How to Get GIFs to Appear Correctly in Tumblr

By Randall Blackburn

Get your images to look the way they are supposed to appear on Tumblr.
i Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

To get your GIF images to appear correctly on Tumblr, your images must conform to the Tumblr Photo size and format standards. Additionally, the images should be as close as possible to the width and height of the designated space where they will appear. Non-compliant images will not appear correctly on the platform. If you are having difficulty uploading GIFs or other image files to Tumblr, or if your uploaded images don’t display correctly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can perform to get your GIF to appear correctly in your blogs.

Automatic Resizing

The Tumblr platform automatically resizes images that are too large or too small to fill the designated space. For example, if you upload an avatar with the dimensions of 90-by-128, your image will be stretched in width to accommodate the 128 pixel space for width of the avatar. Stretching the image distorts the picture. When you upload an avatar, size the avatar to 128-by-128, the exact size of the designated space for the image, using an image editor before uploading the GIF.

Image Size and Format

Tumblr supports images, including static GIF images, up to 10MB in size. The 10MB limitations apply to all image types, including JPGs, PNGs and BMPs. GIFs used in posts should be sized to 500 pixels wide by 750 pixels in height or smaller. The Tumblr platform auto-resizes images and photos to the maximum size allowed by the posts. For most themes, the post size is 500-by-750. However, the platform also provides users with a method for viewing large images when available in a post. Large images can measure up to 1280-by-1920 pixels.

Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs must be 1MB in size or smaller to play on the Tumblr platform. Though larger files will upload, the animation will not play if the file exceeds the size limit. You can perform some edits using an animated GIF editor to make the image Tumblr-friendly. For example, you can crop the image to reduce the overall dimensions of the animation. Alternatively, try reducing the total number of frames in the animation or limiting the number of colors used in the image. All such tasks can be accomplished with an animated GIF editor. Once you have reduced the size of the image, upload the GIF to Tumblr to test the animation.

Resave the Image

Images can be encoded with extra characters that may interfere with the picture displaying in a Tumblr post. Before uploading your GIF image, Tumblr recommends that you open the image in an image-editing program like Microsoft Paint, then resave the image as the same file format to remove extra encoding.

RGB Support Only

The Tumblr platform supports only RGB image files. CMYK files are unsupported. If your image will not upload correctly, open the file in an image editor, then save the picture as an RGB image. Attempt to upload the converted image to Tumblr.

NSFW Content

Tumblr restricts certain content, such as malicious, hateful or gory images. However, Tumblr does not restrict users from uploading adult-oriented content. If your images are adult in nature, please respect other Tumblr users by flagging your blog as “NSFW,” which is an acronym for "Not Safe For Work." The NSFW setting can be enabled in the blog’s Settings menu. When NSFW is enabled on a blog, the blog does not appear in search results for users who are not logged in and the blog will not appear in search and discovery features for logged in users who have blocked NSFW blogs from view.