How to Make Instagram Story Highlight Covers | Instagram Story Highlights (Part 3 of 4)

How to Make Instagram Highlight Covers - - Instagram Tips and Tricks, instagram stories, instagram stories for business, social media marketing

Question: how many times have you rewritten your Instagram profile text – that little bit of copy that you get on your Instagram profile for your bio? Once a day? Monthly? Weekly? You want to get the wording just right – a well-written bio will let your audience know that they're in the right spot so they don't hesitate to click that follow button. Second question: how much time have you spent perfectly curating your Instagram feed? An embarrassing amount, right? And there's no shame in that game. Putting together a really intentional Instagram profile and feed can make or break your account.  There is a new feature on your Instagram profile that's equally important as these other two features... and you might be completely overlooking it and missing out on a BIG opportunity!

It's right in between the bio and the newsfeed... yes, we're talking about HIGHLIGHTS.

Each highlight category is featured in its own circle running horizontally across the top of your feed; its cover is what you see in the little circle. If you don't select a cover for your highlight, Instagram will automatically pull a still from the most recent story that you've uploaded to that highlight.

This can look messy and unintentional... and we can do better than that. There's a huge opportunity for visual branding here, so let's go over how to actually add a cover to your story.

When you are adding a cover to your highlight, you can do it one of two ways:

  1. One way is to create an image file that you send to your phone. Upload that image to your story and then save it as the cover to the highlight. Easy peasy.
  2. The other way is to create it right within Instagram stories. To do so, you would create a story, save it to your highlight, and make it the cover.

I'm going to walk you through both ways.


  1. If you are accessing an image file from your phone, hit the little camera icon in the upper left-hand corner. When you do so, it's going to take you into your stories feature. 
  2. To access your camera roll, place your finger in the middle of your screen and swipe up. Simply select the image that you want to be the cover from your camera roll and hit plus to add it to your story (covers must first be uploaded as stories). 
  3. Now that it's added, go into your story and tap the little heart that says "highlight" below it in the bottom right corner. When you click on it, you're going to get the choice to either add it to an existing highlight category or start a new highlight category. Take yo' pick.


  1. Hit that upper left-hand corner camera icon. If you want to do a solid color background, click the pencil feature and select a color from the bottom of the screen, and hold your finger in the middle of the screen until the background fills.
  2. Add any text, images, or emojis and hit "done" followed by "add to story".
  3. From here, the steps are the same as going through the camera roll (hit highlights, select the category that you want to add it to or create a new category).
  4. To confirm it worked, go to your profile and ogle the category that you just created.

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Instagram story highlight covers
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  1. Go into the highlight that you want to add the cover to by clicking on it.
  2. When you've reached the story within the highlight you'd like to use as the cover, click the more button from the bottom right-hand corner.
  3. Hit edit highlight. Now, you'll be able to see every story that's been added to that highlight. You can also see at the top it says edit cover.
  4. Click edit cover. When you do so, it will automatically put your first story from your highlight in the center of that circle.
  5. If you want to adjust your cover, now's the time. You can zoom in and make it bigger, zoom out to make it smaller, live it up!
  6. Your highlight now has a cover! Pretty easy, right?

Want to get started making a really cool cover now? Download my free template below:

This is just one post in a series about Instagram story highlights, so if you're just jumping into the Instagram stories series here, be sure to check out the other posts to catch up on any of that you might've missed.

What questions do you have about highlights? Have you added covers to yours yet? Share your Instagram link with me below so I can stalk your stories and give your account some love.


Chris Emmer

Graphic Designer / Branding and Social Media Strategist / Yoga + Meditation Guide / Your New BFF.

West Michigan based, small business + wellness obsessed.