Grids review: An Instagram client for Windows packing serious power

Grids bring the power of your PC to Instagram, and it looks good doing it.

Grids Instagram Lede
(Image: © Sean Endicott/Windows Central)

Smartphone cameras continue to get better, and that's great for people on social media, but if you want to use your PC to upload content, your options are limited. Instagram has an app on Windows 10, but it doesn't support uploading images. In comes Grids, an Instagram client that allows you to upload pictures from your PC.

In addition to being able to upload content from your PC, Grids scales beautifully to different sized windows and brings plenty of features for power users. Grids is an Instagram app for professionals, marketers, social influencers, and power users of Instagram.

What you'll love about Grids

Grids Vs Instagram

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Instagram seems either unable or unwilling to scale its service to larger screens. Both the iPad and Windows 10 versions look like you blew up a phone onto your screen. Instagram on Windows 10 is a progressive web app now, so it gets regularly updated, but it still doesn't look great. The Instagram app (opens in new tab) on Windows 10 has quite a few negative reviews for lacking features. The biggest complaint is that the app cannot currently upload content.

Grids addresses many of the concerns people have with Instagram's own app and looks much better. Grids scales beautifully regardless of its window's size and lays out content in an attractive arrangement. If you don't like the look of edge-to-edge photos, you can switch between three other modes that provide more information, such as the text shared with each image.

In addition to looking good on Windows 10, Grids allows you to post photos and videos directly from your desktop. This means you can take an image from your DSLR or videos from your video camera and pop it up on Instagram. For everyday users, this might not seem like a big deal, but it's great for people who use Instagram for work.

I used to work in marketing, and I had to post a lot of content across social media platforms. Some of the other options to upload content straight from your PC to Instagram are old or clunky. Grids seems smooth and seamless. Many other programs that allow you to post directly from your PC also only allow posting and don't have any of Instagram's other features. Grid supports notifications, likes, comments, following, searching, and exploring. You can also direct message people or view and upload stories.

In the past, I've used another Instagram client called Winsta. Winsta also looks nice and I really love how it incorporates the Fluent Design language into Instagram, but in my experience, uploading felt wonky. Winsta can upload content directly from your PC, but when you upload content it shows you what looks like an error message telling you that you can leave the page and that the app will tell you if the upload works. In comparison, Grids feels more refined, almost like a native client for Instagram. Though, I do recommend checking out Winsta (opens in new tab) as another Instagram alternative.

What you may dislike about Grids

Grids Instagram Review

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

All the features that Grids has come with a price. It's not a lot in the scheme of a professional marketer or influencer, but it is more than Instagram's own app, which is free. If you pay for a year, Grids costs $0.99 per month. If you pay monthly, it'll cost you $2.49 per month. There's no option to buy it outright. I understand that app makers need to make money, and the trend these days is moving towards a subscription model for many apps, but I still like the option to buy my apps outright, even if the price is high.

It could be nitpicking, but Grids has some older UI elements that really bug me, too. It presents Instagram in this beautiful layout of flowing grids and then has a bar across the top, looking like it's from Windows 7. It's not a big deal in terms of functionality, but that part of the interface doesn't look great, in my opinion.

Should you buy Grids?

Grids Rubino

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you're an everyday user of Instagram that mostly shares selfies, photos of sites you visit, and images from your phone, Grids probably isn't for you. It looks great and has excellent features, but I don't it's worth the cost for people who only upload content from their phone.

If you're a professional marketer, influencer, social media manager, or anyone who needs to use Instagram from their PC, then Grids is right up your alley. It lays Instagram out well so you can find content to like and follow, and supports uploading your own photos and videos.

I especially like that it can upload content and feels like an Instagram app. Some other options for uploading content from your PC, such as Gramblr, still require you to have another Instagram app to use all of the platform's features.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

6 Comments
  • This app might be worth checking out if you do this often, but if you only need to occasionally post to Instagram from your computer, then you can already do this for free with just Google Chrome. With just a couple clicks you can use Chrome's developer tools to treat your browser as if it was a mobile browser, which have no posting restrictions. If you Google something like "use chrome to post to Instagram from PC" a number of results give the details. Don't let the phrase "developer tools" scare you -- you press one keyboard button and click one button with your mouse to enable it.
  • Or you could install an extension that turns Instagram.com in a handy mobile-like PWA. Even Winsta (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/winsta-an-instagram-universal-experien...) is a better choice, and its $2.99 price tag is more reasonable. There are probably other services that do the job, but having to pay every month for that is a deal-breaker. I'd rather send the picture to my phone and use the official app.
  • I have Winsta which is now a lot better than the official 'progrssive' official app, at least I can upload from the PC using it. I'm surprised Instagram are allowing this to remain in the store
  • Until Instagram removes it from the Microsoft Store in 3...2....1...
  • This is not from Microsoft Store.
  • It's a Win32 app with an installer, but there's nothing stopping Instagram from pulling it.