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  • Writer's pictureFrank Udavcak | X3 CEO

How To Make Instagram Highlight Icons

Updated: May 14

Instagram story highlights are a great way to showcase your best Instagram stories on your profile page. Using your Instagram story highlights, you can divide your archived stories into different categories, while having the flexibility to choose which stories you would like to display for profile visitors to see.

With the introduction of IG story highlights, your Instagram stories can be viewed after 24 hours of being posted. But, what’s neat is that you have the ability to create Instagram story highlight covers to spice up your profile.

In this post, I will be giving you an in-depth guide on how to properly use Instagram story highlights and a tutorial on how to create free Instagram highlight covers to attract more visitors to your IG feed!

Instagram Highlight Cover Dimensions and Size

The proper sizing of an Instagram highlight cover will have square dimensions. I recommend using the dimensions 2000 x 2000 pixels and an aspect ratio of 1:1. This is similar to the Instagram profile picture size and uploads very similarly as well.

For Instagram stories, you will need to upload a story before you can include it into your highlights. However, you can choose to upload an Instagram highlight cover. This will give you the flexibility to create a customized IG highlight cover outside of Instagram’s platform.

How to Make Instagram Highlight Covers

An Instagram highlight cover is pretty simple to make and you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer in order to create nice Instagram highlight covers for your profile.

You can use a free application like Snappa to make an Instagram highlight cover in under 5 minutes.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do is create a graphic with the best dimensions for an Instagram cover highlight. Create a custom graphic with the dimensions 2000 x 2000 pixels.

Step 2: Once you have your new graphic open, you can navigate to the backgrounds tab and from here you can customize the background of your IG story cover. In this case, I changed the color of the background using the color picker.

Step 3: Once you’ve figured out the background of your highlight cover, you can add an Instagram story highlight icon. In Snappa, there’s a massive library of royalty free icons and free stock photos you can choose from and these icons can all be used for your Instagram story covers.

Step 4: Once you’re done, you can go ahead and download your Instagram highlight cover for free by navigating to the download button located on the top right of the screen. You can choose which file format to download the highlight cover in and from there you can upload it into Instagram.

How to Edit Instagram Highlight Covers

Editing and adding an Instagram highlight cover is fairly easy and Instagram makes it easy to change your icon cover as well. In order to do this, you will want to navigate to your Instagram story highlight and click on the bottom right of the story.

You should have a few options related to your Instagram story highlights, but you’ll want to “Edit Highlight”

From here you’ll have the option to add or remove stories from your Instagram highlights. But, you’ll also have the opportunity to edit the cover of your Instagram highlight.

You will now be able to choose from your archived Instagram stories to place as your cover or you can choose from your photo library. From your photo library, you can pick the Instagram cover highlight that you’ve created in Snappa.

How to Add an Instagram Story Highlight

There are two ways you can add an Instagram story highlight to your IG profile and it’s fairly simple. Once again, the story highlight needs to be a previous Instagram story that was posted on your profile. You cannot upload a video or photo directly into your Instagram story highlight.

The first way you can add an Instagram story highlight is to click on the large “+” sign on your profile page. From there you can select the IG stories that you want to add and you can choose to name your highlight along with adding a highlight cover, which we discussed previously.

The second way you can add an Instagram story highlight is by viewing a story that you posted and clicking on the bottom right of the screen where there’s a heart icon that says “highlight” underneath. You will then be able to choose which highlight category you want to add the story to.

Best Instagram Story Highlight Icons & Covers

There are several brands that have created amazing custom Instagram story highlight covers using various icons and colors to match their brand.

Here are some of the best examples that we’ve found across the platform.


Hubspot is the first example of having nice simplistic IG story highlight covers. They use colorful highlight icons and emphasize the story covers with a very on-brand orange to outline the cover icon. Another point to add is that they keep their categories simple with one word cover names.

x3 marketing pittsburgh beauty instagram highlight covers
best instagram highlight covers


Buffer is another great example with their use of color throughout the Instagram highlight covers. They’re using very simple story icons, but the vibrant colors in the background of their highlight covers really make them stand out.


When creating IG story covers, you aren’t limited to just using flat icons. Foundr does a great job of incorporating images and products into their highlight covers. Although, they use the same colored background on all of their highlights, they change the icon and image in the center of each cover. You know exactly what you’re getting into just by looking at the story cover.

Final Thoughts

Instagram is arguably the largest and most engaging social platform right now. It’s important to take advantage of the powerful features that the platform offers and to use them most effectively and efficiently to give your brand that extra advantage.

Instagram story highlight covers are a nice touch and they help add character to your profile. IG highlights give you an opportunity to share what you wouldn’t normally show on your feed. They can give you great insight on your audience, but more importantly they help your audience stay engaged with your brand!

It will take you less than 5 minutes to create some IG highlight covers for your page, so go ahead and get started today with Snappa!

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