How to Export High Quality Instagram Videos in Premiere Pro

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to export Instagram videos in Adobe Premiere Pro.

+ I will show you the best export settings to get the highest possible quality.

Let’s go viral!

How to Export Instagram Videos in Premiere Pro

Click here to skip directly to the best export settings.

I will first show you how to set the correct sequence settings, i.e., aspect ratio and frame rate.

Set the Correct Sequence Settings

To do this, add your clips to the sequence if you haven’t already.

Next, click on Sequence > Sequence Settings; In the window that pops up, do the following:

  • Set Timebase to 30 frames/second.
    • This is what Instagram uses.
  • Set Frame Size to 1080 horizontal and 1920 vertical.
    • The aspect ratio should now be 9:16, which is vertical (standing phone).
  • Click on the blue OK button.
    • And confirm the popup message afterward.

Make Clips Fit the Vertical Frame

If your clips are shot in a regular horizontal aspect ratio or another resolution than 1080 x 1920, it won’t fit the resolution of the sequence/frame size.

To fix this, start by selecting the clip(s), and open the Effects Controls window.

If you can’t see the Effects Controls, click on Window (in the top left-hand corner), and enable “Effects Controls.”

Next, under Motion, adjust the Position and Scale parameters, like in the GIF illustration below:

Alternatively, you can open the Effects tab (Window > Effect if you can’t see it) and search for “Auto Reframe.”

Then, drag & drop the Auto Reframe on the clips in the sequence.

Auto Reframe will automatically adjust the video to the vertical frame and position it how it sees best (you might disagree with the automatic position).

Mark the Sequence In and Out

Alright! Before getting to the export settings, mark the sequence in and out.

  • Position the playhead and press the keyboard shortcuts I and O.

The In and Out points will tell Premiere Pro where the video starts (In point) and ends (Out point).

BONUS TIP: Instagram stories are 15 seconds; longer stories/videos than that will be divided into multiple clips within the story.

Best Export Settings for Instagram in Premiere Pro (High Quality)

Finally! Here’s the fun part! 

Now you’ll learn how to maximize the video quality for Instagram.

I’ve done tons of testing to figure this out.

First step: Open the Export tab inside Premiere Pro.

What Format to Export for Instagram in Premiere Pro?

The recommended format for Instagram videos in Premiere Pro is H.264.

This is what most people recommend and use for their videos.

BUT, after doing a bunch of testing and uploading nearly 20 different export settings, I found that HEVC H.265 is getting better quality once uploaded and compressed by Instagram!


If you are reading this blog, you are now one of the few aware of this hidden ingredient! You’re welcome 🙂

How to Set Correct Resolution and Frame Rate

Do this next:

  • Set the Location to where you’ll find the video once exported.
  • Set the Format against HEVC (H.265).
  • Under Video:
    • Click on Match Source.
      • This will match the frame rate to the sequence.
    • Enable Render at Maximum Depth & Use Maximum Render Quality.

Best Bitrate for Instagram

Scroll further down, locate the Bitrate Settings, and set:

  • Bitrate Encoding against CBR.
  • Target Bitrate to 10.
  • Quality against Highest (slowest).

Instagram will compress your video to about 4.5 Mbps no matter what you do.

The most important thing is that you don’t export the video in a lower quality than it was originally. Thus, using 10 Mbps for a 1080 x 1920 H.265 video gives us some slack.

Once you’ve done everything described above, it’s time to export!

Under your video preview, make sure the Range is set to Source In/Out. By doing this, you are only exporting what’s between the in and outpoints in the sequence.

Next, click on Export.

Please, read the next part for MAX QUALITY:

Uploading Video to Instagram

You can upload your video to Instagram by either visiting their website, or you can do it from within the App (probably best).

It may be a bit tricky to upload stories from the desktop version.

To send the video to your phone: you can upload it to a cloud storage service such as iCloud (macOS), Google Drive (I use this one), or Dropbox. Next, open the cloud storage service’s application on your phone, and download the video from within it.

Check Off THIS Option For Better Quality

If you are uploading the video using the mobile application, there is one important setting you need to be aware of for high quality uploads.

Inside the mobile application:

  1. Visit your profile.
  2. Click on the three lines in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Click on Settings > Account > Cellular data usage.
  4. Enable the Upload at highest quality.

Here’s a GIF illustration of what that looks like:

Check out this article to learn how to export high-quality videos to any social media platform.

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