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Issue #335: December 22, 2013

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Q:  I was able to do this before, but now cannot. Help. I try to upload photos or documents to Facebook, but it won’t let me. A friend has started to have same problem, so it is not just me. FB replies to inquiries with, “thank you for blah, blah, blah….”. I was finally able to create an album and add pictures there. How do I upload ONE photo to ONE Facebook page? Help. This is so annoying. 

Cheryl D.
Navarre, Florida

A: When I receive a question like this, I’m always so very tempted to respond with something like “It won’t ‘let you’?  You’re bigger than it is.  Make it let you.  Click on that blah, blah, blah thingy, and select yakity yak yak.  When the Stuff and Nonsense doohickey appears, click on the thingamajig checkbox, then click Yup and you’re all set.”  Instead of responding like that, I usually ignore these questions, because frankly, in all my 30+ years around computers, I have yet to see one generate an error message containing the phrase “blah, blah, blah” (not even FaceBook).  Also, “it won’t let me” is an extremely poor description of a problem, and gives me absolutely zero basis from which to start figuring out a solution for you.  It’s not as if some electronic hand reaches out of the monitor and prevents you from doing what you want.  I’m trying to help here, and having the exact text of any error message, or at least a less vague description of the problem is the best way to get the help you’re seeking.

However, since this is my last column before Christmas I’m feeling rather charitable, and since Facebook remains one of the most popular destinations on the Internet, it’s likely other people are having this problem.  So, it seems like this is a question worth addressing, even though I haven’t a clue as to what error is occurring when you try to upload pictures.

When I went to enter the text “Can’t upload pictures to FaceBook” in Google, the worthiness of the issue was quickly and definitively proven.  I only got as far as “Can’t uplo” when the auto-suggest feature suggested the rest of what I was already going to type.  Yes, Google is that good at guessing our needs these days.  The top five or so selections of the 201,000,000 hits that Google returned were links into Facebook’s own help files.  Browsing through them, I discovered that Facebook is “sorry you’re having trouble uploading photos” and they had several tips to offer.  Foremost among them is to make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed.  It’s funny how that’s the answer to so many problems, considering that most application add-ons (including Adobe Flash) will gladly configure themselves to auto-update whenever a new version is available.  If yours is not configured to do so, you can go to TinyURL.com/3wytk4 to make sure you have the latest and greatest installed.

Other suggestions that Facebook makes is to try using unedited versions of the pictures, since editing them before trying to upload them can cause failures.  They also remind you that Facebook only supports pictures of type .jpg .bmp, .png, .gif, and .tiff, so none of the more exotic file formats are allowed.  Also, make sure the picture’s file size doesn’t exceed 15 megabytes.  Finally, check your browser itself, to make sure you’re using the latest version.

If none of these suggestions has helped you, let’s go back to basics, and make sure you actually know the proper ways to upload pictures for Facebook.  Here’s a link to an article on wikiHow.com that will guide you: TinyURL.com/cp8o46w.

With that, I’m out.  Merry Christmas, my fellow Geeks!  I’m going to go and play with my Christmas light show, which those of you in the Okaloosa/Walton County area should really come out and see if you haven’t already.  If you’ve never been to a fully-computerized, animated light show set to music, it’s impossible for me to describe to you.  It must be experienced.  You can get full details including directions and show times at TinyURL.com/GeekLights.

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