Here’s How To Edit An Instagram Post After It’s Live

Swipe for a surprise.

A woman edits an Instagram post after it's live. Here's how to delete an image from an Instagram car...
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Since Instagram rolled out its carousel feature in 2017, our use of the feature has transformed from the post-vacation slideshow that you share with friends to a fully curated mini-gallery. With photo dumps maintaining their relevance on our feeds since 2020, many people might have started to rethink some of our early carousel collections. “Why did I include a picture of my dog after a mirror selfie?” some might be asking themselves in retrospect. Or, for those on the dadaist wave of totally miscellaneous photo dumps, “Why didn’t I include a picture of my dog after that mirror selfie?” If you’ve found yourself wishing you could make some cuts to your curations, you may be glad to know that Instagram now allows users to edit carousels after posting them.

The arrival of the new carousel editing feature may have swiped right past your attention, given more highly publicized updates like the new Take A Break setting. Nonetheless, the feature gives us yet another opportunity to polish our old posts, much like features like Archive and caption-editing have done.

There could be myriad reasons why some of your old carousel photos were better left on the cutting room floor. Maybe you don’t want to lose those cute group photos from your friend’s wedding last year, but “for better and for worse” didn’t apply to that picture of you and your date. Or, it could be something as innocuous as realizing, “You know what? I probably didn’t need three different sunset pictures in my summer photo dump.” Whatever your reason, if you’re ready to delete your darlings, you can now play God with your grid.

How To Edit Photos In Carousels After Posting Them

If you’d like to delete a photo from a previously-posted Instagram slideshow, head to your profile and open up the post. Just as you would with retroactively editing a caption or tags, you’ll click on the three horizontal dots on the top right of the post. Click, “Edit,” and then swipe to whichever photo you want to delete.

At the top left-hand corner of each picture will be a small trash can icon. When you get to the photo of your choosing, click this trash can. You’ll be prompted with a message asking whether you want to delete this photo, explaining that if you change your mind, you’ll be able to restore the picture for the next 30 days by going to “Settings > Account > Recently Deleted.” If you’re sure you’d like to remove the photo, click “Delete.”

Other Ways To Edit An Instagram Post That’s Live

Along with editing your selection of photos, you can also retroactively edit a post’s caption, who is tagged in the photo, and the post’s alt text.

To edit the caption, head to the same three dots above your post, click “Edit,” and then click on your caption. You can delete, add, or completely change whatever text you’ve included here. When someone opens the comments section on this post, they will be able to see an “Edited” disclaimer underneath your revised caption.

To edit who’s tagged in the photo, go back to the three dots and “Edit,” and tap the person icon. If you haven’t yet tagged anyone in the post, it will say, “Tag people.” Once you tap this, you can swipe through each photo and tap on wherever you’d like to tag a user. They will be notified that you have tagged them in this post.

If you have already tagged accounts in the post, the person icon will specify the number of people tagged next to it. Click this, and swipe through the preexisting tags. To remove a tag, click the “X” next to the username.

If you are hoping to make your content more accessible for people who use screen readers, you might be wanting to add alt text to your previous posts or edit preexisting alt text. To do this, click the three dots, click “Edit,” and tap “Edit alt text.” Your screen will present you with a list of each photo in your carousel, where you can write a brief visual description of the image.

Why Can’t I Delete A Photo From My Instagram Carousel?

If you don’t see trash cans above your carousel pictures while editing the posts, this could mean that you are unable to edit the carousel photos. Since this is a new feature, this likely means that you are in need of an update. Head to the App Store or Google Play Store, search for Instagram, and see if there is an option to update the app. You can do the same thing with your phone’s software in your Settings.