Instagram is great. My photos have never looked cooler. But have you ever wanted to apply some of those nifty filters to a photo without actually uploading it to Instagram and sharing it with the entire internet? Whether you’re trying to modify one of your more, ahem, risqué photographs, or simply filtering the same photo over and over again until the person in it looks like a zombie (which is something you can do!), Instagram doesn’t give you the option to save a photo without actually sharing it.
Luckily, there’s an easy workaround for this, and it’s called Airplane Mode.
Note: The photos you see here are from the iOS version of Instagram, but this tip works just as well over Android.
By activating Airplane Mode, you are deactivating Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and your phone’s cellular radios, so you won’t be able to connect to the internet, make a call, or pair any devices. This also means there is no way for Instagram to upload any of your photos to its servers.
To activate Airplane Mode on your iPhone, just tap on settings, then flip the toggle for Airplane Mode to ON. For Android phones, activating Airplane Mode varies a bit depending upon the particular device you use, but in general, all you have to do is head on over to your settings menu and make sure that Airplane mode is turned on.
Once you’ve activated Airplane Mode, open up Instagram and go about business as usual. You can apply filters to pictures that are already in your camera roll, or you can snap a new photo directly into the app.
When you’re done, tap the “Share” button. Instead of uploading to the server and appearing in your Instagram feed as usual, you’ll instead see a message at the top of your screen that says Failed.
Make sure to tap the delete button in the far right corner of the message, or the photo will upload the next time your phone has any sort of network connection.
Then, once you’ve removed all traces of the photo from your Instagram app, head on over to your camera roll, and you’ll find the filtered picture saved alongside the original.