One of the things I like about imgur is the automatic thumbnailing. When adding an image to a post, it's easy to edit the URL to pick the small/medium/etc thumbnail.

I often like to take advantage of this when uploading images to chat, since I know some people are on slow/metered/etc connections. But in order for this to work, I have to upload the full-sized image to chat, then go back and edit the URL to ask for the thumbnail, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

However, there is currently no way to upload an image to stack.imgur.com and get a URL without the image being posted to chat first. The best workaround involved starting a new question/answer and adding the image there, but that's pretty annoying to have to jump out of chat for.

Can we get a mechanism to just upload the image and get a URL back?

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    I always upload it into a new question, then take the URL. Not really elegant, but it doesn't leave any mess. (draft isn't saved as it's too short.) Jul 17, 2016 at 21:00
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    There isn't currently a convenient way to do this, excepting what Shadow Wizard suggested. Maybe consider turning this from a support question into a feature request?
    – user206222
    Jul 17, 2016 at 23:26
  • If there isn't such a feature now then definitely this is a feature-request :)
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 17, 2016 at 23:52
  • Ideally, this page will check if you're logged into SE site (any site) and have 10+ reputation, then allow you to upload in there. Jul 18, 2016 at 6:04
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    I would love something like this. We like to keep one-boxes to a minimum and this would help instead of having to upload the image and then edit the message to add text to suppress the one-box. Jul 18, 2016 at 12:07
  • @ShadowWizard I had assumed that page was controlled by imgur, not SE, so might be out of their hands.
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:26
  • @KutuluMike it is indeed, but SE are paying imgur for this hosting, so adding a small form in there shouldn't be difficult for imgur. :) Jul 18, 2016 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


I'm going to be potentially controversial and say that this shouldn't be implemented.

The stack.imgur.com site is supposed to be used with images uploaded inline; allowing arbitrary images to be uploaded to it would seem to defeat the object of having a separate Stack Overflow subsite, if it doesn't actually violate the conditions of Imgur having set it up in the first place.

You ask "Can we get a mechanism to just upload the image and get a URL back?" Well, why not just upload to Imgur proper then? And link to the thumbnail you get out of that. As this is what it does.

The best direct solution that the devs could take would be to add a "resize" or "thumbnailize" checkbox on the Stack Overflow "upload image" dialog.

  • That would also work for me, though others have mentioned that they frequently just want the URL itself. And I'm not sure what the meaning of "allow arbitrary images to be uploaded" is... that's already what happens. I can upload arbitrary images from my HDD or the web to stack.imgur.com, it just takes me an extra step to get the URL.
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 23, 2016 at 14:33
  • @KutuluMike: If you just want the URL then you shouldn't be using stack.imgur.com. It's not a free-for-all general-purpose image hosting service. imgur.com is, so use that. Jul 23, 2016 at 15:20
  • "I'm not sure what the meaning of 'allow arbitrary images to be uploaded' is..." It's what it says: images that haven't necessarily been submitted as part of the documented and intended Stack Overflow GUI workflow. "that's already what happens" Only if you bypass the designed-for mode of operation, as you admit with "it just takes me an extra step to get the URL". You're not supposed to be using stack.imgur.com in this manner, period. Jul 23, 2016 at 15:22
  • There are a documented and intended UI for uploading arbitrary images into chat. There is also a documented and intended UI for editing a chat message. As far as I can tell, I'm using both of those UIs as intended?
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 23, 2016 at 15:33
  • @KutuluMike: Your suggested change almost entirely rewrites the intention of the feature, by explicitly and deliberately opening up stack.imgur.com to completely arbitrary image storage that has nothing whatsoever to do with chat. What did you think of my suggested change? Jul 23, 2016 at 18:18
  • As I mentioned in my first comment, your suggested change "would also work for me". I think others have expressed interest in just sending the URL to chat.
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 23, 2016 at 18:50

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