Why Can't I Upload Pictures to Facebook?

By Andrew Aarons

Facebook without photos would just be "book," which isn't nearly as much fun. The photo section of Facebook is one of the social-network giant's core components. It's been there from day one, but that doesn't mean the photo application works perfectly for every Facebook user. In most situations, you can overcome photo upload errors with a few easy troubleshooting steps.

Check Requirements

File formats and file size matter with Facebook. As with the video upload tool, Facebook limits file types and sizes for the photo upload tool. To upload a photo correctly, make sure it is saved as a JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG or GIF file. The file cannot exceed 15 MB in size, though this is unlikely unless you've created a gigantic, multilayered image using Photoshop. Most digital cameras don't take pictures this large. Dimensions matter as well. Facebook can't process photos that have one dimension three times longer than the other. So, if a photo is 500 pixels tall, it can't be 2000 pixels long. Likewise, Facebook has a minimum size requirement. Make sure your photos are at least 180 pixels wide before uploading them.

Updates

The Facebook photo upload tool is coded in Flash, which lets you see thumbnail images of your photos from your computer. If you don't have the most up-to-date version of Flash on your computer, the upload tool won't load correctly. Check your Flash version at Adobe's Flash site. Just as you need an updated version of your Flash player, you need to ensure your Web browser is completely up-to-date.

Facebook Plug-In

Sometimes, your Web browser interrupts the photo upload tool and prompts you to install a "Facebook plug-in." This message will appear differently in different browsers, but look for a message across the top of your screen saying "Install missing plug-in." According to Facebook, the plug-in is a free browser extension that was "designed to improve your experience on the site." This may seem like a nuisance at first, but this tool may actually help you upload photos in the future. The Facebook Plug-in has a Windows Explorer-like photo upload section. You select folders from the top half of the window and then check photos you wish to upload. When ready, click "Use Selected Photos" to send the photos to Facebook.

Intermittent Issues

The Facebook help files list a few issues that occur intermittently. For example, the "Select images" button may appear grayed out. This occurs from time to time, and Facebook asks users to submit a report through the help pages. Similarly, photo albums or individual photos may disappear. This is not permanent, according to the help site, and your photos should return within a few hours.