Tried to upload an image to your WordPress website, but ran into trouble? Whether you’re a beginner or a longtime administrator, the problem can happen out of the blue. Although it’s quite common, it can be especially confusing if you uploaded a bunch of pictures recently, and nothing was out of the ordinary. The answer to, “how to fix image upload issue in WordPress?” isn’t always clear. However, doing the troubleshooting using the steps below will most likely lead you to a solution. When you are ready, let’s go through the list of usual culprits for the WordPress picture upload problem.
Common Image Upload Issues in WordPress
- File Size Limit: Using several configurations, WordPress can limit the size of the file that can be uploaded to your server. This can also be configured on a server level, causing issues with large file uploads.
- File Type Restrictions: By default, WordPress will not allow uploading some file types. For example, you cannot upload SVGs by default. This can be an issue, especially if you want to use a file type frequently that is not allowed by WordPress by default.
- Uploads Stuck or Taking Too Long: The most common cause of the upload being stuck or taking too long issue is server overload. If you do not carefully configure your server resources and allocate the necessary resources to WordPress, this issue can happen.
- White Screen or HTTP Error: WordPress can run into white screen errors if there are misconfigurations related to file uploads, especially images.
- Broken Image Thumbnails: Broken Image Thumbnails are a very common issue that happens, usually while switching themes.
- Image Compression or Quality Loss: WordPress, by default, will compress your images during the upload process. This is to ensure you save disk space, especially on larger images. This can be disabled if you need 100% of the original image quality.
1. Alter file permissions
This is typically the resolution to your problems, which is why we put it in the first place. Not only that, but we even wrote an entire guide on steps required to fix file and folder permissions error in WordPress. If that wasn’t clear enough, we also demonstrated the process in FileZilla, an FTP client, in our guide on fixing the “Upload: Failed to write file to disk” WordPress error. The problem obviously occurs with images as well.
2. Solve the blank thumbnails problem in WordPress
Once again, a very common issue. Even though it technically uploads the file, it leaves all thumbnails blank and often prevents you from editing the picture in any way. Because it happened to us too, we wrote an in-depth explanation on how to fix blank thumbnails in WordPress Media Library.
3. Rename the image
Does the picture you’re trying to upload have special characters? We’re talking ñ, á, é, ỉ, ȋ, ĩ, or even more common characters such as #, &, *, $, or %? If so, you might try replacing them with a common character, or a word, or deleting them altogether.
4. Optimize/compress the image
Uploading an image that’s too large can be very detrimental to your website. Simply put, there’s no need for a picture with a massive resolution. Although sharp, it will most likely be multiple times wider than your website’s content, hog your storage, slow down your website, and your visitors might never look at it more than once. Do this to check.
- Access your WordPress Admin Section.
- Click on the Settings option in the menu on the left, then select Media.
- In the Media Settings page, check the maximum allowed dimensions.
You can also try to find comparable images and check their size. This is useful if you’re editing a theme template and just want to switch the default image. If that doesn’t work, feel free to experiment. You can do it in draft mode, and publish the changes later. When you get the right size, edit the image in Photoshop, GIMP, or via an online image resize website. Afterward, utilize the free image compression websites such as TinyJPG or CompressJPEG. Alternatively, you can download third-party software such as Caesium Image Compressor.
If you are still struggling to upload, you might have to increase the maximum file upload size limit. Unfortunately, you might still get a 413 Request Entity Too Large error. Luckily, as you can see, that issue can be solved too.
5. Fix the non-functional Add Media button
Some people struggle with this issue due to a malfunctioning function, theme, or plugin. And although it still allows you to upload an image after you access your WordPress website via FTP, it’s not always convenient. For that reason, it’s best if you learn how to fix Add Media button not working in WordPress.
6. Clear the WordPress cache
Follow these steps to clear the cache on WordPress manually. It’s possible that the issue of uploading images to WordPress will be gone afterward. If you are using plugins like WP-Rocket, the steps to clear the cache might be easier.
7. Increase the WordPress memory limit
We’ve already demonstrated how the WordPress memory exhausted error fix works. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might want to try to disable multi-threading on your image processor. This isn’t always advised but might help with your particular hosting.
- In the same root WordPress directory, find the file named .htaccess.
- Right-click on it, and select View/Edit.
- Add this line:
SetEnv MAGICK_THREAD_LIMIT 1
- Save the file and try to upload again.
- If it makes no difference, feel free to remove the line and save changes.
8. Increase your website storage capability
If you tried all of the solutions above and didn’t get rid of the problem, it’s time to face the truth. Your image upload problem most likely stems from the lack of storage space. This is common, especially if you bought a cheap hosting plan, not expecting your website to flourish. Luckily, it can be solved easily. Upgrade to a more expensive payment plan, and your hosting will help you transition.
9. Temporarily disable plugins or themes
Before you go ahead and delete a WordPress theme, it’s best you temporarily deactivate it to test things out. The same applies to the latest WordPress plugin you installed. Ultimately, you can disable all plugins, and test whether the upload error persists. If that was the problem, you can slowly disable plugins one by one until you find the one responsible. We made a step-by-step guide on this in our guides on how to fix the WordPress white screen of death.
10. Upgrade your PHP version
This is a desperate attempt to solve the image upload issue in WordPress. However, it has a decent chance to work if your PHP version is vastly outdated. Check the last paragraph (Contact your hosting) in the “This site is Experiencing Technical Difficulties” error fix article to find out how.