I take a photo with my phone. I want to post it for plant identification or some other worthy SO purpose.

I try pasting the Google Photo sharing URL into the Image box. Rejected with 'unsupported format'. I try downloading it and then uploading it. Rejected with too large. I try uploading it to imgur for myself, downsizing it in imgur, and supplying that link. Rejected due to 'unsupported format.' ORLY?

When downloaded, the file is a jpg. The last problem here is noted in another question: imgur likes to offer useless html page links instead of actual image links. Seems to me the uploader could learn to deal with those. Similarly, Google Photo provides a sharing link which is not the image itself, but to facilitate this use case the uploader could recognize it and do what's needful. At very least, a checkbox to permit downconversion of uploaded file would save work.

Why not accept Google Photo and similar links and downconvert, or offer to downconvert?

  • You might want to add what format the photo has... May 15, 2017 at 21:59
  • if you get the too large error it might be worth using tinypng which does do jpg files as well. when i've used it some of my photos get reduced down by 50%-80% because apparently there's alot of crap meta data is added which bloats the file
    – Memor-X
    May 16, 2017 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


This would be awesome, but I have a feeling it's going to end up declined because afaik SE uses imgur's API entirely to power the uploader, and so this would have to be implemented by imgur rather than by SE.

Here are some possible (not ideal) tips that may ease the pain in the mean time:

  • If you're on a desktop, you can skip the "download" step in your workflow by clicking the image on the share page, then right-clicking on the image on the Google Photo HTML page in the default zoomed out view (the page with the black background) and clicking "copy image link". Then you'll get an absurdly long link like:


    And this link does work in the SE uploader (presuming the image isn't too large) and the imgur uploader. Also, often this is a downsized image already, different than the high-res version you get when you click "Download" on Google, and may very well be small enough to upload directly to SE.

  • The imgur site itself has an easy workflow if you're on a desktop, too. If the image URL (like the one above) is on your clipboard, or the image itself is on your clipboard, you can just hit ctrl-v (or whatever paste is if you're on a Mac) right on imgur's home page and it will magically upload the image. So this combined with the above saves a couple of cumbersome workflow steps.

  • If you have a URL to an image that is too large for the uploader, assuming (I think) it's at an HTTPS source, you can also enter the markdown directly instead of using the uploader, e.g.:


    Then later (note the two leading spaces):

      [id]: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Hfs1jtqOeSaqLXSMsrqjeljZ5gv-EkQPYmx2A26jxt0zF89_bjya3QLrYKyYKnkVTKlD6-IfOm_xa3Q4DdKFz8SjOmZ_JtKosbdEZPUrqFw3UT0_v2RBHvuGYK-c70Nr58XBgraVNzevfB9Bt9Ej5KMAYmxIMZZyacnbA4ERIt6zLADBoJWv9d95x_8Hw3A46sZda1Qo4mp3EfGIv1z-vtAQur5LtpWgSbDzrjYUtbFese-__rSBjPyuVH5kUbh6gGjoqP6CUzFeH_um1E0LOZILiXReEU9CsXTLpVlyB6moTL-OaxlStgoMTufjAfdCp71TOhzoeymKDkISKFBxnLvAWZy345BSChGPU8C904MWzQgw1HUB8tK-qzk_7V2U1gediLiM3ak5cKV-g3Dk_aZeQp1cXA2dvUEAPGbE3KlTnQqliDfOeBOKB9A7gxu49ZInHpSrTSYtAeXW0YshaaKIpHVgV00GsjC0ihfdsyiKontsiV-s-jCNGCuA2sAOI19BE7uKNc6oZBxqr4wdeC20Vaw-w3o1dC1iXAlS2mU_SXRlB1YYNWFUwLT2t2eYecYmEErwbnCo852Myw8ljluz_XSJpF_Y2-onba-a9ceB1tqu6aTdKO0Pdk6aXWawo3jlnckXGc0_xBrCgPW5q7eFTIObIQVU3wBpn9cjhw=w1391-h782-no

    And it'll use that image URL. The downside to this is you run a higher risk of the image link becoming broken some day. If you do this the image can be as large as you want, but please be polite: Remember some users have limited bandwidth so don't go inserting 4GB images this way, for example.

  • Also, if you're posting from a mobile device, I've found that folks tend to not mind if you just post a link to the HTML image page with a note that says something like "sorry, on my phone, will convert to image later", then go back later when you're on a PC. People seem to have empathy for this, most people are more than familiar with the horror of doing things on mobile devices these days. Sometimes a helpful editor may even deal with it for you.

I know none of these are real solutions, but maybe they will help. I'm posting this as CW so if anybody else has tips, feel free to add them.

  • 1
    [![][id]][id] is really an link that wraps an image so you can click the link. It could be worth explaining that you can have a medium size image in ![][id-thumb] but only link to the full-blown version. That overcomes the bandwidth issue, kind of keeps an image available in case the link goes dead but does offer the full image when user decide to click the image.
    – rene
    May 16, 2017 at 16:58
  • You can also Internet Archive it. May 12, 2020 at 0:03

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