With millions of people sharing their life experiences in the form of photos on Instagram, you’re really tempted to use it to see what your friends are up to and where they’ve headed for their holidays. To make those holiday photos look even better, Instagram lets you apply many of the filters it has onto your photos so that they look the way you want. And this isn’t a normal filter app that you can grab out of an app store.

In order to apply the Instagram filters to your photos, you need to follow a condition and that is: you must upload the photo to your Instagram account if you want to apply a filter to it. Sometimes, you may just want to use a filter but you aren’t yet ready to upload the photo. Well, officially, that is not possible as the app doesn’t offer you an option to save the photo after applying the filters onto it.

instagram-filters-content

RELATED: How to download Instagram photos to your Android device

Fortunately, there’s a workaround that helps you use the Instagram filters without uploading your photos. And this does not require your device to be rooted or that you need to install an app. It’s just a simple trick that works as long as you have the Instagram app installed on your Android device.

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Here’s how to use it:

Saving an Instagram filtered photo without sharing

instagram-filters-airplane-mode

So, what you’re going to do is turn on the airplane mode on your device while using Instagram and that will do the job. The way it works is that you open the app, apply the filter you want to your photo, and you even go as far as to the screen where you can actually upload the photo. But, what you then do is disconnect yourself from the Internet and the app won’t be able to upload anything – and guess what, it has saved the offline copy of the photo with the filters on it in a folder on your device. Let’s see how that all works.

1. Apply the filters and try to upload a photo

First things first, get your photo ready that you want to apply Instagram filters on and preferably it should be in the gallery app so it’s easier for you to select it from the Instagram app.

instagram-filters-main2

To get started, open the Instagram app on your Android device and do the following:

  1. From the main screen of the app, tap on the plus sign to add a new photo to your account.
  2. On the following screen, you’ll see your gallery photos that you can tap on to upload to Instagram. What you need to do here is find the photo you want to apply filters on, tap on it, and then tap on Next to move to the next screen.
  3. The screen that follows will have all the filters that you can apply to your photo. Choose the one that you like the most and then tap on Next to move forward with the process.
  4. You’ll now be on the screen where you can enter photo captions, locations, and specify a few other settings. Usually, what you do is tap on the Share button to share your photo but you’re not going to do it this time as this will upload the photo to Instagram and we don’t want to do it. Instead, pull down the notification bar and tap on Airplane mode to enable it on your device.
  5. After enabling the Airplane mode, get back to the Instagram app and tap on the Share button. Don’t worry about your photo being available to Instagram as the app won’t be able to upload anything without an active Internet connection. The app will say it will resume uploading when the Internet becomes available. At this point, cancel the upload by tapping on X sign next to your pending uploads.

The photo upload has been cancelled and the offline copy of the photo is saved on your device.

2. Find the offline copy of the Instagram photo

Now that you know you have the offline copy of your Instagram photo, you might want to know where it is located. It’s quite easy to find it and the following steps show how:

instagram-filters-gallery

  1. Open the App Drawer on your Android device and tap on Gallery to open the default gallery app.
  2. When the gallery opens, find the section where it shows recently available photos. Your photo should be sitting right in there.
  3. If you can’t find the photo in recent photos, see if you now have a new folder in there called New. It will have your Instagram filtered photo in it.

So, that was how you could apply Instagram filters without uploading your photos. It was a neat and clean trick and didn’t require installations of any third-party apps.

5 Android apps that offer Instagram like filters

While many users think that there are no apps that come close to what Instagram offers, there are some apps that have Instagram like filters and are worth trying on your devices. Here are a few of those for you:

1. VSCO

instagram-filters-vsco2

If you’re not looking for something really fancy and want an app that lets you apply a few filters to your photos, then VSCO can be a good choice. It’s got all the basic editing tools such as a brightness adjustment slider, contrast adjustment, clarity, and a few other features that you’d normally expect from an image editor.

It also comes with some free filters that you can apply to your photos and you also have the option to buy more by paying a fee. Overall, it’s a nice app to edit your images.

Download VSCO from the Google Play Store

2. Snapseed

instagram-filters-snapseed4

Snapseed is another image editor with filters and it comes from Google – perhaps that’s the reason many believe Google has developed the app to compete against Instagram. Regardless, it’s a fully-featured photo editor that comes with a bunch of tools to help you improve your photos, apply filters and effects to them, and share them with your friends.

There’s a long list of the features that the app boasts and you can check them all out yourself by downloading and installing the app on your device.

Download Snapseed from the Google Play Store

3. Pixlr

instagram-filters-pixlr4

If you’re the kind of girl (or guy for that matter) who loves editing images to the fullest, then you’re just going to love the Pixlr app as it’s got about two million combinations of various effects and filters that you can apply to your photos. Not only that but the app also offers various other features such as the ability to help you create collages and resize your images.

This one’s a must-have app if editing images is your thing.

Download Pixlr from the Google Play Store

4. Photo Editor by Aviary

instagram-filters-aviary4

With all those features comes the complexity of using the app but the Photo Editor by Aviary removes that for you and lets you have tons of features to use while still being the most simplest app to use. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, you’ll see for yourself that how easy it is to capture a snap and edit it.

You get tons of gorgeous effects and filters with the app that can easily be applied to your photos. And you also have the option to buy more packs at a fee if you want.

Download Photo Editor by Aviary from the Google Play Store

5. Adobe Photoshop Express

instagram-filters-adobe-photoshop-express4

When you talk about photo editing apps, you can’t miss this one: Adobe Photoshop Express. If you’ve used Photoshop on your desktop for some time, you’d already know what all it can do for you. The express version for the Android devices helps you edit your photos in a really amazing way with all the features present right in there.

It’s got contrast adjusters, filters and looks, auto-fix, and many other features that help you quickly retouch your photos and make them look the way you want.

Download Adobe Photoshop Express from the Google Play Store

We hope this guide helps you apply Instagram filters without uploading your photos. If you don’t like that, then we’ve listed some of the apps that will let you apply Instagram like filters to your photos. Let us know what you think about it in the comments below.

IMAGE CREDITS: WIKIMEDIA, INFINITY ON LOOP, IDEA CELLULAR, YOUTUBE, ANDROID CENTRAL

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