Steam Chat cannot upload or send images [Solved]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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  • Even though it's a popular gaming platform, many users reported that Steam chat can't upload or send images.
  • To fix this issue, you need to disable a certain feature that causes the Image failed to upload error.
  • Check if your cybersecurity solution is blocking the connection to the server.
  • You should also run Steam as administrator, following our step-by-step guide below.
Fix Steam Chat cannot upload or send images
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Steam Chat is a free voice and text chat system with rich properties to enhance your gaming experience.  However, at times Steam chat may encounter Image failed to upload error.

This error occurs when the user tries to send an image through the Steam Chat using the Steam client on desktop.

The full error reads Failed to start upload: Image failed to upload. If you are facing a similar error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to fix it.

What can I do if I can’t upload an image to Steam Chat?

  1. Logout of Steam
  2. Use Steam online
  3. Disable Compact friends list and Chat view
  4. Disable Firewall
  5. Run Steam as admin
  6. Update Steam and disable the antivirus
  7. Send images via a third-party host
  8. Use an alternative voice chat app

1. Logout of Steam

  1. Launch Steam and on the top right, click on your Profile name.
  2. Select Log out of account.
  3. After that, exit Steam and relaunch it.
  4. Login with your Steam credential and see if you can send images via Steam chat.

One way to fix this error is to log out your Steam account on the Steam client and log back in. It seems to have worked for a  lot of users with the image upload failed error.

2. Use Steam Online

  1. Log in to Steam web client.
  2. Enter the special security code if asked.
  3. Click on Chat to open the Chat window.
    Steam Chat Client Web
  4. Select your friend and upload the image you want to send.
  5. That’s it! You should be able to send the images through Steam web chat client as long as the Steam desktop client is not fixed.

You can access your Steam account online using the web browser. Even if you are unable to send and upload images via the Steam desktop client, you can still send pictures via the Steam web client.

3. Disable Compact friends list and Chat view

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Click on Friends and Chat at the bottom right screen.
  3. In the Friends and Chat window, click on the Settings (Cog icon).
    Steam - Friends and Chat - Settings
  4. In the Settings window, click on the Size and Scaling tab.
    Steam - Turn off Compact friends list and chat view
  5. Make sure that the Compact friends list and Chat view option is Off.
  6. Close the Settings window. Exit Steam and Relaunch it.
  7. Try to upload the image again and see if that resolves the error.

To offer a better gaming experience while chatting, Steam added a Compact friends list and chat view option to the Chat settings.

However, this feature is also known to cause image failed to upload error on Steam. This feature is disabled by default. If you have turned it on accidentally or intentionally, try disabling it.

4. Disable Firewall

  1. Click on Start, and go to Settings.
  2. Select Update and Security.
  3. Click on Windows Security, and select Firewall & network protection.
  4. Select your Network and turn off Firewall.

Also, check your Firewall protection. The firewall may wrongly flag a connection and block the access. Try to turn off the Firewall momentarily to see if you are able to upload images.

5. Run Steam as Admin

  1. Type Steam in the Cortana/search bar.
    Steam Run as Admin
  2. Right-click on Steam and select Run as administrator.
  3. Open Steam Chat and upload an image.
  4. Check for any improvements.

Exit steam and try to launch the Steam client with administrative privilege, by following the above steps.

6. Update Steam and disable the antivirus

  1. Launch Steam and click on Steam.
    Steam - Check for updates
  2. Select Check for Steam Client Updates.

If your Antivirus software is blocking the connection to the Steam server for any reason, it may result in an image upload error. Disable your antivirus temporarily and check for any improvements.

7. Send images via a third-party host

Now, this is not a fix but a workaround till the Steam fixes the issue.  You can try to upload images to any public images hosting sites like Imgur or Tinypic etc.

Upload the images to the sites and share the Image link in your Chat. This is handy if you want to share an image with your friend urgently.

8. Use an alternative voice chat app

You probably don’t want to hear this, but if you are experiencing this error for a long time now, you may want to give other popular game chat app a try.

Apps like Discord are among the most popular voice and text chat app for gamers and gaming communities with exceptional quality servers.

You can read our complete guide on best voice chat application for gamers to find the best VoIP clients to step up your game.

We hope that these recommendations from our list were helpful. For more suggestions or other questions, please access the comments section below.

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