Instagram Reels Zoomed In? Do This!

Why Does Instagram Zoom In My Videos

When you upload a reel on Instagram from your phone, you may find that Instagram zooms in the video, making the screen more square-like and cropping off some details in the video.

This can be quite frustrating especially considering the amount of effort that you may have put into creating the reel, as well as the fact that some of the missing details may be an important part of the overall video experience.

So, why does Instagram do this, and what can you do to prevent it from happening? Well, first, you need to know that there are several possible reasons why your Instagram reels get zoomed in.

Some of it you have control over, others are just issues at Instagram’s end. In this article, we are going to explore all the reasons why Instagram reels get zoomed in, and provide solutions to each scenario.

Why Is My Instagram Reel Zoomed In?

1. Instagram’s Default Aspect Ratio

As we mentioned earlier, and as you may already well know, there are two ways in which you can create a video for Instagram: you can either record the video using the Instagram camera especially when creating a Story, or you can upload an existing video from your phone storage to Instagram.

When you create a video directly on Instagram, you do not have to worry about the aspect ratio of the video because Instagram will automatically set the right aspect ratio to be used for the video. But if you are uploading the video from your phone storage, then you should pay due attention to the aspect ratio of the video you are uploading.

So, what is this aspect ratio? Aspect Ratio simply means dimensions of a photo or video on a device. In simple terms, it is the ratio of the width to the length of the video frame.

Every smartphone has pre-defined aspect ratios that you can use to record videos. The aspect ratios differ among phone brands and models but the most common that you may see are 3:4, 1:1, 9:16, or any variation of these.

These figures tell you by how much the height is more than the width: the figures on the left are the width, while the figures on the right are the height of the video frame.

The fact is that Instagram has its own default aspect ratio. That is, videos created or uploaded on Instagram must fit the pre-defined aspect ratio that is supported by Instagram. This aspect ratio is 4:5.

If you look at the aspect ratios available on your phone camera, you may not find a 4:5 aspect ratio unless you are using an iPhone. So, what Instagram does is when you upload a video on whatever aspect ratio it was created with, it zooms in the video to fit that 4:5 aspect ratio.

This is why you will find Instagram videos to be almost square in dimension, with the length only slightly more than the width, and with a zoomed in frame.

So, if you find that Instagram is zooming in your videos, it is because it is trying to fit the aspect ratio of your video to its default 4:5.

Fix – Use Recommended Aspect Ratio

Most users create videos outside Instagram, sometimes using multiple takes and edits before arriving at the final version to upload on Instagram. So, we understand that asking you to only create videos inside the Instagram app is impractical.

Since you will be creating videos outside Instagram, you will need to make sure that you use the recommended 4:5 aspect ratio to create the video. To fix this, you need to edit the video to the recommended aspect ratio before uploading it.

If your phone has the 4:5 aspect ratio available, then you are in luck. All you need to do is edit the video to the 4:5 aspect ratio after creating it. To do this:

For Android

1. Go to your phone storage and open the video that you want to edit to the recommended aspect ratio

2. Tap on Edit, usually at the bottom of the screen

3. Tap on Next, then select Crop & Rotate at the bottom of the screen that opens

4. Next, tap on 4:5 and then click on Save

For iOS

1. Go to your phone storage and open the video that you want to edit to the recommended aspect ratio

2. Tap on Edit, usually at the top right of the screen

3. Tap on the Crop icon at the bottom, then select the 4:5 aspect ratio at the bottom of the screen

4. Finally, tap on Save at the top right of the screen

If there is no 4:5 aspect ratio on your phone, you can use the 4:3 or 3:4 aspect ratio, which is the closest you can get to 4:5. With these options, even if Instagram zooms the video, the difference will be barely noticeable.

Alternatively, you can use an application to set the desired aspect ratio.

For Android, we recommend Crop, Cut and Trim Video Editor

With this app, you have a wide range of video aspect ratio options. All you need to do is follow the simple steps below to resize your video to the recommended 4:5 aspect ratio for Instagram video posts:

1. Go to Play Store and download the Crop, Cut and Trim app using the link provided above

2. Launch the app on your phone. You will be offered a free trial to use premium features on the app.

You do not need Premium to change your video aspect ratio, so you can decline the offer and continue to the free version. However, using the free version means that you will get ads from time to time.

3. When the app loads, you will see different options for editing your video. Select Resize (crop)

4. Then, open your gallery and select the video whose aspect ratio you want to change

5. At the bottom, you will see the different aspect ratios you can choose from. Swipe to the right until you find the 4:5 aspect ratio.

6. Tap on that. The video will resize automatically.

7. Then, tap on the check mark at the top right of the screen to save your new settings

8. Then, tap again on the check mark on the next page to finish. The video will then be saved to your phone storage

For iPhone, we recommend Crop Videos

This app is best for editing video aspect ratio as opposed to using iMovie. The method for resizing a video on Crop Videos is pretty much the same as on Crop, Cut and Trim. The key difference is that Crop Videos is a paid app and so you do not get any annoying ads while using it.

  • Note: The 4:5 aspect ratio is best for Instagram video posts. If you are creating a video for Stories and Reels, then the best aspect ratio to use is 9:16. If you use an aspect ratio other than this, Instagram is very likely to zoom the video to fit the default 9:16 aspect ratio for Stories and Reels.

So, if you are creating the video for Stories or Reels, then you can use your phone’s inbuilt editor or an app to change the aspect ratio to the recommended 9:16

2. Using the Wrong Video Resolution

Similar to the aspect ratio described above is the video resolution. The video resolution is the number of pixels in any given frame. It determines how much detail can be shown in the video frame.

It is closely related to the aspect ratio because it is calculated by using the width and height of the video; that is, the aspect ratio. So, for example, if you have a resolution of 1080p x 768p, it means that there are 1024 pixels in the width of the video, and 768 pixels in the height of the video.

The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution, and the clearer the video because it means that more details can be shown in the video frame.

For Instagram, whether you are creating a video for a regular post or for Reels and Stories, the recommended video resolutions are 1080p x 1080p, and 1080p x 1920p.

If your video is created in a resolution that is less or inferior to any of these, Instagram will zoom in the video in order to maximize detail. It is like a compensation for the poor quality of videos with less than the recommended resolution.

As you may already know, Instagram is very strict about video clarity and sharpness, because it wants a good viewing experience for all of its users.

So, if the video resolution is poor, Instagram will try to make up for that by zooming in the video to increase the level of detail in the video.

Fix – Use Recommended Video Resolution

Just as with aspect ratio, you do not need to worry about video resolution if you are creating the video inside the Instagram app.

As long as your phone supports the recommended video resolutions listed above, the video will automatically be created on Instagram using any of the resolutions.

However, if you are creating with your phone’s native camera or by any other means for that matter, then you must ensure that the video is created using the recommended 1080p x 1080p or 1080p x 1920p resolution. For best results, try to set the resolution before recording the video. Changing resolution afterwards may result in a bit of blurring.

To set video resolution on Android phone:

1. Launch the camera app on your phone

2. Tap on Video to switch from photo camera to video camera

3. Tap on Settings icon on the top left or right of the screen, depending on your phone brand

4. Then select the video resolution. If you do not see it immediately, select Video Size or a setting with similar meaning

5. Then, select the recommended 1080p x 1080p or 1080p x 1920p resolution

To set video resolution on iPhone:

1. Open Settings on your iPhone

2. Scroll down and select Camera from the settings menu

3. In the camera settings, tap on Record Video

4. Then select the recommended 1080p x 1080p or 1080p x 1920p resolution from the options

If the video was created in a higher resolution than the recommended value, you do not need to worry about that because Instagram will not zoom your video.

3. Bug on Instagram App

We have seen cases where users create videos in the recommended aspect ratio and video resolution but still have their Instagram video zoomed.

Some users even report that they experience the issue when they upload the same video using a different phone from the one on which the video was originally created.

If you experience any of these, then it is likely that the Instagram app on your phone may have developed a bug or run into a minor glitch.

A bug is an unexpected problem with the software code of an application or system. When a bug occurs, the app stops functioning the way it should. Bugs may only affect parts of an application meaning that some aspects of the app may work properly while others won’t.

On Instagram, for example, you may be able to perform other actions without issues, but when you upload a video with the right specifications, they get zoomed in anyway.

Because of the nature of bugs, it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause and fix it. Instead, you would have to try different possible solutions until you arrive at the one that fixes the problem in your case.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at the possible solutions for the issue of your Instagram videos getting zoomed in when you upload them.

Fix – Log Out and Log Back Into Instagram

The first thing you need to try is to log out and then log back into your Instagram account. The reason why this is important is that the issue of your videos getting zoomed in may have been caused by an issue with your current login session.

A login session simply means the duration of your access to an app or service from the moment you log in. When you log out, that login session has ended. To understand how an issue with a login session may cause problems with your videos, let’s provide a bit of technical background.

When you log into your Instagram account and the login session is created, Instagram servers assign something called a Session Token to your account.

This session token is like the key that allows you to access all the Instagram features and services that are available to your account. These services, among other things, include posting videos.

Unfortunately, there are times where Instagram servers may develop a bug which causes the assigned token to stop working. When this happens, you would start experiencing issues with using some Instagram services such as having your videos zoomed in even though the videos are created with the right specification.

When this happens, what you would need to do is to log out of your Instagram account and then log back in. What this does is to assign you a new, working token that will allow you to continue using Instagram services normally and stop experiencing unusual issues like zooming in your perfectly fine videos.

Follow the steps below to log out of Instagram and log back in:

1. Tap on the profile icon at the bottom right of your Instagram app

2. Tap on the Menu icon at the top right of the profile window. It is usually 3 horizontal lines

3. Then select Settings

4. On the Settings page, scroll all the way down and tap on Log Out

5. Confirm the logout action

6. Then log back in on the next screen and start uploading videos again to see if the zooming issue is resolved

Fix 2 – Clear the Cache

The cache is one of the most important components of any application installed on your phone. The cache is a memory that is assigned to the application to store temporary information about your use of the application.

This is so that you are always able to access data on the app quickly and so you don’t have to repeat certain actions every time you launch the app.

So, information like your login details, some of your app preferences, your profile data and some images and videos are all stored in the cache. And, every time you launch Instagram, the app loads all the data from this cache memory to help you navigate the app smoothly.

However, because of the importance of this cache, whenever it becomes corrupt or just suffers a minor glitch, the application will stop functioning properly, and may result in issues like erroneously zooming videos that are already created using the right video specifications.

To resolve an issue like this, you would need to clear the cache memory to remove the corrupt data and get Instagram working well again.

To clear cache on Android:

1. Long-press the Instagram app

2. Select App Info

3. Select Clear Data

4. Select Clear Cache

5. Confirm to clear the cache

On iOS

1. Navigate to Settings on your device

2. Select General

3. Select iPhone Storage

4. Select Instagram

5. Select Offload app

6. Confirm the action

7. Select Reinstall app

Then log back in on the next screen and check if the issue of zooming in videos is resolved.

Fix 3 – Update Instagram to Get Rid Of Bugs

The importance of updating Instagram to resolve the zoom issue is highlighted when you find that the zoom occurs when you use a different device to upload the video.

When you create a video with a phone and then transfer it to another phone to upload to Instagram, there may be integration issues with the new phone that was not used to create the Instagram video. The best way to fix such issues is to update the Instagram app on the new phone.

Also, even if it’s on the same phone that the video was created on, the app may have developed an error code. In any case, updating the Instagram app on the phone is a sure way to resolve issues around automatic zooming when you upload your video on Instagram.

You need to check if there are available updates for Instagram and install them.

To update your Instagram app:

1. Exit Instagram and swipe it away from recent items

2. Then, open your App Store or Play Store

3. Search for Instagram in the search bar and select it from the results

4. If there is an update available, you will see Update by the side.

4. Tap on update to begin installing the Instagram update

5. When it is complete, you should then see Open instead of Update.

6. Tap on Open to relaunch Instagram and see if the issue is resolved.

Fix 4 – Contact Instagram Support

If the issue persists after trying all the fixes so far, then it is possible that an unusual problem has occurred on the Instagram app on your phone.

Maybe there is a backend problem on the app that is causing Instagram servers to zoom videos that you upload from that particular phone even though the video size and resolution are in order.

In that case, you would need to contact Instagram for support on the issue. You can reach Instagram to report the issue using the steps below:

1. Tap on the profile icon at the bottom right of your Instagram app

2. Tap on the Menu icon at the top right of the profile window. It is usually 3 horizontal lines

3. Then select Settings

4. Tap Help, then select Report A Problem

5. Follow the onscreen instructions and make sure you include as much details as possible

In summary, if you find that your Instagram videos are always being zoomed in, the first thing to check is your video dimensions and resolution. Once those are in order, head over to the Instagram app and fix possible bugs. If the problem persists, contact Instagram and report the problem for further assistance.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here