How To Set Up Instagram Story Highlights

If you like to hang out on Instagram you might have noticed the Instagram stories highlight feature. If you have no idea what I’m referring to then you might have seen the little circles on a person’s profile about the main grid. They will only be there if that person has added them so don’t worry if you haven’t come across them yet.

The benefit to these ‘highlights’ is that you can add some of your quick posts that aren’t quite grid-worthy but that you want to hang around for longer than 24 hours. You can even add posts retrospectively but bear in mind that highlights are shown chronologically from oldest to newest.



I am a huge fan of having everything coordinated so as soon as I made the decision to start using highlights on my profile, I wanted to create some cover photos for each category so that they looked pretty and consistent. You can have as many highlights as you want but remember that visitors might not be keen to keep scrolling through endless stories, so only pick your favourites and keep it relevant. It is also worth pointing out that you might only be able to see 4 or 5 highlights (on larger screens) at initial glance so keep those for your best posts.

Setting up highlights is pretty simple but it does require a little bit of faffing to get the covers where you want them. Annoyingly you have to have added the covers as part of an existing story. My workaround was to design and add all the ones I wanted at once with an apology/ explanation as to what I was doing. I’ll no doubt have to add some more covers as I plan more highlights.

Step 1: Create your custom covers in your favourite design programme. The dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels for a story so it will be easiest to position the text by creating files of these dimensions first. Here is a handy guide to give you an idea. I saved them at 72dpi and the quality was fine as they are going to be very small.


Step 2: Download the files onto your phone and then upload the covers as an Instagram story in the usual way. You might want to make the posts into a actual story if you don’t want to confuse your followers.

Step 3: There are two ways to turn them into highlights. The first option is to view your story and click the heart in the bottom right, it will then allow you to create a new highlight or add to an existing one. Alternatively you can click on the circle on your profile with a + in the middle and the word ‘new’ underneath to set up your highlights. You can do the same thing to add individual stories from the past but remember they will go before the cover post. You can only post stories older than 24 hours using the second method.

2018-02-25 17.44.45

Step 4: When you are on your own profile page (as shown above) you can view each highlight tag that you have set up and click the three dots in the bottom right and choose edit highlight. This is where you can add and edit the cover, you can even reposition it to ensure it is completely central etc. Click done to save your changes.

I hope that helps explain the method I use to keep my Insta profile looking tidy and coherent. If you need any more help feel free to message me and I’ll do my best to answer any questions.

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