Upload Images to the Internet

The best image-uploading service for you will depend on what you want to do with your image: for example, if you just want to quickly upload an image to share on a forum, a hosting service like Imgur will probably be your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to share photos with your friends and family, a social network like Instagram or Facebook may be for you. Traditional photo hosts like Flickr and Photobucket can be best for blog and website owners, while, finally, file-hosting services like Dropbox and Google Drive work best as online backup solutions. There have never been more options for uploading images than there are today, so pick the solution that fits your needs and start uploading today!


Using Image Hosting Sites


  1. Pick Imgur for quick, general-purpose image hosting needs. Imgur.com, the largest website of its kind, is an image hosting site that allows users to upload image files and share them with others quickly, easily, and anonymously.[1] Because of its ubiquity and ease of use, Imgur is a good "first stop" for casual image hosting needs.
    • Pros: Easy to use, no sign-up required, massive user base.
    • Cons: User base tends towards "meme-y" content, potential loss of quality on large image files.
    • Use for: Sharing pictures via links in email/forum posts, uploading memes, posting Reddit/Digg content.
    • Note that Imgur pictures are deleted if they receive no views after six months. In addition, Imgur will automatically compress large images to save bandwidth.[2]
  2. Start by clicking the "upload images" button. Uploading an image to Imgur is easy. Once you've reached the home page at Imgur.com, use the following instructions to upload your file:
    • Click "Upload Images" at the top of the page.
    • Pick your upload option. You can browse your computer for images that you have saved, drag and drop images into the Imgur window, or even paste copied images from the clipboard.
    • Note that you can upload more than one image at once — to do this, just repeat the upload process for each new photo and it will be added to your queue.
    • Once you are satisfied with your selections, click "Start Upload." The images will be uploaded onto the Imgur server (you can watch each image's progress via the bar next to its thumbnail picture.)
  3. Copy and paste the links you're given. Once your image is uploaded, you will be taken to its page on Imgur. On the right side of the page, you will see a list of links. Each link is labeled with a method for sharing it — to show people your image, just copy and paste the appropriate link into your online conversation. Your options for sharing are:
    • Image link: Gives the viewer a hyperlink to the image page. Used for emails/social site conversations.
    • Direct link: Gives the viewer a link to the image itself — not its Imgur page. This option and "Image link" are the easiest for general-purpose use.
    • Markdown link: As indicated, used for including the image in Reddit comments.
    • HTML: Used for including the image on a website.
    • BBCode/Linked BBCode: Used for certain forums and message boards.
  4. Optionally, use a social media sharing option. If you want to share your image with your friends and family on social media and don't want to deal with the hassle of copying and pasting links, just click one of the icons on the right side of the page to link the image to the indicated social network site. A pop-up window will appear asking you to comment on your image and submit it. The social networks Imgur supports are:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Google+
    • Tumblr
    • Reddit
    • Stumbleupon
  5. Consider creating an account. If you find yourself using Imgur frequently, you may want to register an account by clicking the "Sign Up" button in the top right of the site. There are added benefits to creating an Imgur account, and, best of all, regular accounts are free.
    • Free account features include:
      Options for commenting and rating images
      Privacy controls
      Photo album creation
      Captions and titles
      High-quality image upload options
    • Pro account ($23.95/yr) features include:
      No ads
      Analytics options
      Extra image/thumbnail features


  1. Use Flickr for high-quality image hosting. While Flickr doesn't have the membership of Imgur or large social media sites, it has its own strengths. Flickr gives you a large amount of storage to upload your images to, and Images are not compressed or resized. Flickr also allows you to easily link to your images from your blog (though some advanced users report problems with the way Flickr handles professional photography.)[3]
    • Pros: No resizing or compression, ample sharing options, welcoming community of professional/amateur photographers, storage of high-quality videos of up to three minutes allowed, basic photo-editing tools included.[4]
    • Cons: Some minor features that are unappealing to professional photographers.[3]
    • Use for: Hosting photography work, high-quality images, some videos.
  2. Upload your images. Flickr offers 1 terabyte of free storage — more than anyone could realistically expect to use. This makes Flickr a good place to store all backups of your photos, even if you don't intend to share them. To upload an image, use the following steps:
    • Create an account. Flickr requires members to register before uploading images. Flickr uses your Create-a-Yahoo-Account — if you don't already have one, click the "Sign up" button in the top left to get started.
    • Click the "Upload" button at the top of the screen. Drag and drop images into the window or click the "Choose photos and videos" button to browse your hard drive.
    • Select more photos as desired. You can also add a description and tags for each photo using the options on the left. When finished click the "Upload" button in the top right to start the upload.
  3. Add tags for organization. Like many social media sites, Flickr uses a system of tags to organize your images. These tags are key words describing your image that allow you to easily organize them and other users to easily find them.
    • To add tags, click the uploaded photo and scroll down to the options underneath it. Click "Add tags," type in a word that describes your image, and hit enter. Repeat as needed.
  4. Share your photos. To share your image with your friends on a social network site, click the button that looks like an arrow pointing to the right in the corner of the image's page. In the pop-up menu, select the network you want to share on, then follow the on-screen prompts to finish. You may need to supply your login credentials for the site you choose. The networks supported by Flickr are:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Tumblr
  5. Consider downloading the Flickr app. In addition to its online services, Flickr also offers an image-sharing app that is very similar to Instagram, but allows you to store your pictures at their original size and shape. This free app is available for both Apple and Android devices. Search for "Flickr" on iTunes or the Google Play Store to download and install the app.


  1. Use Photobucket for feature-rich photo-sharing needs. Like the sites above, Photobucket allows you to share and link to your stored images. However, Photobucket has several features that set it apart from the pack, including the ability to make albums, scrapbooks, slideshows, and more, making this site a good choice for those interested in creating unique photo experiences for their viewers.
    • Pros: Easy to use, lots of creative presentation features.
    • Cons: Free accounts have limited storage.
    • Use for: Slideshows, collages, albums, etc.
  2. Create an account. Getting started on Photobucket is easy: you can either login using your Facebook account, or create a dedicated Photobucket account. A basic Photobucket account is free — just click the "Sign Up" button in the top right to begin the registration process and follow the on-screen prompts.
  3. Upload images. You can upload images from your computer, import images from your Facebook page, and even upload images using the Photobucket app on your smartphone. You also have the option of emailing images to your Photobucket account using the email address you receive when you sign up — the images you send will be uploaded automatically.
    • See Upload-Pictures-to-Photobucket for more details on uploading images to Photobucket.
  4. Create-a-Photobucket-Album. One of the great features of Photobucket is that you can organize your images into albums for easier sorting. This lets you organize your images by theme and share specific groups of images easier. Use the steps below to create an album:
    • Click the "Library" option at the top of the screen. Select "Create Album."
    • Provide any pertinent details. In the pop-up window, you can give your album a name and add descriptors that work like tags in social media. Click "Create" when you're done.
    • Click "Upload Images." On the next screen, you'll see your album, currently empty. Click the upload button and add images as you normally would.
  5. Share-Photobucket-Pictures-with-Friends. As with the other image-hosting sites above, you can quickly share your images to various social networks on Photobucket. On the image's page, click the appropriate buttons along the top and, if necessary, provide your login credentials when prompted. The social networks supported by Photobucket are:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Google+
    • Tumblr
    • Pinterest
  6. Consider downloading the Photobucket desktop program. If you use Photobucket frequently, you may want to take the time to download the free desktop program. This easy-to-use application allows you to easily back up large numbers of images at once without dealing with the online Photobucket site.[5] The desktop client is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Other Sites

  1. Use Shutterfly for printing needs. Shutterfly.com is somewhat unique among image-hosting sites in that it's designed to allow users to assemble and order custom scrapbooks, greeting cards, stationary, and so on. While the site isn't practical for general image-sharing needs, it's a high-quality service if you're looking to use your photos for gifts, crafts, and so on.[6]
    • Pros: Allows users to order professional photo products using their images.
    • Cons: Not a conventional image-hosting site — designed more as a commercial service.
    • Use for: Holiday cards, scrap books, etc.
  2. Use Tinypic for quick tasks. Like its name suggests, tinypic.com is all about minimalism. Its extremely stripped-down interface offers the basics and little else, but if you just want to get you images or videos online, it's harder to find a quicker, more direct route.
    • Pros: No-frills, no-nonsense design. Allows uploading of videos in addition to image files.
    • Cons: Little in the way of extra features/sharing options
    • Use for: Quick fixes.

Using Social Media Sites


  1. Use Instagram for an image-centered social experience. Instagram is one part Imgur, one part Facebook. The site, which allows users to upload photos from their mobile device's camera, is built around its community and is designed for sharing photos with other users. One of Instagram's most famous features is its easy-to-use filter system — users can simply take a picture and scroll through a list of pre-made visual filters to give their photo a unique, dramatic look.
    • Pros: Large, active community, simple, easy-to-use interface, designed with mobile users in mind.
    • Cons: Non-mobile options very lacking. Not good for sharing outside of social networking sites.
    • Use for: Sharing photos with your friends and family directly from your mobile device.
  2. Download Instagram and create an account. Instagram is designed to be used through the Instagram app on your phone. This means that, before you use it, you will need to download the app, which is available for free on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Once the app is installed, simply sign in with your Facebook account.
  3. Shoot or upload a picture. To upload pictures with Instagram, you have two options: you can use Instagram's camera function to take a picture directly in the app, or upload a picture from your phone's storage. See below:
    • To take a picture, tap the button in the center of the bottom of the screen to turn on the camera. Point and shoot like you normally would.
    • To use a saved picture, tap into the camera as above, but then tap the button in the bottom left that looks like a 3x3 grid of dots. Pick the photo you want to upload from the list.
  4. Edit the picture. After you choose your picture, you can add filters and captions to give it a distinct style. Simply scroll through the list of filters to pick the one that you want, then tap the check mark. On the next page, add a description or hashtags (see below) as you see fit.
    • Note also that Instagram pictures sometimes need to be cropped so that they're a perfect square.
  5. Add hashtags. Hashtags allow other Instagram users to find your images by searching for the tags associated with your image. Using high-traffic, interesting hashtags will help get your image viewed by more people. To give your image a hashtag, simply write the tag preceded by a hash sign in the description of the image. For example, on a picture of a pool party, you might include the hashtags #summer and #fun.
  6. Share the picture. Once you're satisfied with your image, you can submit it to your Instagram account by clicking the the check mark in the top right. Alternatively, you can also share it with your friends on other social media sites. Simply click any of the "Share" buttons at the bottom of the screen to cross-post your Instagram submission to the indicated site. You may need to provide your log-in credentials to complete this process.
    • Note that the social sites listed at the bottom of your photo submission screen will vary depending on which sites you have associated with your phone.
    • See our Instagram guide for more detailed information on using Instagram.

Other Sites

  1. Use Tumblr for photo-blogging needs. Tumblr is a hybrid photo-sharing/blogging platform with a moderate-sized but growing community. Tumblr allows users to post pictures, gifs, and even videos. However, many users use Tumblr as a place to blog about their lives or their passions, opting to use visuals only to support their written content (or not at all.) Thus, Tumblr is a great choice for people looking to tell their life's story with their images (and/or words.)
    • Pros: Offers combined blogging/photo-sharing platform. Customizable profile pages.
    • Cons: Not useful for traditional photo storing needs. User base can be somewhat confrontational.
    • Use for: Blogging/scrapbooking.
  2. Use Pinterest to spread your images far and wide. Pinterest is unique among social networks in that its format is much more like a catalog than the typical "feed" structure used by Instagram, Facebook, etc. This unique format has certain advantages: Images uploaded to Pinterest can be "repinned" by other users, causing them to be shared with these users' page visitors, where they can be repinned again, and so on.
    • Pros: Easy to share and re-share content, higher-than-normal potential for viral spread of content.[7]
    • Cons: Non-conversational community, not a substitute for traditional image-hosting services.
    • Use for: Sharing photos of your interests, viral content, etc.
  3. Use Facebook for its social experience. Facebook is the most popular social network in the world by far, but there's a reason it appears last in this section. While there's no beating the breadth of Facebook's user base, its image-hosting tools are surprisingly lackluster compared to other options in this article. Facebook does allow you to upload photos, tag your contacts, and share them with your friends and family, but its options for managing albums and organizing photos are somewhat counter-intuitive and its interface pales in comparison to quick, easy solutions like Instagram. Thus, Facebook is good choice for people who are most interested in the social aspect of uploading images — not features or ease-of-use.
    • Pros: Largest community in the world, good social options.
    • Cons: Lacking in features compared to newer options.
    • Use for: Keeping your friends and family up-to-speed on your life.

Using Alternative Solutions


  1. Use Dropbox as a file backup service. Dropbox is a cloud service that's more geared towards accessible, long-term online storage than traditional photo-hosting needs, but you can still easily share your stored images with others. Dropbox allows you to easily store your images online and access them anywhere, but is not suitable for some common features of other services, like embedding images in blogs and websites.
    • Pros: Convenient, accessible file backup capabilities. Easy-to-use desktop client.
    • Cons: Requires desktop client download. Free Dropbox accounts come with 2 GB of storage, which may not be enough for some users.
    • Use for: Long-term backups.
    • Note that Dropbox requires you to register an account. This is easy — just visit dropbox.com and click the prominent "Sign Up" button to get started.[8] See our guide to getting started with Dropbox for more details on creating a Dropbox account.
  2. Upload the images you want to store. There are three options for uploading files to Dropbox: you can upload images through the Dropbox web interface, through the Dropbox app on your smartphone, or through the Dropbox desktop program.
    • Adding Files Online: This is the quickest, easiest option. Simply sign into your account and click the upload button at the top of the page (it looks like a white page with a plus sign on it) to get started. Follow the prompts and browse your computer's hard drive to find the file you want to add — it will upload automatically.
    • See Add-Files-to-Dropbox for more details on the other methods for uploading files.
  3. Share your images. The process of sharing images on Dropbox is a little different than the way you would do it on a standard photo site. With dropbox, you will need to specifically indicate the people that you want to share with. The upside of this is that only people you approve will have access to your files. See below:[9]
    • Select "Photos" from the sidebar.
    • Select the photos you want to share. You can also select albums to share.
    • Click the "Share files" button.
    • Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with. Alternatively, you may click the "Get Link" button to receive a link that you can give to others.
    • Note that your images' viewers do not need a Dropbox account

Google Drive

  1. Use Google Drive for file storage/backup. Like Dropbox, Google Drive is geared more towards personal storage and document collaboration than it is on image hosting, but you can still use it to share images that you've uploaded with others. Free Google Drive accounts come with 15 GB of storage, with more available for purchase. Like Dropbox, you can share your images on Google Drive, but the service is not suitable for embedding images in blogs and websites.
    • Pros: More storage than Dropbox; also allows online word/spreadsheet/slideshow editing.
    • Cons: Lacks features of image-hosting sites.
    • Use for: Long-term storage, file backup.
    • You'll need a Google account to use Google Drive. See our guide to signing up for a Google account for more information.
  2. Upload your images. There are multiple ways to upload images to Google Drive. You can use the Google Drive main web interface, the mobile app, or the Google Drive desktop program.
    • Of these options, the web interface is generally the most convenient. Log into your account at drive.google.com and click the orange button with the upward-pointing arrow next to the "Create" button. Browse through your computer's hard drive and select the image you want to upload.
    • See our Google Driveguide for more details on the other methods uploading files to Google Drive.
  3. Share-a-Google-Drive-File. Sharing images with Google Drive is similar to sharing with Dropbox. You can either share directly with specific Drive users, or you can share the link to your file with whomever you'd like. See below:
    • Right-click on the image you want to share.
    • Select "Share..."
    • Ensure that "Anyone who has the link can view" is present.
    • Copy the link in the field and distribute it to anyone. You can also use the included sharing tools to quickly share to Google+, Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter.
    • Alternatively, you can enter email addresses into the bottom field and invitations to view the file will be sent out.


  1. Use email as a quick stopgap measure. If you have an email account, you have a free (but somewhat old-fashioned) method of storing images online. Simply attaching your images to an email and sending it to yourself is one way to "upload" them to the internet in a sense — once they're in your inbox, they're easy to access from almost anywhere. However, since email interfaces aren't technically made for this purpose, doing this can feel a little more "clunky" than with the options above. In addition, this option lacks the features of both the social media and traditional image hosting options mentioned above.
    • Pros: Convenient. Online email accounts are near-ubiquitous.
    • Cons: Interface of most email programs not designed specifically for this task. Storage available varies from service to service.
    • Use for: Situations when you need to quickly store images online and don't have access to another option.
  2. Create a new email. To get started, simply create a blank email. Depending on the email program you're using, this is usually done by clicking a button that says "Compose New Message" or something similar.
    • You don't have to put anything in the body of this email unless you want to send yourself a memo for later.
  3. Attach your photos to the email. Next, attach your image files to the blank email. Usually, the button for this will have a paperclip on it, though this can vary from service to service. Browse your hard drive and select the file you want to attach.
    • The maximum attachment size per email can also vary from service to service. For instance, with Gmail, the max attachment size is 25 Megabytes, while Outlook has a max size of 10 MB with the option to send larger files via Microsoft's cloud service.[10][11]
  4. Send your email to yourself. Next, just put your own email address into the "To:" field and click "Send." Within a few minutes, your email should be in your inbox with your files attached — now, you can access them from anywhere you can log into your account.
    • If you don't see your email, check your spam filter. There is a chance that it was incorrectly categorized as junk mail.

Related Articles

Sources and Citations