How to Add Instagram Highlight Covers (Quick Guide)

Megan O'Neill


You can easily create vertical videos for Instagram Stories for free in Animoto. Get started with one of our many templates or start from scratch.

To help you be successful with your Instagram Story endeavors, we’re answering some of the most common questions about what you can do with your videos once you’ve got them created and shared on Instagram, starting with how to add Instagram Story Highlights and Highlight covers.

What are Instagram Story Highlights?

Instagram Story Highlights are the little circles with thumbnail images that display on your Instagram profile. They feature Instagram Stories that you’ve elected to save and share on an evergreen basis. In this image of our Instagram profile, our Highlights are the little icons that say "Features," "Community," "Quizzes," etc.


In this article, we’ll show you:

How to save Instagram Stories as Highlights

Before you can add a cover for your Instagram Stories, you’ll need to create a Highlight. There are two ways to do this: you can add a Story that is currently live as a Highlight or choose old Stories to share as Highlights.

How to save current Instagram Stories

If you have an Instagram Story that’s live (posted within the last 24 hours), you can easily save it as a Highlight by tapping the “Highlight” icon in the lower right-hand corner of the story itself, next to “More.” This’ll open a window where you can tap either to create a new Highlight or to save your Story to an existing Highlight collection.


How to find and save old Instagram Stories

You can also save old Stories as Highlights too, as long as they’re archived! Under Settings in Instagram, tap on Privacy, then Story to access your Story Controls. Turn “Save to Archive” on to save all of your Stories for easy access, even after the 24 hour window has closed.


To add archived Story photos and video clips as Highlights, head over to your main Instagram profile. Under your bio, you’ll see a section called "Story Highlights." From here, you can tap the + sign to add a new Highlight.

When you tap, it’ll open up an archive of all of your old Stories. Just tap to select the ones you’d like to add to your Highlight and then tap "Next." Add a title and cover for your new highlight (we’ll share more details on that in the next section).


If you’ve already created a Highlight and want to add new Stories to it, tap on the existing Highlight icon. This’ll open up the Highlight and you can tap "More" in the lower right corner and then "Edit Highlight" to open up a window where you can either tap to remove existing Story clips from your Highlight or select new Stories from your Archive to add to your Highlight.

How to delete Instagram Story Highlights

If you want to remove a highlight, just tap to deselect all the Story photos and video clips from it. Once all have been removed, your Highlight will no longer exist.

How to add Instagram Story Highlight Covers

Once you’ve got some Highlights added, you’ll probably want to add some nice Highlight covers or thumbnails so they look great at the top of your profile. You may have noticed that when we saved our Stories in the previous step there was an option to "Edit Cover." We’ll dive into that more in this section.

Whether you’re adding a cover at the same time as you’re adding the Highlight or adding or editing it later on, the steps will be the same. Tapping "Edit Cover" will open a window where you can select a cover image.


You have two options for adding a cover:

  1. Use the first frame of any of the clips in your Story Highlights as a cover. Hold and drag to adjust the framing.
  2. Upload an image from your camera roll by clicking on the photo icon (circled in red above). Again, click and drag to position your image within the round frame.

Instagram Story Highlight Dimensions

You can really use any size image, since you can crop it when you add it as a cover. However, because the cover displays in a circle it’s best to create a square image if you’re creating something from scratch. Keep in mind that anything in the corners will be cropped out, so try to center the part of the image you’d like to be displayed.

Looking for a specific dimension? Try 1080 x 1080 for clear resolution.

How to share other people’s Instagram Stories

Looking to share someone else’s Instagram Story? Currently this is only possible if they’ve tagged you specifically in their story. When you’re tagged, you’ll receive a Direct Message letting you know. From the message, you can share it to your own Story, but only for the 24 hours it’s live.

Sharing other people’s Instagram posts to Stories

While you can’t directly share someone’s Story if you aren’t tagged in it, you can share another person’s Instagram post to your Story. To do this, just tap the sharing icon on the post and select “Add post to your story.” The post will be displayed in your Story as an image and viewers can tap through to visit the original post.


And there you have it! Looking for a little more inspiration? Check out our other Instagram Story posts:

Vertical video is useful for Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, TikTok and more. Check out our guide to vertical video for tips, tricks, and techniques. It’s easy--and free--to get started with Animoto. Check out our selection of templates, add your photos and video clips, update the messaging to fit your story, choose a song from our vast library of commercially-licensed music, and create your next vertical video today.

We also have a free iOS app designed for Instagram Story creation, Animoto: Social Video Editor.

You can also follow us on Instagram for more Story inspo. Happy Instagramming!