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If Your Instagram Videos Look Low Quality, Here's the Fix

The videos you post on Instagram shouldn't appear blurry or pixelated, but sometimes they do. This may be why.

Instagram on a phone
Toggle on this hidden setting to get higher-quality video uploads on Instagram.
James Martin/CNET

Instagram's default settings don't allow you to upload the highest-quality videos unless you're connected to a strong Wi-Fi network. If you're like me, and many others, you probably post videos to your Instagram story when you're out a concert or enjoying dinner at a restaurant, using your mobile data.

Well, that's why your videos may sometimes look blurry or pixelated. Instagram purposely throttles the quality so that you can still upload your videos quickly even under bad network conditions, but there is a way to prevent this from happening. We'll show you which setting you can enable so that your IG videos post in higher quality, regardless of internet connection.

Interested in more Instagram tips? Check out this story on Instagram's productivity feature Quiet Mode and how to alter your relationship with Instagram.

How to enable high-quality video uploads on Instagram

On your Android device or iPhone, launch the official Instagram application. (Note this might look slightly different in alternate versions.)

1. First, go to your Instagram profile. You can access it by tapping your profile icon in the bottom right.

2. Next, tap the three-dash menu in the top-right

3. Go into Settings > Account

4. Next, tap either Data usage (iOS) or Cellular data use (Android)

5. Finally, toggle on Upload at highest quality

Instagram data settings on iOS and Android

The upload-at-highest-quality setting is available on both iOS (left) and Android (right).

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Now, when you're on cellular data, your videos will be uploaded at the highest quality possible, no matter how bad your connection is. However, the worse your connection, the longer your upload will take, so you'll need to be patient, especially if you're posting a long video.