Airbnb’s website is famously user-friendly, but unfortunately issues can (and will!) still occur. If you’re trying to upload photos to your listing or profile and are getting nowhere, you’re not alone! Follow along below for my top tips on how to fix this frustrating issue.
So, what should you do if your Airbnb photos won’t upload?
- Make sure your account is active
- Try logging out and logging back in
- Make sure Airbnb has access to your photos
- Make sure your photo files are supported
- Try a different browser
- Contact Airbnb support
Make Sure Your Account Is Active
Something that frustrates a lot of new hosts is the delay between signing up for their Airbnb account and actually having that account become active. Many people are understandably eager to get their listings live and start attracting potential guests, but this is not always possible right away.
A common issue that I see people reporting is that their account won’t allow them to upload photos until they have received the “Welcome to Airbnb” email. This email comes faster to some than it does to others, creating an unfortunately inconsistent experience for users. Hopefully Airbnb is working on straightening this out, but in the meantime you may be in for a slight wait if you’re a brand new host!
Try Logging Out And Logging Back In
Although this response to a slew of issues has become something of an inside joke in the tech community, it does produce results. Logging out and logging back in functions as a sort of quick reboot for your account on Airbnb’s servers, allowing some minor bugs and other issues to work themselves out.
Obviously, this approach may not solve all issues with photos uploading. Another similar self-reboot you can do is to close out of your internet browser completely and reopen it. Do this in conjunction with logging out and logging back in again.
If this doesn’t work, try restarting your computer or mobile device. Sometimes these devices have updates that they wait to install until they are in sleep mode or restarted. Also, restarting the device will reset a lot of browser functions that have been running in the background, potentially getting rid of things that may have been affecting your Airbnb experience.
Make Sure Airbnb Has Access To Your Photos
This applies mainly to Airbnb app users, but could also affect computer users depending on their privacy or browser settings.
Most smartphones require you to approve a permission script for each app to access something stored on the phone. Usually, this script pops up the first time you attempt to use the app to upload photos or videos. However, if you accidentally declined the permission or it failed to ask, you might get stuck in limbo with regards to sharing your pictures.
Simply go into your device’s settings and look either under the Airbnb app itself or your phone’s privacy settings. There you’ll find whether or not the app is allowed to access photos (sometimes it will say “camera”). Make sure photo access is enabled!
If you’re using the Airbnb website on a computer, this is less likely to be an issue. If you started on your smartphone and aren’t having any luck, I would recommend trying it on a laptop and seeing if that works better. If you’re still having problems, the next few tips might be able to help you out.
Make Sure Your Photo Files Are Supported
Airbnb requires photos to be formatted in a pretty specific way in order for them to work. You already know that your photos should be of the highest possible resolution, but many hosts don’t realize that they need to be in JPEG format in order to be uploaded.
This can be pretty frustrating for people who have spent a lot of time (and often money) creating beautiful listing photos. JPEGs have relatively small file sizes compared to other photo file formats like PNGs and TIFFs.
This makes them faster and easier to upload, but also means that they often aren’t quite as crisp and clean looking. Your photos can still look great in JPEG form, but you’ll need to start off with some very high quality pictures in order to have an end result that still looks impressive.
JPEGs are a “destructive” file format, meaning that when the image is saved it is compressed in order to save space. When the image is reopened, the new photo often looks more blurry or pixelated than the original. This is why I recommend starting off with the largest, clearest images that you can in order to ensure a great end result.
Rental Recon Tip: Worried about photo quality? Airbnb offers professional photography services in certain areas. Using services like these can help ensure that you get the best looking listing photos possible. They tend to be fairly affordable, and the service fee is deducted from future bookings until paid off.
Try A Different Browser
If all the above tips have failed to help, trying a different browser should be your next step. There doesn’t really seem to be a frontrunner in terms of which one works best, but many users have found that switching from one to another has solved their photo loading issues.
Similar to switching browsers, clearing the cache of your current browser (or all of them, if you use more than one) can often help. This is pretty easy to do: find where you would go to clear your browsing history, and select the option to clear the cache as well. The exact steps vary slightly from program to program, but it is easy to find specific directions online.
If you do opt to clear the cache, know that this can sometimes delete saved passwords and other similar information that you might rather keep. Usually a popup window will notify you of this in advance, but be careful!
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Contact Airbnb Support
If all else fails, contacting support is your best bet. Sadly, Airbnb support does not have the best reputation for being easy to reach. A three-pronged approach will give you the best shot of getting through to someone.
First, go to https://www.airbnb.com/help/contact-us/ and follow the steps there. This should get someone to address your issue, but lots of hosts report waiting a while before anyone gets in touch.
Next, direct messaging @Airbnbhelp on Twitter is an instant way to (hopefully) get someone’s attention. Make sure you’re following the account so they can message you back!
Finally, calling 1-855-424-7262 (for US callers) is the last resort. This line is supposed to be for urgent matters only, so use it only as needed.
How many pictures can you put on Airbnb?
Airbnb does not limit the number of photos you can upload for a listing. Although it may be tempting to showcase each and every aspect of your great rental, it is best not to overwhelm guests browsing through their searches.
I recommend sticking to between 15-25 pictures maximum per listing. The exceptions would be listings with lots of rooms or other features that absolutely need to be shown. However, for the majority of us, 15-25 is more than enough to concisely show off what we offer our guests.