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How to Use IPFS Desktop With Pinata
How to Use IPFS Desktop With Pinata

A tutorial on how to use IPFS Desktop with your Pinata account

Steve Simkins avatar
Written by Steve Simkins
Updated over a week ago

In this article we will show you how to pin content to your own local IPFS node and to Pinata by using the IPFS Desktop App!

1. Install IPFS Desktop

You can download the IPFS Desktop client from this link here. Follow the instructions for which machine you are using. Once installed and opened it should look something like this:

2. Pin Files to IPFS

Click on the "Files" tab in IPFS Desktop. From here you will see any files you have pinned through IPFS Desktop. To upload click "Import" in the top right.

You can either import a local file, folder, or you can import an existing IPFS CID.


When adding large folder to IPFS Desktop, make sure you add them all at once. If you add items to a folder in chunks, IPFS will unpin the original folder, then re-pin the new folder. If you do this too many times it will cause problem with local pinning, and we won't be able to pin by CID. If you have an image folder that is very large and IPFS desktop has a hard time importing it, then you may want to consider splitting the folder up and uploading each folder separately, then mapping over the multiple image folder CIDs in the metadata.

After selecting a file and it is finished uploading you should see the file appear in the file manager with the CID generated from uploading it.

If you did not enable auto uploading back in the services tab, you can pin them manually here! Just click on the options button on the right side, then select "Set Pinning."

From this modal you will want to select "Local Node."

After doing this you will see a pin status showing it is being pinned to your local node.

3. Pin Files to Pinata


Before we go any further, it is critical to understand that in order to upload with this method, the IPFS Desktop app must stay open when pinning to Pinata. The IPFS Desktop app is running a local IPFS node on your machine, sending and receiving data from other nodes. When you host a file or folder from your machine to the node, Pinata has to locate all the data from your node. If the app is closed while pinning to Pinata, the upload will not be successful. Make sure the app remains open, running, and that the machine remains on without an internet connection interruption!

From the IPFS Desktop App, copy the CID for your file

Log into your Pinata account, click on the "Upload" button, and select "CID"

Paste in the CID from your file on IPFS Desktop and give it a name you want to refer to it by in Pinata. Then click "Search and Pin."

Once you have done this and refresh the page, you will see a "Pin By CID Queue" where you can check the status of the pinning

From here you can see the status of the pinning

There are several different statuses for the pinning. Here is what each one means:


Pinata is prechecking the CID before searching, making sure it's a valid CID. e.g. if you put in random words instead of a valid CID it would fail the prechecking


Pinata is currently looking for the CID content on IPFS.

If your pin job is stuck in the searching status, that usually means we can't find the CID. You need to make sure it's properly pinned as shown in step 2, as well as any firewalls or antivirus that might be stopping the data from leaving your computer.


Pinata has found the CID and is currently pinning the content to Pinata IPFS nodes

This is a good sign! It means your content is accessible and will be completed if the IPFS Desktop app is kept running. Be aware that the speed might vary on the number of files, your internet upload speed, and the IPFS network. Pinning by CID can take anywhere from a few minutes to a whole day.


Pinata was in the middle of retrieving the files, but there was an interruption in the connection.

This happens when your computer goes to sleep, the IPFS Desktop app was closed, or your internet connection stopped. Since your computer is one of the only IPFS nodes with the content, Pinata is primarily going to pull from it.


Pinata identified the file/folder as being over the 25GB upload limit , please email [email protected] for a custom solution

To make sure your pin is actually retrieving, check the status page inside IPFS Desktop. From there you will see a graph of incoming and outgoing traffic of your node! When you pin by CID, Pinata's nodes will swarm your local node, causing a huge spike in outgoing traffic. If you don't see the outgoing traffic, something went wrong and you will probably need to redo the steps mentioned above!

Once the pinning is complete the job will disappear from the queue and the file will show up in your files manager!

4. Large Folders

If you are uploading a large folder, it is VERY important keep the IPFS Desktop app running. Since there will be a lot of files within the folder, it will take longer for Pinata to locate every single one and pin it to your account. If the IPFS Desktop app is closed, the node will stop broadcasting the data, and it will interrupt the connection between Pinata and your IPFS Desktop node. If this happens you can look in the Pin by CID queue on your Pinata account and it will probably say "expired." Simply restart the IPFS Desktop app, make sure the folder is pinned, then redo the pin. Make sure your computer does not fall asleep or lose internet connection to finish the process. If the folder is over 25GB you will need to email [email protected] for a custom solution since our upload limit is 25GB per file/folder.

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