How to Stop Tumblr From Resizing Images

By Dan Ketchum

Even your selfies outclass the limited resolution of Tumblr's standard settings.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With upwards of 100 million posts per day, Tumblr provides an outlet for uploading and sharing photos, among other media. The social site's default settings are at odds with the highest-quality digital photos, however -- most Tumblr themes automatically resize large-format images to 500 by 750 pixels. Though viewers can click on a resized photo to view a somewhat larger version, you can also change your Tumblr theme or implement just a bit of basic coding to display your pics in all their high-res glory from the outset.

The Easy Way

Click the gear-shaped “Settings” icon after logging in to your Tumblr blog with your user name and password.

Click the “Customize” button under the “Theme” heading in the Settings menu.

Click the “Themes” button. From the drop-down menu, choose the “Hi-res” category. This action presents you with a variety of pre-made themes custom tailored to display high-resolution photos. Unlike themes in other categories, hi-res themes will not resize your photos. Select the hi-res theme of your choice by clicking it and press the “Use” button, then the “Save” button to finalize your selection.

The HTML Way

Choose your current theme from your Tumblr's Themes menu then click the “Edit HTML” button, which causes your page's HTML code to appear.

Find a part of the code, known as a “tag,” that says “{block:Photo}.” On a Windows computer, you can find it by pressing “CTRL+F” and typing the text you wish to locate. When you find the tag, you'll see a block of text -- typically of about two lines -- between it and an end tag, “{/block:Photo}.” The "{block:Photo}" tag is the only text you need to edit.

Delete the tag that reads “<span class=“photo”>” and the closing tag, “</span>.” These tags, found within the “{block:Photo}” tags, are responsible for re-sizing your Tumblr images.

Identify the text “{PhotoURL-500}.” Change the text to case-sensitive “{PhotoURL-HighRes}.”

Click the “Update Changes” button then the “Save” button to save your changes. Editing your HTML in this way retains the look of your current Tumblr theme; you can now upload photos at a high resolution without any re-sizing.


Tumblr only accepts images in GIF, JPEG and PNG file formats. Even with a hi-res theme or custom HTML, static images must be smaller than 10MB while animated GIFs must fall under 1MB.

If you make a mistake with the HTML, re-implement your theme by accessing Tumblr's theme's menu, choosing the original theme from the list and pressing the “Use” button.