Steam Chat cannot upload or send images [FIX IT FOR GOOD]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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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 similar error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to fix this error.

Can’t upload an image to Steam Chat? Learn how to fix it here

  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

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.

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

2. Use Steam Online

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.

  1. Log in to Steam web client. Enter the Special security code if asked.
  2. Click on Chat to open the Chat window.
    Steam Chat Client Web
  3. Select your friend and upload the image you want to send.
  4. 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.

3. Disable Compact Friends List and Chat View

To offer 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. However, if you have turned it on accidentally or intentionally, try disabling it. Here is how to do it.

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

4. Disable 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.

  1. To do this, click on Start > Settings > Update and Security.
    Windows security - Firewall and network protection
  2. Click on Windows Security > Firewall and Network Protection.
  3. Select your Network and turn off Firewall.

5. Run Steam as Admin

Exit steam and try to launch the Steam client with administrative privilege.

  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. Check for any improvements.

6. Update Steam and disable the antivirus

If it is a known bug, Steam may release an update with the patch.

  1. Launch Steam and click on Steam.
    Steam - Check for updates
  2. Select “Check for Steam client Update”.

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

Discord comes to Windows 10 Mobile through Clamour

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 guide on best voice chat application for gamers to find the best VoIP clients to step up your game.


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