How to Change an Instagram Story Background

Anyone who’s added a photo to an Instagram story knows that the app slides its own gradient underneath, based on the colors in the image. Sometimes this default choice is perfect, exactly what you are looking for. But when it’s not, changing the background can be quite tricky if you haven’t spent a lot of time digging into the various editing tools.

There are actually three ways to change an Instagram story background, and they’re easy to manage once you know the right buttons to press.

How to Change the Background Color of an Instagram Story

Once you’ve opened a draft Story, take a photo of anything or add a photo from your camera roll, whichever is easier and matches your aesthetic plans. It doesn’t matter what you do, because this image is just a placeholder that will soon disappear. Just, uh, don’t use a photo of something you wouldn’t want people to see – mistakes happen.

The only time that first photo won’t disappear is when you share someone else’s Story post that you were tagged in. Do that, and Instagram will keep it top and visible after changing the background.

[Related: 8 creative ways to add flair to your Instagram stories]

With an image in place, iOS users should press the three points in the upper right corner of the screen, then To design. On Android, tap the drawing icon (a curvy line). Then, on either operating system, choose the pen tip icon (leftmost). Then choose a color from the options at the bottom of the screen (swipe left to see more) or tap the pipette icon to choose a color from your draft image. Finally, press and hold anywhere on the screen for about two seconds to fill it with your selected solid color. Faucet Ended at the top right to lock it.

To add a photo at the top, tap the sticker icon (a square smiley) and scroll to find the camera roll sticker. On iOS it’s a circular preview of your most recent photo overlaid on what looks like two mountains in a frame, and on Android it’s two rectangles with a plus sign. Tap it to open your Camera Roll, then select the image you want to drop onto your background.

There is also a shortcut for iOS users: open your Camera Roll, copy the desired image (share icon > Copy photo), and return to your draft Story. Your copied photo will appear for a few seconds in the bottom left and you can add it to your story from there. If you don’t see it, you’ll have to use the sticker icon steps we just talked about.

How to create a translucent background

If you want to put a translucent tint on a photo, follow all the steps above, but choose the highlighter icon instead of the tip of the pen. Press and hold a second time to make the color more opaque, or press and hold a third time to make it solid. You can always add a photo at the top if you want.

How to Use a Custom Instagram Story Background

If you can get an image on your camera roll, you can make it a Story background. With your custom background saved among your selfies and screenshots, add it to your story just like you would any other photo. If necessary, use two fingers to shrink it, expand it, and rotate it as you see fit. Then press the sticker icon and find the camera roll sticker (a preview of your most recent photo with two mountains in a frame above). Tap on it and choose the image you want.

How to Create an Instagram Story Background with the Create Tool

Instagram offers a number of backgrounds and templates in its creator tool, though you’re limited to what the app has in its library. To check this, start a draft Story and make sure your camera is on, as if you were going to take a photo for your Story. Then press the Aa icon.

This will bring up a multicolored field with circular icons at the bottom that you can scroll through. Most of them have a few preset backgrounds for you. Tap the colored circle in the lower right corner to cycle through them. Once you press the big button in the center to lock it, this colored circle can move to the top of the screen for any other settings you want to make. If it disappears, you have chosen one of the less flexible options and you will have to press the back buttonthen To throw to choose another background.

When you are ready, press the sticker iconfind it camera roll stickerchoose your photo and let your creativity run wild.

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