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Enlarge the profile picture of an Instagram account

On Instagram you can normally click on the photos of a profile, which automatically makes the photos larger. Unfortunately, this does not work with the profile picture. And the profile picture can be interesting, for example to verify that you are investigating the correct account. We explain how you can still enlarge the profile photo on Instagram.

If you come across a profile on Instagram in your OSINT investigation, you want to be able to check whether you are investigating the correct profile. With “public” accounts, this is often not that difficult, because you can see and click on all photos and videos of the user. But if an Instagram user has set his or her profile to “Private”, the photos and videos of this user are protected for you. This means that you only have the Instagram profile picture, which unfortunately is often shown very small. We explain how you can enlarge this picture so that you can view the profile picture better.


How to enlarge the profile picture of an Instagram account in five steps

To enlarge the profile picture of an account on Instagram, you must go through the following steps:

STEP 1: navigate to your target account For our example we used the Instagram account of Aware Online. Click here to go to this account. As you can see, our Instagram account is set to “public”.

STEP 2: right-click on the page and then click on ‘View page source’. Make sure that you are not on a link or image with the mouse. Click here for an example.

STEP 3: search in the page source with the find function (CTRL + F) for “profilepage_” and copy the number that you find behind it. Click here for an example.

STEP 4: navigate to the following link https://i.instagram.com/api/v1/users/id/info/ and replace ‘ID’ with the ID you just copied. Click here for an example in Google Chrome. In Mozilla Firefox you get to see the results a lot better (in JSON format).

STEP 5: copy the URL of the image with the largest dimensions and paste it in a new tab. In our case we used the following URL:https://scontent-ams3-1.cdninstagram.com/vp/41faee5e6b37370ce8a8a723aed23c1e/5CE64ED8/t51.2885-19/17495059_201405210346972_153239442369282048_n.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-ams3-1.cdninstagram.com

THAT’S IT: You have now enlarged the profile picture of an Instagram user. Click here for an example of the result.

Additional explanation

The way profile photos can be enlarged on Instagram changes every now and then because Instagram regularly adjusts its API. For example, until recently it was possible to remove only the part ‘s320x320’ from the URL, replace ‘s320x320’ with ‘s1080x1080’ and remove ‘/vp/’ from the URL. So it may be that the above method will no longer work at a given moment. Does this method no longer work? Let us know!

More information

Do you want to know more about how you can search specifically on Instagram? Do you have any comments to this article? Please let us know! Also view our Instagram tools, register for an OSINT training or read how you can view private Instagram accounts in some cases.