightforward.

So, do it before every upload to showcase your photos with the best quality.

Related: The Best Image Sizes for Instagram

Featured photo by David Em/Portraits Refined.

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