Basic Guide to Instagram

A beginner’s guide: Setting up and using Instagram

Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app available on Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone. People can upload photos or videos to our service and share them with their followers or with a select group of friends. They can also view, comment and like posts shared by their friends on Instagram. Anyone 13 and older can create an account by registering an email address and selecting a username. It’s all really useful… if you know how!

That is why Tech With No Limits has created these guides to help those people who have never used a computer or the internet to understand and enjoy the benefits they offer. It takes you step-by-step through the very basics like using a mouse and keyboard, through to searching the internet and sending Emails.

What you should learn from this course?

  • What Instagram is
  • How to upload photographs
  • How to add information to your profile
  • How to like, comment and post on your page
  • How to change your privacy settings
  • How to alter your notifications

Creating an account

  1. Go to

  1. You have three options. If you already have an account, enter your details in the first two boxes. You can also log in with a Facebook account if you already have one. You may prefer to create a new account. Click on the create new account button.

Enter your details and then click on the next button.

You will then be asked to confirm a code sent to your Email or mobile

Select 18 or older and click Next

It’s your preference whether you want to turn on notifications. If it is turned on, you will receive a text or Email when there are updates.

How to follow people?

Once you’ve set up your profile, a suggestion of people to follow will appear on your home page. You can choose to follow any of the suggestions by clicking on the Follow button.

You can also search for people to follow if you know their name or username. Simply type their name in the Search box at the top centre of the page.

Changing your profile photo

So, friends and family can easily recognise you, Instagram recommends you add a profile picture. It doesn’t have to be your photo and can be of anything you like.
There are two ways to do this, one from the main screen under Getting Started or by clicking on Edit Profile. In both cases, you can get to your profile page shown above by clicking on the user icon at the top right of the screen.

Tap app on the grey circle with a person in top left corner, Select New Profile Photo. This will bring up your photo gallery on your phone. Look through the images by scrolling up and down and then Tap the on the one you want. Then Choose next from top right-hand corner


You can apply an effect called a filter to your image by tapping the options below image, this will show a preview of how your image will look, if you don’t want any effects just tap next.


After choosing your filter, you have the option to choose edit by tapping edit button. This will bring up further options such as adjust, brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, colour, fade, highlights, shadows, vignette, tilt shift, sharpen. Once you have chosen an option or you don’t want to apply any edit options tap the next in the right-hand corner.

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Once you have edited your profile picture, this will take you back to the main Instagram profile page as below.

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Tap the add bio button at the bottom of screen, this will bring you to your bio text page (as below).

Your bio is a little piece of information about your story or yourself. This is where you can tell people about you and your account, tap the keypad at the bottom of screen to type out your message.

Once you have completed your bio message you will need to tap the tick in right top corner which will save the text.

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Finding people

Tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen, this will bring up the following popup as shown below:

Tap get started; the next popup will ask you to allow access to your contacts. This will allow Instagram to see everybody in your contacts, to see if anyone you know are on Instagram so it can connect you and your friend. This setting can be changed, in your phones privacy settings if you change your mind at later date.

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Discover people:

When you set up a brand-new Instagram account, Instagram will try and help you get started by suggesting a list of people such as influencers and accounts of popular people to follow. If you wish to follow one of these just tap the follow button to the right-hand side that corresponds to the account.

Once you are finished selecting people to follow, tap the arrow in left top corner to go back to search page.

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Search page

At the top of the search page there is a box you can tap to write in your search request. You can search for words, hash tags or general subjects.

For an example type in flowers and Instagram will automatically search for anything related, this is broken down into top, accounts, tags, and places.


This is the most top active accounts on Instagram related to your search word.


This is account names related to your search.


These are all tags people use to find content and group related subjects together.


This is physical locations related to your search words.

You can either choose one of the above categories and scroll through the results, or just choose from the Top list by tapping the result you want to look at.

When you are done Tap on “house” symbol bottom right to go back to the start of the Instagram app.

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Creating a post

Tap the square icon with a plus sign in, located at bottom of page. You might be asked to allow Instagram access to your phone’s gallery. Click allow as you can change this later in your phone’s privacy settings. This will allow you to see all your picture/images from your phone in Instagram (see second image below).

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Tap the image you want to share on your post, then tap next.

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You will be asked if you would like to add filters or edit the image. This is optional and if not required tap next.

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Tap to the right of the image, there is a text box where you can describe the image and add in any hash tags required. In the tag people you can type names of friends and family you wish to see the post. Your location of the image, you can also share the image on other platforms such as Facebook,Twitter and Tumblr, by tapping the sliders next to their name. once you have completed the information you wish to share on this page tap the share button in right top corner.

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Once you have shared your post you will be taken back to the homepage to see your post. You will notice bellow your post you have three symbols “Heart” “Speech Bubble” “Paper Plane” and on the right hand side the “flag” symbol is so you can save that post and come back later if you wish.

The heart is for expressing you like this post this is similar to the thumbs up on Facebook.

The speech bubble is so you can leave a comment on that post so others can see what you have to say, and they can reply.

The paper plane is to message privately to the person who posted the image so others cannot see it.

The Heart symbol on bottom row.

This is a list of all resent activity in Instagram, at top of page it says follow requests, these are people that want to follow your account, you can either except or deny access. Below that there is a list of suggestions from your contacts page on your phone. If you tap the follow button next to their name you will be able to follow them and see their posts.

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Profile Page

Tap on the last symbol on the bottom row of your device to see your profile page. This is where you can edit your profile picture and change your account settings. This guide is only a basic beginners guide if you want a more in-depth guide, that will be coming soon.