Problems with uploading photos to Facebook

I’ve been running into many problems when trying to upload photos to Facebook.  I usually select a large number to upload at once and then the browser starts to do its thing.  Unfortunately, lately it always fails.

I did a Google and found quite a few other people with the same problem but there didn’t seem to be any silver bullet to solving the problem.

I found I had an hour or two on the weekend to investigate it further and eventually was able to upload the latest photos from our Italy trip.

First I looked at the Java console log and found this error message:

Starting upload
2/08/2008 01:27:29 org.apache.commons.httpclient.HttpMethodDirector isRedirectNeeded
INFO: Redirect requested but followRedirects is disabled
Status =[302]
2/08/2008 01:27:29 org.apache.commons.httpclient.HttpMethodBase getResponseBody
WARNING: Going to buffer response body of large or unknown size. Using getResponseAsStream instead is recommended.
UploadException occured

I Googled these errors and didn’t find much but did find a Facebook discussion where others had the same problem.  It seemed that the uploader would try to upload the photos, then get near the end, wait for a response from the Facebook server, and then decide to try uploading all the photos again.

Just to rule the browser out of things, I tried switching from Firefox to Internet Explorer.   Fortunately, it made no difference 🙂

I then made sure I had the latest Java toolkit and Java console.  It still made no difference.

In Internet Explorer, I checked the ActiveX controls I’ve downloaded and found that my PC actually had 3 different Facebook uploaders but was only using one.  Just to be sure, I deleted all of them and went back to the Facebook site again to reinstall it.  It still made no difference.

Downloaded ActiveX Controls
Downloaded ActiveX Controls

I then experimented with the number of photos to upload.  It could be a problem with the number of photos or the time taken to upload the photos.  Here is a screenshot of some rough notes I took:

Notes of upload numbers
Notes of upload numbers

I managed to get up to 18 photos to upload at once with no problems.  Momentarily I was joyous!  I could upload my holiday photos in batches of 18, although I still have problems trying to make out the photos in the thumbnail view.

This went all right, until it failed again.  And this time on only 11 photos.  I reduced the number down to 6, then down to 1 – and it still failed.

Check internet connection – OK.

It turns out that the Facebook photo uploader was having problems with one particular photo of mine.  Don’t know why – it was the same dimensions and roughly the same size as the others.  But I didn’t upload that one and it was fine from then onwards.

I’m pretty sure I’ve uploaded near the maximum of 60 before in one shot before – but this was at my previous place with ADSL2.   I’m unfortunately only on ADSL1 at the moment with an upload speed of 128k.  My gut feel is that it’s something to do with the time taken to upload or response time, which is related to my connection speed and the number of photos I’m uploading.

For now, I’m happy to find my magic breaking point of ~18 photos.   Something for others to think about if they’re having problems!

[Update 26 May 2009]

I’ve noticed that this blog post still gets a lot of hits!    I’m not sure whether these techniques work for anyone or not.

Lately, I’ve been having much more success uploading to Facebook if I resize my photos first to a maximum width of 1024 pixels and upload smaller groups at a time.  It even works with the Java based uploader!

I think my mistake above, nearly a year ago, was to upload the photos taken directly by my digital camera.  With digital cameras commonly having 8-12 megapixels nowadays, the images produced are really too large for viewing on computer screens.  The solution is to resize your photo BEFORE uploading.   This makes the size of the photo drop dramatically too, and reduces the work that the Facebook uploader would do in resizing the photo.   Hope this helps someone out there!

[Update 6 Oct 2009]

I tried again on the weekend to upload some photos to Facebook and it still didn’t work reliably.  But then I tried using the Facebook publishing tool in iPhoto, and it worked successfully the very first time!    This really leads me to believe it’s the java code in Facebook’s uploading page that is not very robust.

So, if you have a Mac, use iPhoto.

47 thoughts on “Problems with uploading photos to Facebook”

  1. I am also having the same problems when uploading photos, again both with IE and FF. I reckon the problem has something to do with the connection to the facebook server timing out, facebook thinks you are idle and times you out but the facebook uploader carries on running not realising it has timed out until it comes to sending the data….

  2. Chris, I think you may be right. I think I have only started getting these errors since my ADSL connection has gone slower and more unreliable. I actually have problems uploading to some other sites too. It seems that Facebook’s communcation protocol/algorithm/handshaking used between the client uploader and the server is not robust enough to handle some of these situations.

  3. I’m sure it has to do with the internet connection. I have satellite internet, and my max download speed is 60kps at 512kbps which is quite reasonable, except when they forcefully limit my bandwidth by 400% during the day, then it drops down to a depresing dialup speed. Since its can be slow, i think that the connection to facebook times out, or what jasechong said. Hopefully by 2 in the morning, i can upload my pictures.

  4. Facebook just suks. I have issues chat being slow and some pages not loading and I use FireFox.

    The key is just to try, try, tray again. I had it failed but if I go back in to photos click on the album which is blank and re upload it works.

    So I conclude this is an issue with Facebook talking to java.

  5. Yes as others may have stated above that your upload speeds are drastically slower than your download speeds as set by your internet service provider. This is the case with most of them. However one thing you can do to help with the upload speeds is to decrease the file size of your pictures. These days with camera’s and the huge megapixel capabilities the pictures are huge. Your default picture viewer on your PC actually shrinks it to fit your screen. Open it in Microsoft Paint and you will see how large it is. I’ve made a video on on how to quickly and easily decrease the file size to more than 1/10 the original size without losing quallity. You should complete this step before uploading. Below is the video with point and click instructions.

  6. Seems to me it’s a problem of FB javauploader. Resizing images and batch upload of smaller amounts works, but not perfectly. Some images are distorted after upload. For uploading images to my personal profile I use app for Google Picasa (developed by third side, but free downloadable) and it works fine. Problem is, when you want to upload images to FB page, because it always redirects you to your personal profile. Seems to me, not only uploading images is problem of Facebook, the code is quite buggy maybe. Serving the comunity of hundreds of milions of people is a big responsibility and the FB team unfortunately fails a little:)

  7. 2009-11-22

    I’m using Safari on a MacBook Pro. Earlier today I uploaded photos I took at a week long film festival to two photo sites, Zenfolio and Flickr. I uploaded them as full size JPEGs and had no problem at either site.

    Because Facebook limits photo albums to 200 images each, I’ve broken the festival shots up by day….

    And I keep getting a message about failing to find the server. My gut feeling is that this is an issue with Facebook, not my computer nor with my internet connection!

    1. @Alphonse Yes I agree! I can’t believe Facebook haven’t fixed this up yet. If you’re using a Mac, I recommend using the Facebook plugin in iPhoto.

  8. your pc firewall or Router Firewall is blocking Java, find your program permissions and allow Java access.

    worked instantly for me.

    1. Hi! how can I check the permissions?

      I have a powerbook and a pc running on xp. The only way I can upload pics from the pc is using the simple uploader, that’s why I preferred using the mac to upload by small groups (12 to 20) the images. About a week ago, FB asked to install a plugin, since then I cannot upload by groups, only using the simple uploader on the mac too.

  9. I’ve been having problems uploading to FB and Badongo. Now, you might well say with a name like Badongo it’s my own fault, but actually, the advice about uploading smaller batches has worked for me on both sites.

    I’m no expert, but is it possible that it’s a setting at the local machine that’s causing the time outs?

  10. Hi Jason

    Came upon this thread when googling the problem, there doesn’t seem to be much of an easy fix out there. On IE/XP, I have been making do with the “Simple Uploader” which lets me upload 5 picies at a time. 😦 After a couple of sessions uploading about 50 photos each, I’d had enough.

  11. I had the same problem too, wondered how to fix it.

    I then looked at my pic upload page and then I started clicking randomly. It said ‘upload cancelled’ but when I went to organize, it had all my pics there! Almost all, had to uppy the rest, but maybe you could do this?


  12. Ok read all above.On same computer one fb account gets this error.Another fb account works fine on same photos.On another computer same problems.One account uploads no problems, the other account wants simple uploader.Try it urself. Not to to with photo size. But one account needed update java? The other account never got asked.But why one account works and not the other? Java updated account failed. U would think both accounts fail with same java on same pc? Maybe some setting on profile culprit.

  13. I’ve been googling trying to find some discussion of this problem on the internet. My pictures will not upload to FaceBook. Just little icons or placesavers show up. FB says the upload was successful. I even see the actual pictures flashing by as it uploads. But what shows up is icons.

    I thought at first it was my picture manager that was at fault. All I saw were blasted little daisies, which are the placesavers for Photo.Net. I went to my folder options and changed the photo managing program to Miocrosoft Office Picture Manager. Still no luck. All I saw were different icons, instead of my pictures. I changed to Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. No pictures, just icons.

    Has anyone else had this particular problem in uploading pictures to FaceBook? It’s really aggravating. I used to be able to upload albums there easily.

    1. Sue – hmmm.. are you sure you’re uploading the full resolution photos? I’m guessing that maybe you have some program that makes thumbnails of your photos, and you’re uploading the thumbnails instead accidentally?

  14. Jase, how would I know if they’re not full resolution photos?

    They look ok in my picture folders on my computer.

    Where would I go to look to determine if a program is doing that? And how do I make it stop?

    I tried 3 different photo manager programs and they all did it. Could the problem be the conflict? Should I delete 2 of the programs?

    I’ve always loved messing with pictures, editing them, uploading them on various sites. Now, I can’t. Or, at least, I can’t at FB. I think the same thing is happening on webshots, though. At least, with some of my trip pictures. Others upload ok. Just like on FB, some of the pictures uploaded, but the majority just showed up as icons.

    Sorry to be so long. I appreciate any help or suggestion.

  15. With my Casio camera I can not download photos to Facebook anymore! I have a iBook G4 Apple laptop. What to do?? Please advise! Thanks!

  16. i consistently have problems uploading photos to FB.
    its very inconsistent in when it works and when it doesnt.
    very rarely is it a smooth ride, regardless of browser, computer, or anything.

    it also doesnt help that FB is constantly changing its method or GUI for uploading photos.
    whats the current method – the 4th or 5th version, completely different looking to those before it, is that supposed to be a fix??

    how can it possibly fix its problems by simply throwing another half-assed attempt at it?

    they are rubbish and i am close to giving up.

    in future i’ll upload to another site and just link.
    sod FB.

  17. Have had problem uploading pictures too, fo a very long time.I have sent 3 emails to the powers that be and never got any response. I have tried everything. Has been about 3 months this time and has happened several times before. If the designers of face Book do not want the problems or hassle, then they need to back out and let someone else take over that can do the job. So many problems with face book, unreal. Just my opinion.

    1. Janice – yep I hear you! From what I’ve read (and the number of people stumbling across this post) – it seems to be a pretty widespread problem, but I haven’t seen any great improvements in Facebook’s photo uploader. Fortunately for me, an increase in my home internet connection speed (from ADSL 1 to ADSL 2+) and now running on a Mac which has an iPhoto Facebook uploader means I haven’t had this problem for ages.

      Have you tried reducing the size of your photos before uploading them?

  18. Still trying to figure if this facebook or speed/size problem but my guess is the former. Trying to upload a profile pic – only 62kb – and even that not going – tried two comps (both macs) tried forefox and safari. Half an hour + later it’s still trying to upload. Also wanted to share another website’s info to my profile. “oops having some trouble please try later” But every day I get this. Far as I know all my java scripts etc updated . So what do I do. Advise and solutions would be delightful…

  19. Same problem here…
    Its been over a month since this issue started…
    I can upload anywhere else with no problem..I am on wifi 100% of the time…and i dont think FACEBOOK accomodates wifi at all..

    My images are all under 1 mb ….even after 20 tries and 1 hour lost nothing…

  20. cannot ..repeat..cannot get my darn pictures to upload.. a few yes..but not the entire bunch..and those took hours to upload!!never had this problem before??
    please please help me find a much faster way?? thanks!

  21. Have tried uploading photo’s to facebook for some time now and it’s just not working. It will let me get as far as the browse pictures button or upload picture button. I click on the button and nothing happens. The whole screen just jumps and no pictures come up! What’s the deal. I use IE 7 and Java and Active X are all updated..any suggestions on what I should do?

    1. Unfortunately, from all the experiences people have had, I don’t think there’s a fullproof solution unless Facebook modify their upload code to be more robust 😦

  22. I have the same problem, when i upload my photos nothing happens. the progress bar complete but status stay “waiting for upload” and never end.

  23. Man, I thought it was just me who had this problem. I have about 1,995 photos on FB and I thought maybe they are trying to put me off. I have given up trying to find ways around it, compression, Simple Uploader (er = Simple Frustration), uploading 10 photos takews 10 mins arghhhhhh! I want to share photos with my mates of our holiday and its ridicuous. I did a test and uploaded 257 photos to Skydrive (this MSN thingy) and they were uploaded in the same amount of time that FB was. But Skydrive- great as it is, I’d like to keep things in one place for people to see. I think FB have us hooked and aren’t really bothered about our concerns!

  24. Sorry: addendum to my last post::: I did a test and uploaded 257 photos to Skydrive (this MSN thingy) and they were uploaded in the same amount of time that FB “uploaded 10 photos”.

    1. Teej – whoa.. shows how much better the FB uploader could be. After so long, I agree with you – I don’t think FB are going to fix this problem 😦

  25. I have the same problem with Rodrigo, when i upload my photos nothing happens. the progress bar complete but status stay “waiting for upload” and never end.

    AND NEVER HAD I FACED WITH THIS PROBLEM PREVIOUSLY. In the past, where i could upload photos with no problems, it’ll state, say 20 mins more or how many mins more to finish.

    Now, it’ll stay at “waiting for upload/estimating remaining time” FOREVER, even after hours where the progress bar had reach the end.

    Any idea what’s the problem? I NEVER had such problem in the past. It started recently when I update my java and flash player to the latest version? -.-

    1. update my java and flash player to the latest version? same happend here and really facebook needs ta get their arses into gear and solve this extremely annoying problem.. not a happy bunny at all … in fact totally pissed right off!! 😦

  26. I never used facebook to upload pictures to the site but external tools, at the moment, I’m working with a tool called clickto, which seems to work best for me.

  27. I wonder what’s going on..
    each time i gonna upload photo to my note
    it doesn’t appear..
    1 weeks i’m waiting to their fix, but still didn’t fix .
    2 weeks still same .
    3 weeks same..
    and know 1 month ….. still didn’t fix
    the question is, does the creator known the error ?
    if not, till 1 year they wouldn’t fix it.

  28. i am having problems uploading photos on face book, when i hook my cord up to the camera to upload the sign removeable disk does not show up anymore for me to click on , so i could download my pictures, can you tell me why this is happening ? i have never had this problem before.

    I was having problems uploading just ONE photo.
    So I LOGGED OFF. Signed back in and made it the first thing I did. And it worked.
    For me at least.
    Good luck.

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