How to Add Geotags to Your Instagram Photos [UPDATE]

Add location tags to your Instagram photos

We know the whole point of Instagram is to be instant. But things don’t always work out that way: maybe you were too “in the moment” to post that picture at the time, didn’t feel like alerting every one of your followers that you’re not at home for two weeks, or would really like your #throwbackThursday post to appear on your Photo Map.

If you’d like to create custom locations (like your website or other text), check out my post on custom locations for the different types of locations and how to create them.

Don’t worry—you can still get that pin on your map even if you’re not currently at your location. All it takes is a few extra steps.

Before we begin

I’m working from an iPhone 5, but these instructions should work with an Android or any other smartphone that has a camera and two apps: Instagram and Koredoko (I’ve seen others use Pixelgarde, too). Unfortunately, if you’ve already posted your picture, you’ll have to delete the photo and start over—there’s no way to tag a location on your photo after it’s been posted.

Your Location settings for Instagram must be turned off (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram > OFF). Otherwise, you’ll just add the location you’re in now, not the one associated with the picture.  Instagram’s newest update means you don’t have to do this any more. Check out my post here for details

It’s also a wise idea to turn your Location settings for your camera on (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera > ON). This way, your photos will automatically grab the coordinates of your location, which will come in handy later.

Add Your Coordinates

The first app you’ll use is Koredoko, which shows you the latitude & longitude of where a photo was taken. If your picture doesn’t have geotags in it already, you’ll use Koredoko to add it. There’s a wonderful guide to using Koredoko here.

When you open Koredoko, use the photo icons in the bottom left-hand corner to full up a list of the photos in your gallery. Choose the one you like. If you took the picture with the camera location on, latitude and longitude coordinates should automatically appear, and your photo will appear in the correct place on the map.

If there are no coordinates, you will see “N/A.” This means you’ll have to add the coordinates in yourself. To add coordinates, you’ll need to drag and drop your photo onto the correct latitude and longitude on a map. Don’t know the coordinates? Find them here.

Geotagging pictures with Koredoko

Once you have an approximate set of coordinates, locate them on the Koredoko map and then just drag-and-drop your picture there. Unfortunately, there’s no search function in Koredoko, so you might have to do a lot of dragging and dropping until you get to your approximate location. It may be helpful to cross-reference the location in Google Maps.

After you’ve positioned the photo right where you want it, touch the blue arrow in the grey box with your picture and the coordinates. This will take you to the “Detail” page, which shows you the file type, size, pixel height, camera or phone model, etc.

To save your picture, touch the button with the arrow in the top right-hand corner. Choose “Save with Metadata,” and a new photo will appear in your library. This is the one you’ll use in Instagram, because it has the coordinates embedded in it.

Find Your Location

In Instagram, crop and filter the photo with the geotag metadata however you like, including caption and hashtags.

In the “Share Photo” screen, make sure the “Add to your Photo Map” is switched ON. If you just use this, your photo will show up on your map.

If you’d like to include the location, go into the “Name this location” bar. There, Instagram will use the metadata from your phone to find nearby locations. If you see the one you want, select it. Your picture will not only show up on your Photo Map, but will also be grouped in with other pictures taken from this location. If you can’t find your location, type it in the Search bar. It may pop up there.

Geotag on Instagram

And after you hit share, you’ll see that the photo is tagged with a location and it shows up on your map, just like in the picture below.


Adding IG location tags

UPDATE 10/25/13: Pixelgarde’s latest iOS7 update has rendered it sort of unusable. Stick with Koredoko until Pixelgarde’s glitches get updated. 

UPDATE 5/5/14: A VSCO Cam update lets you disable location data when importing and exporting pictures to and from VSCO Cam. To disable or enable it, go to Settings > Privacy > Share location data when exporting.

I’ve recently had trouble with Koredoko. Images will not save to my Camera gallery with location data on it. To get around that, I emailed the photo with location data to myself, and then saved the picture to the Camera gallery. This time, the location data showed up, and I didn’t have any trouble using the Location feature in Instagram. Hope this helps anyone who’s had this problem! 

UPDATE 8/18/15: Instagram’s newest upgrade means this process will be slightly different. Check out this post for details

Has this worked for you? Let me know in the comments! 

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72 comments

  1. Extra good news: I don’t know if it came with the August update you wrote about, but you can now geo-tag photos after you posted them (definitely as of early September, which is when I began doing it). You do need to have your locations on in your phone. I have tried this on the Android version, and it works fine.

    1. Hey, Jack! This is a combination of a few updates: the 8.1.0 update allowed you to add a location after you posted a picture. And the newest update allows you to search by location, which brings us to your comment! Glad to hear it’s working great for Android users.

  2. Hi! My photo has the correct coordinates and all of my privacy settings are set to public. When I create a custom location on Instagram and add my photo the location is grey not blue. I have followed all the suggestions about adding it to foursquare as well. Any help is appreciated! Thanks.

    1. Sorry to hear that, Lindsay! One issue is that Instagram no longer sues Foursquare–they use Facebook maps now since FB bought them. So make sure your custom setting is in FB, or else it will likely never be blue. Good luck!

  3. Charlotte, I’ve had the same problem. The little icon has never turned on for me though I have geotagged photos for years and seemingly have all the right settings on. I’ve contacted Instagram but never heard back. I’ve kept an eye on this thread since I commented about the problem a year ago and this is the first time I’ve seen someone else with the problem. If you find a solution, please report back here or find me at @itscarolineduke on IG.

    A portion of my original comment follows, but it pretty much says what I stated above:

    “i am able to click the little geotag icon for all my friends, but when i look at my own profile (itscarolineduke), i am not able to view my own. i have geotags set for most of my photos and always add to photo map. i’ve tried deleting and re-installing the app and have checked all my privacy settings, to no avail.”

    Thanks again to anyone who might have any suggestions or ideas!

  4. I can not seem to find a way to activate my geotaggin. All things are turned on the way they should be, but in Instagram nothing happens when I press the geotaggin sign – it’s inactive in some way. I can stille find a nearby location when i post a photo, but I can not create a new one myself – it simply doesn’t show the location of the place i CREATE MYSELF.. WHAT TO DO??

  5. Instagram on Iphone 5 only worked for fake geotag, I have tried on my iphone 5s and 6 it werent working. For example I live in Kuala Lumpur and i wanted to geotag the photos at Auckland, it showed suggestion like Auckland and at bottom it has kuala lumpur which is if someone click the location will be in KL. But in iphone 5, if search Auckland and choose the location Auckland, New Zealand without have any location at the bottom it will be in actual place which is in Auckland.

  6. i have location off on instagram and it is still putting a map w my exact location when i want to creat a fake location name :( can you help?

    1. Yanin, if the location is off for Instagram but it’s still putting in your location, the location data could be on the picture itself. Make sure the geotags on the picture are different.

      If that doesn’t work, double check that the location settings are off for Instagram. That’s the only other way your current location could show up.

  7. Hey guys! Sorry I that I couldn’t follow all the updates. Is it still possible to geotag the picture in order to simulate another location on Instagram or not? Cheers, Julian

  8. I really appreciate it that you shared your knowledge. However, may I ask for another request. How do I geotag videos? ☺️

  9. Hi there!

    Thanks for your article, I’ve been fairly peeved as a lot of my images for Instagram were taken some time ago and I too enjoyed the Photo Map aspect of it…until it stopped working!

    I’ve followed your steps above, using Koredoko however I can’t seem to drag the photo to the map :-( I’m using a Samsung Galaxy S4.

    Any tips?

    1. Hi, Scott! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I’m not sure how an Android app would be different from the iOS app, so you should just be able to put your finger on the rectangle that has the picture in it and drag it around to where you need it to go.

      If you’re having trouble with it, you might want to try another location app, like Mappr. Good luck!

  10. Thanks ablot for sharing this, very handy for when I travel, I hated Instagram putting photos in the wrong location but with these changes I should be sorted.

  11. Hi Fatemah,

    big thank you. It worked for me (iOS 8.2) iPhone 5s with:

    -Insta Location Settings Disabled
    -new geotag via Koredoko
    – AND “Send Pic with MetaData via E-Mail.

    The last step was crucial for iOS to store/ or recognize the GeoData from Koredoko.

    One Tip form me: Check in your iOS camera roll if the location is recognized BEFORE setting everything in Instagram. ‘Cause you will need to redo everything if the location is no shown at the end of the editing process in instagram.

    You can tell if the the location you selceted in Koredoko is corecct because will be shown on top of the picture (in your camera roll).

    cheers, sebastian

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  13. Thank you so much for writing this article! I’ve been trying to find methods on how to post photos on Instagram with the geotag feature when you aren’t actually at that location because I often times take photos on my Canon and then upload them once I get home and tweak them. So through days of research, I ended up with watching tutorials made by 12 year olds on how to jailbreak my IPod Touch just to get this “Location-Spoofing” app. I was about to Jailbreak my IPod just an hour ago until I ran upon this article that has literally saved me so much time and gas money to drive all the way back to the location just to post an Instagram photo with the geotag. I can’t recall how many times I’ve been on trips with family or friends and having to say “WAIT! Let me tag the location in my Instagram picture before we leave!” or even being in the mountains with no service or internet to have access to post them at that time! But as you can see, this article has definitely saved me… so again, thank you!

    1. Joey, SO GLAD to hear I saved you from a jailbreak! I know a lot of people who are pretty cavalier about it, but a jailbreak totally freaks me out. Thanks for posting your comment!

  14. You rock! Now I won’t have to do crunch time and stay on the location when photo mapping pics in my instagram. I just hope we could do the same with videos.

  15. How can I add location to a screenshot? Please can you get back to me ASAP. Also, I’ve had great help from your blog. Many thanks

  16. Hi fatemeh! I’ve ran into a bit of a problem. When I went into location services settings and turned off Instagram, I can no longer add blue text to my photo SO I can press on it to view more photos.

  17. fatemeh,

    this is a great tutorial, and i’m so glad to stumble across it! i do have a question: has anyone figured out yet why some photo maps aren’t available?

    i am able to click the little geotag icon for all my friends, but when i look at my own profile (itscarolineduke), i am not able to view my own. i have geotags set for most of my photos and always add to photo map. i’ve tried deleting and re-installing the app and have checked all my privacy settings, to no avail.

    any tips? thank you!

    1. Sorry to hear that, Caroline! That’s pretty crazy. I’m not sure why your own photo map wouldn’t show up. If you’re sure you’re adding geotags and checking the “Add to Photo Map” tab, try reporting the problem to Instagram. Use the little gear in the top left of your profile and under “Support” there’s a “report a Problem” option. I hope IG can help you!

  18. ive tried all the steps but still didnt work. im also sent to my mail and save it to my camera roll. still didnt work.

  19. I’ve taken a picture without any location metadata, and I’m trying to add the data with Koredoko. It gives me the “N/A” you show, but I can’t seem to drag it anywhere on the map. I’ve used this app and your method before, and it worked just fine. Help?

    1. Sorry to hear that, Matthew! The only reason I can think of why it might not let you drag the picture anywhere is if you’re tapping the wrong part of the app. It sounds weird, but it’s true: if you try to drag the image itself in the rectangular box, it won’t move. But if you hold the picture on the grey box (where you’ll see the date and the latitude & longtitude information), then the box lightens and you’ll be able to drag it.

      I hope that helps the issue. Please keep me updated!

  20. I tried everything as it says on the post, but it doesn’t let me add the location. I just get en error saying “this feature requires location authorization” and that i have to turn on the location for instagram. What to do??

    1. Dinnnn, I had the same problem yesterday.

      Instead of just saving the picture with metadata, try emailing it with the metadata and saving it to your camera roll instead. This worked for me. Good luck!

  21. Hi,

    I’m going on vacation and plan on taking photos with my Olympus TG-830 Camera (automatic geotagging). I want to edit and post the photos on Instagram I when I return. When I select “Find Location”, will Instagram not be able to locate where this photo was taken and only search for locations “nearby?” I essentially want people to see the location (in Blue) and be able to click on it and see where I went. Please help.

    Thanks,
    Kevin.

    1. Hi, Kevin!

      The way it works for my iPhone 5 is that I go into Settings > Location Services > Instagram > Off. This stops Instagram from finding locations “nearby” and forces the app to rely on the geotags in the photo itself, so when you click on the location finder, locations from the geotags will pop up. If that doesn’t work, double check that you have geotags in the picture using Koredoko, Pixelgarde, or Mappr apps. Good luck and enjoy your vacation!

  22. if i didn’t have data on/location on when i took the picture while on a trip, does koredoko let me manually add that location? and then it saves so when i post to instagram it shows up?

  23. I’ve been having the same problem as the person above – when I go to post it with Instagram location disabled (but all other location services enabled), it won’t let me search for nearby locations. Do you know if an updated version of Instagram made this fix unusable?

    1. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble, Eli. I have the latest version of Instagram for iOS7, and I haven’t had any trouble finding locations in Instagram for photos with automatic or manually-added location metadata.

      Are you on iOS7 or another smart phone?

  24. Hi Fatemeh, since I turned off the location settings of Instagram, now I couldn’t find nearby locations. When I created a new location, it wouldn’t appear on the map. Have you ever encountered this problem? I don’t know what’s wrong :(

    1. Hi, Clarissa! Are the location settings for your camera turned on? If they’re not, you’re not getting geotags on your pictures, which means that Instagram won’t be able to find the location when you upload a picture. I hope that solves the problem!

  25. Thank you for your post, it is great for photos, but i can not use it for videos, is there any way to use “fake” location for video? Koredoko and Mappr do not support video, so I tried Pixelgarde which lets you set up new geotag for your video, but it doesnt work when posting on instagram. Any idea? Thank you

    1. Thanks for your comment, Peter! Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out a way to use video locations after the fact, either. It seems you just have to physically be in the location (and have Instagram’s Location feature turned on) in order to tag your videos with location.

      If anyone else knows about hacking Instagram video locations, please share!

  26. Amazing! I’ve been a pretty sad bunny when I’ve been away on holiday and not been able to use location data, so I can show off on my Instagram photo map!

  27. Hi Fatemah –

    I’ve been trying to find a simple tutorial like this for months now!
    I’m a bit of an OCD freak when it comes to my Photo Map.
    Thank you for taking the time to post this.

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