Facebook Photo Size Cheat Sheet!

Whether you have a regular Facebook account or you have a fan page, uploading photos to your profile and timeline can be a guessing game that ends in frustration. Facebook has rather strict guidelines for photo sizes which can leave you with blurry uploads if they’re too small, or error messages if they’re too big.

An easy way to save yourself some time and the headache of guessing how to size your uploads is to use a cheat sheet! I’ve put together an infographic for all of you visual folks out there, laying out the proper sizes needed for your header image, your profile photo, as well as a few types of uploads for your wall or page timeline.

infographicfb

Click on the infographic to see it full-sized.

Sizing images is easy in programs like Photoshop or Gimp, but if you don’t have either of those you can use online tools like Pic Resize. As a general rule of thumb, I always take the minimum pixel size and go up in even increments. Facebook will size your photo back down when you upload, which will leave you with a more crisp image. This will also be to your benefit if your friends or fans click the image from your timeline and open it in the photo viewer, because they’ll still see a crisp picture. If your image is longer than it is wide, Facebook will automatically put a boarder around the photo to make it fit properly, which isn’t pretty but sometimes inescapable.

You may be wondering why it’s so important to have clear, crisp, and pleasant-looking images on your timeline. If you’re a business or a community page, then you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to catch the eyes of your fans in the best possible ways. Facebook is an aesthetic sharing tool with a generally healthy mix of text and images. Imagine you’re scrolling through your feed and see a string of gorgeous nature photographs, and then one very blurry image. Are you going to stop and look at that pixelated image, or are you going to keep scrolling for more beautiful photos?

Facebook has become a very potent source of advertising for pages, and if you want to be eye-grabbing you need to follow their technical rules. Despite the extra work involved, using the sizing guide above is a great place to start because having nice images shows your readers that you care enough to put in the effort. Create visually pleasing posts and share your images, but do so in a way that caters to Facebook’s guidelines to get maximum exposure!

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80 thoughts on “Facebook Photo Size Cheat Sheet!

  1. Nope. Tried 851 x 315 for the cover, and there’s a “gap” along the top edge. My photoeditor says the gap is about 11 pixels…

    • Hi there, thanks for the comment! I’m not sure what’s going wrong but that is the standard size and it works fine for me. If you want to link me to your page I can try to help and see what’s going on?

  2. thanks Meag i think nothing wrong with your numbers .. May be the cover pixels need to be reduced a little about 2 pixels width 2 pixels height .. May be its a margins issue .. any way thank you and very nice work :)

    • Thank you, Mody! It’s interesting that some folks are having issues with the standard sizing but I’m glad that it works for you! In my experience these work perfectly, though it can take some trial and error based on how you want your images to sit in the space.

      Thank you again!

  3. Do you know the optimal pixel size for a shared facebook photo? The original is 403 by 403 but when you share someone else’s photo it added a little border so some of it gets cut off.

    • Thank you for the question! Shared images will shrink down to about 398 x 298 pixels on Facebook streams but this size can vary based on the shape of the photo, in my experience. I just tested this by measuring a few shared images on my own stream and they weren’t uniform in size. I saw 398 x 241, 398 x 223, and 398 x 298. This tells me that Facebook cuts down on the height of shared images when there is too much text underneath, to keep them from crowding feeds.

      On the other hand, when shared images are viewed on profile pages Facebook tends to blow them up and cut off portions of the photo, which can then add a border effect. In my opinion there isn’t much you can do besides try to be as close to 403 x 403 as you can, and use images with centered text so that none of the important information will be cut off when Facebook resizes.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have more questions.

    • Hi Maria! Based on everything that I have seen and tested myself, these numbers still work. Please let me know if you try them and find they are not working for you, so that I can investigate! Thanks for the question!

  4. I would like to point out that from my experience page cover photo’s are slightly smaller than profile dimensions. please keep this inmind

  5. When I upload a bigger than 403×403 image to the timeline, facebook sometimes shrinks it to fit the size and sometimes cuts it and shows only part of it. How can I avoid facebook cutting the image and showing only the centre part of it?

    • Hi and thank you for the comment! I know, it can be frustrating the way Facebook crops images on the timeline. Aside from making the pictures as close to 403×403 as possible before you upload, you can also center the image after it has been uploaded.

      To do this, hover your mouse over the top-right corner of the post until the pencil comes up. Click the pencil and then click “Reposition photo” to give yourself the option of shifting the image around. This way, you can center it to where you want it to be. Hit “save” when you’re satisfied and it should look much better!

      Hope that helps!

  6. How about Timeline images as they appear on the Facebook iPad app? The 403×403 rule doesn’t seem to apply. It looks like it’s close to 403 wide by 270 high. Any guidance would be very much appreciated! (i’m assuming there are similar resolution issues on other tablets but I can’t say that for sure – guidance on those numbers would also be great)

    • Hi Greg, great question! I couldn’t find anything research-wise so I used my iPad and my Samsung Galaxy S3 to do my own detective work. After taking screen-shots of my Facebook app on both devices, I then measured the images as they appeared on both screens. You are right in thinking that the iPad app crops images almost in half when you are viewing them on the timeline.

      For the Facebook iPad app it measured out to about 220 x 150 pixels.
      For the Facebook Samsung Galaxy app it measured out to a square 625 x 625 pixels.

      So, for phone translation it keeps the images square but for iPad translation it makes images rectangular. Please remember that these numbers I came up with are relative to screen size, and that the iPad app has features which take up more space.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for the cool question :)

  7. Hello, Meaghan.

    I have a problem about facebook photo blurry. The problem is generally like what you write here, and it’s a very good article. But may you explain my problem specifically.

    I have an online shop about gemstone in facebook. I have both of fanpage and regular account to do the shop.

    When I upload a photo it’s always more blurry than the real I have. But after some days when I look again the photo, it’s not too blurry like the first upload day. It’s in a more good quality now like it’s repairing the resolution by itself!. Why it is? Why my photos in albums can change their resolution by themself?

    And I want the photos are in a good quality since the first day of uploading. How to do that?
    Because the most recent viewing of a facebook photo, of course in the first day of it’s uploading.

    Thanks before. :)
    Apriza Yutama – Indonesia.

    • Hi Apriza! This is a very interesting question…I did some research and couldn’t find an answer. Are you making sure that the photos are the right size? Can you try uploading a square photo that is larger than 400×400 pixels and let me know if it still happens?

      Facebook has the unfortunate tendency of ruining pictures during upload. We could also try a real-time experiment in which you upload a photo and let me know right away with a link so I can look at it and see if it is blurry on my end. That will tell us if it is your web browser, or if it is Facebook doing something odd that I can investigate further.

      Please let me know if you want to try it!

  8. Hi! I’m using illustrator and photoshop and your specific size charts, but my images get blurry when I use them on both personal and pages on facebook. Anyway of having a crisp clear image? Can you advise? Thank you!

    • Hi Nororu, thank you for the comment! I’m sorry you’re having this issue. I’ve heard it before from other users as well, and I believe it is an unfortunate glitch on Facebook’s end. Have you tried making your images extra sharp and uploading them to see if they are still blurry?

    • Have you found a solution to this, Nororu? If not, you can try these steps:

      -Keep the dpi (dots per inch) at 72
      -Keep the editing to a minimum (over-edited photos can produce messy results)
      -Try saving as a high-quality .png instead of a .jpg
      -Save larger than 403×403 if you can
      -Keep image file sizes under 100kb or Facebook will compress them

      Please let me know if they help you with posting crisper images!

    • Hi Ben! Thank you for sharing your post – I think 700 x 700 is great for business pages as well. Lately I have been trying to make my images perfectly square and bigger than 500 x 500 if I can. I still find that Facebook can mess with the quality of images at random, which is frustrating, but thankfully it doesn’t happen too often!

      • In the past I saved photo images as JPG and images with mostly solid blocks of color as PNG, but recently I’ve begun exporting all images as PNG-24 and I’ve been happy with how they look on facebook.

        Also, photos in promoted posts display larger than 960×960 in full screen view.

  9. Hi, how do you upload a photo so that it appears in the right size across all different devices?! We have a variety of desktop/iPad/iPhone/other tablet and smartphone users looking at our fan page… at the moment I use the sizes that are right for desktop, but they appear huge and blury on an iPad… how do I solve that? Thanks!

    • Hi Becky! Thank you for the question. That seems more a matter of the device/applications and not Facebook itself. As far as I know there is no easy way to make everything show up perfectly on all devices, since there are so many devices out there.

      I understand your frustration and I also experience this problem. It isn’t a great fix, but I find that the larger the file size I upload to Facebook, the better it looks on my iPad and phone. So I recommend using large, crisp images whenever you can. I’ll try and find a better fix for this!

  10. Do you have any idea why when viewing photos in the “full screen” mode some photos go full screen and others do not? Was something changed in Facebook? Now wen I view my photos in full screen mode only the older ones are actually full screen, and the more recent ones stay the same size as they are in the non-full screen viewer. I haven’t changed anything on my photo editing side and the new photos I upload are the same size as the previous ones I uploaded.

    Any ideas? It’s extremely frustrating.

    • Hello, thanks for the question! This seems to be working fine for me on my page. Would you feel comfortable sharing comparable links for me so that I can look? That way we can determine if it is an issue with your browser, a Facebook glitch, or if you are in fact experiencing a change to the website.

      If you do not feel comfortable sharing links I would suggest making certain your browser is fully updated and trying again. It may be an issue that you need to contact Facebook with if that doesn’t fix the problem.

      Let me know :)

      • Hi,

        I have my the privacy settings screwed down pretty tight, so even if I was comfortable posting links on here I don’t think anyone would be able to see the FB photos.

        I keep my browsers up to date, it happens with both Chrome and Firefox, and not with every photo. I just posted a few yesterday that display just fine in the full screen mode, yet others that are exactly the same size don’t fill the screen in full screen mode.

        Very odd.

        I’ve never found that contacting FB elicits much of a repose, but there is always a first time I suppose.

      • Contacting Facebook will not do much, I agree. This sounds like an odd bug to me, though, so I would suggest that you file a report with them. Hopefully it’s something that they will see and can work on! I’m sorry you’re having this issue. Frustrating.

    • Hello, thank you for the question! I took a look at your page and I understand what you mean. I believe the issue is with Facebook compressing/resizing images as it sees fit.

      Here are some things to try:

      -Keep the dpi (dots per inch) at 72
      -Keep the editing to a minimum (over-edited photos can produce messy results)
      -Try saving as a high-quality .png instead of a .jpg
      -Save larger than 403×403 if you can
      -Keep image file sizes under 100kb or Facebook will compress them

      Please give these a try and let me know if they help at all! If not, we will try again :)

  11. in the past i have been able to save an image from google images for whatever i need at the time (invite to a facebook event, part of an album, etc) and been able to load to fb with no problem. now, EVERY SINGLE pic i save from google images will not load and i get the warning it has to be 400 pixels wide. where do i find images/pics that will work? how can i check an image for its size before saving and trying to load? thanks for any help you may be able to offer!

    ~sam

    • Hi Sam! Thanks for the question and I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I would first make sure you have the latest version of Flash ( http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ ) and your browser is up to date with the latest software version. It is important that you are only uploading files allowed by Facebook ( .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, or .tiff ) because anything else will fail.

      To check the file size before you try uploading, you can use a basic editing program like Paint or Picture Viewer/Picture Manager and look at the photo’s properties. You should also be able to right-click on the image and choose “Get info” or “Properties” (depending on your operating system) to get the sizing details of your image. You can re-size the image as needed in a basic program or download Gimp ( http://www.gimp.org/ ) and use it for such purposes.

      If all of that fails, I would strongly suggest contacting Facebook and opening a ticket because it may very well be a bug. Good luck and please let me know if you have further questions, or if you find a solution! :)

  12. “Thank You” so much for putting up this information.It has helped BIG TIME!

    I do have another question for you. If you want to put more than one picture with a Facebook post is there some way you can do it without having the Thumbnails cutting the pictures in half? The pictures I am using are 237 by 400. So they are taller than they are wide. When I put 2 or 3 pictures together with a post they cut them in half.

    My mother is an 70 year old artist that still teaches painting. I put her pictures up for her on her Facebook page. If she was a client I would charge her so much – no actually I think I would just FIRE HER sine she is never happy! HA She is a perfectionist and is not happy with “But mom they can click on the pictures and see the entire project!”

    Any help would be greatly appreciated – and I mean GREATLY! :)

    Thanks

    Gregg

    • You’re welcome! Your mother sounds like a tough (but worthwhile) client! ;)

      To answer your question, as of right now the only way to post multiple photos at once is to upload them to a photo album. Facebook will post them on your timeline in a very organized and attractive way. A recent case study showed that this actually increases photo clicks by 1290%, which is impressive. Take a look at this link for more information on the study: http://ubookoo.com/multiple-photo-posts-increased-clicks-1290-facebook-case-study/

      In terms of your photos being cut off, that is a matter of editing before you upload. Unfortunately Facebook will crop them automatically and indiscriminately. You’ll need to edit them to fit better before you upload, using Photoshop, Gimp, or a basic editing tool. When you take photos, try to space them so that you can crop the digital images to be perfectly square before uploading. The best thing you can do is pay attention to the space around your subject(s) during photography sessions so that the cropping process is easier later on.

      It may not be ideal right now, but hopefully Facebook will come up with a better solution for this and allow tall photos to be neatly displayed. Good luck and please let me know if you have more questions!

      • Hi again! I wanted to let you know it looks like Facebook just made an update that allows you to upload multiple photos in one post, and it doesn’t seem to alter the size or shape. Let me know if you have questions about it!

  13. OK Only 1 larger and the “Rositas Deluxe Rooms Sample Muestra Fotos” is 403px × 311px the right size. the other “Rositas Hotel Deluxe Superior Room Habitación Fotos” has no large photo – crazy – or is my Firefox not working right?
    Right Click – “View image info” is where the numbers came from – Also a freebe download: JR Screen Ruler

    • Hi Rosita! Facebook very recently added the feature to upload multiple photos in one post without creating an album. So what’s happened here is you have uploaded several and Facebook chose one to feature, showing it in full size. If you upload one photo by itself, the proper size should still be 403 x 403.

      I hope this answers your question. Please comment again if not! Thank you :)

      • THANKS for taking the time to reply & help.
        I just started this 3 months ago and learning is a nightmare.
        Facebook help is not helpful but this is what happened if it matters:
        The album viewed on the timeline had NO enlarged 1st photo.
        (No 403×403) Don’t know why

        –Start Slide show
        –View photo for desired 1st timeline cover photo
        –Go to bottom of photo & click “Options”
        –Select: Make Album Cover
        That photo then displays full size as 1st of the album on timeline.
        Obviously your advice for a landscape photo was the way to go.
        A full sized portrait photo takes up too much vertical space.
        There are probably other ways of doing the same thing.
        I still don’t see how to get the 403×403
        & I don’t see how to change the full size photo that was created back to original.
        But time and experimentation will probably solve those processes too..
        THANKS AGAIN!

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  15. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after
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  16. After spending an hour with trial and error with a 600×85 photo, I stumbled across your site. I was able to take a screen shot that was 600×220 that included my image and it uploaded really well! Thanks so much!

  17. Omg THANK YOU! I just spent about 2 hours with Facebook telling me my pictures needed to be under 4 MB when my largest photo was only about 700 kb, but they still wouldn’t load. I adjusted the pixels and it worked perfectly :D

  18. Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate
    your content. Please let me know. Cheers

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