What Size Photos Are Allowed on Facebook?

Size matters when posting images to Facebook.
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Facebook is a great place to share photos of the people, places and things you care about. Before uploading photos to Facebook, ensure that your photos are within the size limitations (minimum and maximum) that Facebook imposes. If you're unsure of a photo's dimensions, you can hover your mouse over the file's icon and read the dimension information that appears. Alternatively, you can right-click the file, select "Properties" from the drop-down that appears, and then choose the "Details" tab to view the photo's file size and dimensions (for Mac users, choose "View" and then "Show View Options" from the Finder of your images folder, then check the box for "Show Item Info" and your photo file dimensions will be displayed under the filenames).

1 Facebook Profile Pictures

Be sure the image you use for your Facebook profile picture is at least 180 pixels on each side.
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Your profile picture on Facebook has a minimum size of 180-by-180 pixels. If you attempt to upload a smaller image, you'll get an error message from Facebook notifying you that the photo is too small to use. Once uploaded, the display dimensions of your profile picture are 160-by-160 pixels, with a white border around the image that you can't remove. If you upload an image that isn't square, you can hover your mouse over the image, click "Edit Profile Picture" and "Edit Thumbnail," and tweak the image cropping to display the desired part of the picture. If your image is blurry, upload a file that is at least twice as large as the final image will be (such as a file that is at least 320-by-320 pixels) to get better photo quality.

2 Facebook Cover Images

When framing out your cover photo, make sure it's at least 720 pixels wide.
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Your cover photo is the one that is displayed across the top of your Facebook profile page. Facebook requires a cover photo that is at least 720 pixels wide; the final display image is 851-by-315 pixels. If you upload a photo that is less than 720 pixels wide, you'll get an error message. If you upload a photo that is at least 720 pixels wide but more than 315 pixels high, you'll have the option to position and crop your image where you want it shown. Facebook cautions that you should not use commercial or promotional images in this space; nor should you use a picture that someone else is already using. For best results, a JPG file is ideal, unless you have text or a logo in your image. In that case, a PNG file is preferable.

3 Facebook Timeline Photos Have Limits, Sort Of

Photos can be up to 2048 pixels wide on your Facebook timeline.
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Most of the images you'll post to Facebook will be on your timeline, which is where your friends and family will see them. On the surface, Facebook puts a maximum size limit of 2,048-by-2,048 pixels for images uploaded to the timeline. But in reality, that limit does not appear to be universally enforced. Photographers have reported uploading photos of 3,000 pixels wide or more with no problem. But if you upload images that are too large, your viewers will have trouble fitting the entire image on a monitor, so it isn't recommended to exceed the recommended dimensions limit.

4 Version Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to Facebook as of December 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Erica Kasper has been a professional writer and editor since 1999. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., she has written and edited educational, marketing and web copy for nonprofit organizations, technology companies and online marketing firms. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (honors) and psychology from Washington and Lee University.