Why Are My Selfies Backwards on Instagram?

Hey there, Insta-Family! 📸 If you are wondering how can I take a selfie so words aren’t backwards? Or why your Instagram selfies look backwards? Well, you’re in the right place. This article is your ultimate guide for all things selfie-related on Instagram including some pro tips on how to always look great in your selfies! Let’s jump right in!

What’s the Deal with Instagram Selfies?

Cheerful young woman taking a selfie in a manner so that the selfies aren't backwards.

You might think, “A picture is a picture, right?” But oh, how wrong you’d be! Instagram selfies are a world of their own, and they come with their own set of rules and quirks.

For instance, not all selfies are created equal—some are reversed, some aren’t, and some are intentionally flipped. Confused? Don’t worry; we’ll break it down for you.

Why Are My Selfies Backwards?

The first thing you need to know is that your phone’s camera software is playing tricks on you. When you take a selfie, the preview you see is often a mirror image of what will actually be saved. Why? Because phone manufacturers know we’re all used to seeing ourselves in mirrors. So, they make the preview mirror-like to give you a better user experience. But here’s the kicker: once you snap the photo, some phones switch it back to how you actually appear to the world, not the mirror version. This is why you might think, “Why are my selfies backwards?” when you see the final result.

How to Stop Your Camera Producing Backwards Selfies

Good news! You can actually control this mirror effect. For iPhone users, go to Settings, scroll down to “Camera,” and then find the option called “Mirror Front Camera.” Turn it on, and voila! When you take a selfie it will look how they do in the preview and the words won’t be backwards. Android users, you can find similar settings or watch a quick video tutorial to get the hang of it. Source

Does Instagram Invert Your Face on Calls?

Smiling young girl sits in cafe on phone wondering does Instagram invert your face on calls?

Now, let’s talk about Instagram video calls. You might have noticed that your face looks a bit different when you’re on an Instagram call. Does Instagram invert your face on calls? The answer is no. What you’re seeing is actually how you appear to the other person. It’s not a mirror image but rather a real-time capture of you. So, no need to worry about looking all topsy-turvy during your next IG call.

The Psychology Behind Mirrored (Backwards) Selfies

Ever wondered why you prefer your mirror image over your actual photo? It’s not just you; it’s psychology. We’re used to seeing ourselves in the mirror, and that version becomes our preferred self-image. But remember, the world sees you differently, and that’s perfectly okay!

How to Take a Selfies So Words Aren’t Backwards

Two cheerful girls with cocktails making selfie

So, you’ve got a shirt with a cool slogan or you’re standing in front of a sign, and you want to take a selfie. You snap the pic, but oh no! The words are all backwards. How to take a selfie so words aren’t backwards, you ask? Well, there are a few ways to tackle this issue.

The Pre-Snap Method

Before you even take the selfie, some smartphones allow you to toggle the mirror setting on and off. This way, what you see is what you get. Check your camera settings to see if this is an option for you and you won’t have backwards selfies.

The Post-Snap Method

If you’ve already taken the photo and the words are backwards, don’t fret. You can easily flip the image using Instagram’s built-in editing tools. Just go to ‘Edit’ after uploading your photo, and you’ll find the option to flip your image horizontally. Problem solved!

Third-Party Apps

If you’re looking for more advanced options, there are plenty of third-party apps that offer image-flipping features, along with other cool editing tools. Apps like Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Express can come in handy for flipping your backwards selfies.

The Mystery of Instagram’s Data Scrubbing

Pretty brunette taking a selfie asking herself "why are my selfies backwards?"

Remember how we talked about camera defaults and intentional flips? Well, Instagram adds another layer of complexity—data scrubbing. When you upload a photo, Instagram removes extra data, known as metadata, for privacy reasons. Sometimes, this can affect how your image is displayed, leaving you to wonder why are my selfies backwards?

What You Can Do About It

While you can’t stop Instagram from scrubbing metadata, you can control the orientation of your photo before uploading it. Make sure to double-check how your photo looks in the preview before hitting that ‘Post’ button. If something seems off, use Instagram’s editing tools to make it right.

Woman using cell phone on beach learning how to take a selfie so the words aren't backwards.

The Final Word: You Do You!

At the end of the day, whether your selfies are backwards, inverted, or just the way you like them, what matters most is that you’re happy with the photos you share. Instagram is a platform for self-expression, so don’t be afraid to show the world the real (or mirrored) you!

And there you have it! The ultimate guide to understanding why your Instagram selfies might look backwards or different than you expected, and how to make them look exactly how you want. Happy Instagramming! 📸


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts