Problems With Uploading a Picture on Twitter

by Nathan E. Baker

Twitter accepts files that are 5MB or less in size and are PNG, JPG or GIF format. If a user tries to upload pictures that don't fit this criteria, Twitter responds with an error message.

Adjust the Picture for Twitter Format

Reduce the File Size or Change File Format

Reduce the file size using photo-editing software or an online service.

Twitter error messages

Convert the file to PNG, JPG or GIF format using photo-editing software or an online service.

MS Paint and MS Photo Gallery both have tools that can resize, convert and compress images. Gimp, an open-source image-editing software application, can also be downloaded free of charge. If you find you need more control over your photo editing tasks, then consider purchasing professional photo-editing software like Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop. Both applications provide multiple image optimization and compression options.


  • Always use virus and malware protection programs when downloading any file or software application, even if it appears to be coming from an established and reputable source.

Online image optimization and conversion services include:

Each online image optimization service includes different options. Some services may require your email address.

GIF Problems

Twitter allows users to attach up to four PNG or JPG files to a post, but only allows users to attach one GIF in a post. You can't mix GIF files with JPG or PNG files. If you attempt to upload more than one GIF file, or you try to add a GIF file to a tweet that already has one or more PNG or JPG files, Twitter responds with an error message.

If the first file you upload is a GIF file, Twitter changes the Add Photo button to read 1 added.

Twitter Responses

Twitter does nothing when you click the 1 added button because you cannot attach multiple GIF files.

Twitter Error Message

While the error message may not be completely accurate (you're attempting to upload one GIF file, not multiple GIF files), it serves to alert you to a problem. Convert the GIF file to PNG or JPG format, and then add it to your series of images.

Profile, Header and Background Images

Twitter has standards for profile, header and background images.

Profile images are square. Twitter recommends a PNG, JPG or non-animated GIF that measures 400x400 pixels.

Header images should be a PNG, JPG or non-animated GIF image that is 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high. If the picture has dimensions other than 1500x500 pixels, Twitter will resize it and it may appear distorted.

Twitter provides simple editing options for users uploading custom profile and header images, but you will get the best results if you start with a file size that matches its requirements.

Background images must be PNG, JPG or non-animated GIF files, and cannot be larger than 2MB. You can tile background images and set a position for non-tiled images. There are no standard dimensions for background images, since viewers can magnify or shrink the browser window, which changes how much of the background image appears. Since there is no perfect size, selecting the height and width of your background image may require some experimentation. An image that measures 1820x1080 or 1920x1200 pixels is a good place to start if you want to fill most browser windows with your background.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Nathan E. Baker is a professional technical writer and web master. He has nearly three decades of experience with software, surveillance electronics, computers and cyber security. He researches technology and enjoys breaking down complex topics into articles suitable for a wide variety of audiences.