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Pinterest – How to use it on iOS devices – UPDATED!

Pinterest – How to use it on iOS devices – UPDATED!

Updated August 4th, 2017

We’ve figured it out! Pinterest can be used on any iOS device and display to a larger screen with no significant problems.

[three_fourths_last]The Art Instructor uses Pinterest boards for inspiration and art history. The idea is to display these in class on a screen so everyone can see.

You’ll need to open a (free) Pinterest account of your own to see our Pinboards. Tap the logo at left to go to the Pinterest website and create a new account.


The Art Instructor pages work beautifully on a phone browser – Pinterest does not.

UNLESS… you know the way to get around all the pinterest ridiculousnesses. Yes, I believe that is a word.

The Pinterest App

Displaying Pinterest from a phone can be a miserable experience. The iPhone app is a disaster. It will not display in landscape, and covers up the images with graphics. Also, you cannot zoom in or out. Do. Not. Use. The. iPhone. App.

You can get by on the iPad app though. It actually does a pretty decent job as is. See below for more.

Pinterest On An iOS Browser

This doesn’t work much better if you do it the way Pinterest forces you to. Because they never let you actually use the browser, creating massive buttons that tell you to use the app. They actually claim that “Pinterest works much better in the app”. Do not believe this nonsense. Don’t do anything until you get out of this mobile version of their browser experience.

Do NOT TAP on any image. Have patience.


Request Desktop Site

There is a little icon of a square with an arrow point up and coming out of the top. This is the ACTION icon. Where is it?

iPhone: At the bottom of the screen there is a menu bar with icons. If it is hidden, tap right on the bottom edge and it will pop up. The action icon is in the center of the bar.

iPad: It’s at the top of the screen in the menu bar, to right of the address field. If the bar is hidden, scroll down a bit or tap the top edge of the window and it will appear.


  1. Tap the Action Icon.
  2. Look at the bottom row of icons that appear on the drop down window. You want the gray row of icons.
  3. Scroll to the right until you see a computer screen icon with the caption, “Request Desktop Site”. Tap this and the page will reload.
  4. If the Request Desktop Site icon is not present, tap the “More” icon with 3 dots. You go to another page and have an option to turn it on.

Viola! No more ridiculousness.

View Boards, not Images

Navigate to the board you want if you’re not already there. Then you can pinch to zoom on any area of the board. That means you don’t have to load the viewer which is pretty wonky. Their image viewer takes extra time, and can cause the whole page to reload back into the mobile web page and all that previous nonsense. So just zoom and move around the page on the board images. They are not quite as good a resolution but usually good enough for a full screen display at a distance. The ipad will give a better resolution if you click on the image or use the app.

If you are on a phone, this is the only way to view and display Pinterest images. If you’re on an iPad, the app does ok. You can try both ways and see which you like. There are advantages to each method.

Oops! Keep in mind that your phone will display any text messages you might get, or any alerts from your bank or Facebook. It can be dangerous, so turn off your notifications ahead of time by activating “Do Not Disturb” mode. This is in the Settings and also can be turned on and off by swiping up from the bottom to get the Control Center. Another Oops! Make sure you turn Do Not Disturb OFF afterwards or you won’t get calls and alerts at all. (You can set it up to work on a timer so while you’re in school it is always activated and automatically disengages at a set time).

Here’s how to use the iPad app.

Set your iPad to Airplay to the apple TV* or other device that connects to the display, or plug it in to the screen using an adapter and an HTML cord. Then open the lesson and find the pinboard. Click our round logo like the one above.

  1. The Pinterest app will open the board in the app when you click our link in the lesson. It may open a blank web page first and then proceed to the app, or it will open the web version and give you links to switch to the app.
  2. Click on the first image to open a larger viewer. It will look pretty good in both landscape and portrait, but you can rotate the iPad to get the best version for each image.
  3. There is no zoom at all. What you see is what you get. But it’s a decent sized display if your screen is large.
  4. Swipe to the left to move to the next image in the board! Swipe right to go back. That’s the great thing about their iPad app; no other version of Pinterest does this.

Another idea.

Since you’re an educator, you can download the original image to your camera roll if you delete them after viewing and displaying to a classroom. Just tap the 3 little dots in the top menu bar of the Pinterest app. The list includes, “save to camera roll”.  Once saved, open the image(s) in your Photos app and then you can display them there too. NOTE: if you only set Airplay to show on another device, it will show them, but they will be automatically displayed at one size and will NOT be zoomable. You have to Mirror the AirPlay – see *below.

The world needs happy artists!

*Airplay instructions:

Swipe up from the bottom of your screen (start your finger below the edge of the screen). Then look for the AirPlay button in the control center panel that comes up. AirPlay has an outlined rectangle with a solid black triangle over it pointing up. Tap the button and choose the device you want to AirPlay to. Then also, make sure you tap the “Mirroring” slider to set it to ON, which will turn it green.



About The Author

Dennas Davis

Dennas is the founder of Firstlight Arts Academy in Nashville, and also of The Art Instructor (formerly ArtSquish). He has been designing, painting, illustrating and teaching in various combinations since he learned how to hold a crayon. He is the illustrator of 24 children's books with over 5 million in print worldwide. See his paintings at


  1. Dennas Davis

    We updated this January 21, 2017

  2. Soph

    I’m stuck at 1st step. Tap and hold which link? In Browser? In bookmark?

    • Dennas Davis

      Hi Soph.

      I updated the article to make it more clear. This is for display on a large screen. You can enjoy using Pinterest just fine on their app if you’re browsing.

      But to answer your question: Tap and hold on any Pinterest link in safari on an iOS device like iPad or iPhone. I don’t know how it works in android or other platforms.

      In our lessons, the Pinterest links are a round red and pink logo with a P in the center.

  3. Buffy

    Every few months or so something happens on my iPhone 6S+ that doesn’t launch the Pinterest app. Example: Pinterest sends. E emails with pins and boards their algorithm thinks I’d be interested in, I click the image I’m interested in. At this point instead of the Pinterest app launching I’m directed to the App Store and asked if I want to open the app?
    I can’t find the instructions I’ve used in the past to correct this issue. Any thoughts or advice?


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