Why Does Facebook Take Forever to Load Pictures?

by Ashley Bustamante ; Updated September 22, 2017

It can be extremely frustrating if you're trying to view a friend's photos on Facebook and you can't get them to load. Sometimes photos seem to be stuck forever on the loading screen, or the image doesn't display no matter how many times you click on it. Although Facebook staff haven't addressed the issue directly, there are multiple things that could be causing the problem, including server overload.

Server Overload

According to statistics posted by the Facebook team, Facebook has over 750 million active users. This means that millions of people are accessing Facebook at any given time. It's difficult to find a server that can support that many people and still remain efficient. Because of this, Facebook may run slow during high-traffic hours. If many people at once are using the photo function, photos may load slowly, or you may get errors when trying to view photos. Refresh the page to see if this helps. Sometimes if room on the server has opened up, refreshing the page will get you through faster than waiting for it to load without refreshing.

Internet Connection

If Facebook is loading slowly, it may not be an issue with Facebook but simply and issue with your Internet connection. You may see some pages loading fast, but the photo pages on Facebook load slow. This is because pages that are content heavy, such as photo albums, tend to take longer to load up. To determine if it's a connection issue, you can check other pages that are heavy on photos or try loading videos and see what happens. If those pages are loading slow as well, the Internet connection is the likely culprit.

Cache

When you visit websites, information and content from Web pages is stored in a temporary location known as the cache. This allows Web pages to load faster the next time you visit them. Your computer sets aside only a specific amount of space for the cache. When this space fills up, it can cause Web pages to load slower and have errors. If you're a heavy browser, clear out your cache at least once a week to prevent any problems. In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon at the upper right. Click "Internet Options" and then "Delete" under "Browsing History." Check off all the boxes under the line and click "Delete." Many browsers allow you to adjust your settings to automatically empty the cache after a certain time period has passed.

Updates

If Facebook is in the middle of updating its system, this could cause certain applications and functions to run slower than others. Depending on the extent of the updates, you may not be able to access Facebook at all for a while. Additionally, your own computer or browser my require updates. Make sure that you're using the latest version of your browser and that you're running the most recent versions of Adobe Flash Player and Java. You can check this by visiting the main pages for these applications.

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