How to Change the Background Color on Your Instagram Story

Change Instagram Story Featured

There are many ways to customize your stories on Instagram, including changing the background. While it may not be super straightforward to do so, this post shows how to change the background color on an Instagram story when you’re not satisfied with the default.

Good to know: if you’re seeing the “Couldn’t refresh feed” error on Instagram, check out our post to learn how to bypass it.

How to Change Your Instagram Story’s Background to a Solid Color

Instagram usually generates an automatic background when you upload or snap an image for the purpose of sharing it as a story. If the image is in portrait mode, resizing the image using the pinch-to-zoom gesture will make the background visible. The backdrop is based on colors derived from the image you’re using for your story, but if you don’t like the default option, it’s possible to change it.

Once you’ve added the image (it can be any image), tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, and select Draw.

Tapping on Draw option in the Instagram story creation screen.

Press on the pen-shaped icon if it’s not selected. (It should be the first icon at the top.) Choose your preferred background color from the options at the bottom.

Long-press in the center of the screen, turning it the color you previously selected. Note that the image you’ve added has gone missing. You’ll need to re-add the image by pressing Done.

Selecting a new background color for Instagram story.

Back on the main story editing screen, press the Sticker icon at the top.

Tapping on Sticker button in Instagram app.

Press on the image icon.

Selecting image-shaped icon from Instagram Stickers.

Select the image you want to showcase in your story, and it will be added to the custom background. It’s possible to enlarge, shrink, or tilt it according to your preferences.

Adding image against solid color backdrop for Instagram story.

Tapping on the image will change the shape of the image into a circle, heart, etc. Using the same method, you can add another image, effectively making a collage.

Instagram Story with two images against solid color backdrop.

Naturally, you can add additional effects to your story, such as text or extra stickers. Effects, however, don’t appear to be working with this method.

Tip: check out our list of the best Instagram filters to find something new to experiment with on the social app.

How to Change Your Instagram Story’s Background to an Image

Using the same method demonstrated above, you can also change your story’s background to an image.

First, add the image you wish to use as a background, and make sure it fills the entire screen. If it doesn’t, you may need to zoom in using your fingers. Tap on the Sticker button once again, select the image option, and add the second image. You can resize the second image as desired.

Creating Instagram story with a photo as background.

You can use effects in this method, but keep in mind that they will only be applied to the image you’re using as the background.

Adding effect over picture as background of Instagram story.

FYI: new to Instagram? Learn what an Instagram handle is.

How to Change Your Instagram Story’s Background to Gradient Color

If you’d prefer to have a gradient background for your story, you can, with one condition: your story can’t include an image or a video.

On your Instagram feed, press on the + button at the bottom. Switch to Story, and press Aa in the left side menu.

Tapping on AA on the left in Instagram Story creation screen.

Tap on the bubble in the lower-right corner to change the background of your story, then add text to your story, such as asking for book recommendations or wishing someone a happy birthday.

Adding text on Instagram story with gradient background.

There’s also an option to add a GIF, but the gradient background won’t be visible in such a case. However, you can turn the GIF into your background and add another image via Stickers to complete your story.

Instagram Story with a GIF as background.

Changing Your Instagram Story’s Background with a Third-Party App

If the methods described above sound too complicated, create your story using a third-party app like InShot (Android | iOS), then post it on Instagram.

Open the app, and press Photo or Video.

Main screen view in InShot app.

Select the photo or clip to upload it. Resize the image so that the background (white by default) becomes visible. Arrange the photo’s position, and tap Background from the bottom menu.

Tapping on "Background" option in Inshot app.

Select a background for your story, such as a solid color, gradient, pattern, texture, or blurred version of the image you’ve just added.

Selecting a new background for image in Inshot app.

Tip: tired of seeing content you don’t like in your feed? Learn how to mute someone on Instagram.

Adding More Whoomph to Your Stories

Stories are a super popular way to interact with others on Instagram, so if you want to attract more followers, aim to make them as entertaining as possible. Case in point: it may help to know how to add music to Instagram stories. Curious how to see who shared your Instagram stories, posts and more? Read on.

Image credit: Unsplash All screenshots by Alexandra Arici

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Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici - Staff Writer

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.