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Your Photos Are Not Uploading To Facebook In HD By Default | Here’s The Fix

By Kishore Sawh on September 26th 2016

The mobile phone user world has photo fever, or perhaps even down with photo plague as is evidenced by the fact adverts for mobile devices seem to suggest a device’s success is now predicated upon having a great camera and adequate apps. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are testament to that.

Apple has dropped numerous 12MP camera’d devices within the last 12 months, and of course more people are using mobile devices to upload photos than ever. The only problem is, many of us, myself included, have been uploading rubbish quality thanks to a Facebook setting. Essentially, Facebook defaults into a mode that uploads photos that look more like you pulled them off a Motorolla RAZR than an iPhone. Here’s an example ‘before and after’ HD toggle, and it’s significant: (click the images)



Shot on an RX100 MK1 at ISO1600

This is problematic now, because as photo professionals we’re judged on the quality of the work people see, and there’s no denying Facebook is a major source of eyes-on-work; It’s significant for many of our businesses.

As that’s the case, when we upload images to Facebook these days, we’re not simply uploading phone snaps, but using our phones and tablets to upload proper, edited, polished representations of our work. So, without further a-do, here’s the fix that will let your best work shine through:

From the Facebook Mobile App go to Settings>Videos & Photos. Your screen progression should appear as below:

Once there, you’ll be greeted with the following menu, and all you’ll need to do it toggle those switches to the right to turn the default low-res setting off, and Facebook will upload higher quality versions for you.


[REWIND: Images From The New iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait Mode | Simulated DOF]

Those of you who are discerning photographers are probably wondering what size this ‘HD’ feature maxes out at, and as far as I can tell it’s 2048×2048, and video can be input as 1080p or even 4K, but will be downscaled to 720. It appears that using your own software to downscale the video to 720 yields a better result than Facebook’s own algorithm.

Furthermore, while I can’t seem to find a precise size limit for photo uploads, uploading a JPEG where I first saved for web and then ran through JPEGMini seems to look a little better than just uploading the JPEG straight, even with the HD feature on. It’s always advantageous to save for web when possible, for Facebook.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. David Saunders

    Another person blinded by Apple and the iPhone… Why mention a phone that doesn’t have the best camera?

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  2. jamie m

    thanks for this! is it correct to assume that there’s no way to do anything about the photos already uploaded? would i just have to take them down and upload again after adjusting the hd settings for my facebook?

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Hi Jamie, that would make sense given FB won’t choose to store a higher res version of a file they display in low.

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  3. Scott Spellman

    Great tip!!!

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  4. Andy Luten

    The same toggle is in the Pages app for those who manage photography (or, in my case, travel blog) pages via mobile.

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  5. Stephanie Wood

    Wow thanks for the tip! One question – what is the best way to save for web?

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  6. Thomas Starlit

    Great tip! For computer uploads, I find that anything else than 2048px on the long side will end up looking dull

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  7. James O

    Do you have any recommendations for poor image quality with uploading from a computer?

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