Can’t Upload Twitter Background Image – Bug Fix

Update: This fix definitely works as I have now had around 10 people email their images to me and I have stripped meta data from their background images using Photoshop CS4, every single image has then been uploaded successfully to Twitter  – however it does appear you need Photoshop CS4 to strip the meta data – I cannot advise how this can be achieved with any version prior to CS4 – if anyone knows please leave a comment or email me and I will update this.

As time allows I am also happy to strip meta from images if you email me – I cannot promise to do them all or very quickly but I will endeavor to as long as I’m not getting more than a  few a day.

My method is below, and I promise you it does work as long as you correctly remove the meta data.

There is a bug currently making a few tweeters grumpy and I may have found a fix – at least it worked for me.

See my Twitter background in action:

I was having trouble uploadingmy background image – Twitter would tell me that there was a problem and they were looking into it. I checked their suupport area and the problem seems to have existed for  alittle while…

With a little trial and error I found that by removing metadata from the image I was able to upload without issue. Images with metadata I could not.

Simple way to do this is to open your image in photoshop and and from the File menu choose ‘Save forweb and devices’. Then select metadata = none from the dropdown.

See the image below and click to enlarge.

Twitter background image bug fix

Twitter background image bug fix

You may also like to look at this post from Ian Lee which describes another twitter image method. And if you are interested in adding a twitter widget to your site, my friend Norman Sheppard has put together an easy option for this as well.

73 Responses to “Can’t Upload Twitter Background Image – Bug Fix”

  1. Rob says:

    How do you get rid of the meta data in CS3?

    • BigBear says:

      Rob I’m not sure – does it not have the same dialogue as seen in my screenshot? I only have CS4 installed currently – if you can’t get it to work email me the image, my email should be below this post, and I’ll fire it back.

  2. Ari says:

    thanks for the tip. i finally got it to work b/c of this post.

    @Rob not sure if i have the version PS as you but mine had a check box for “Optimized” or not. I deselected it and it worked perfectly.

    emergingsea on twitter.

    Ari to everyone else.

  3. koilos says:

    using firewoks and exporting the image in stead of save it, might help too

  4. BigBear says:

    Yes that should – I’m not sure if Fireworks ads meta or not – I found that an image that has been uploaded to wordpress – and resized by wordpress will also have the meta stripped.

  5. Michael Bernhard says:

    Nope, sorry. Does not work.

  6. Vince says:

    BigBear just helped me out with my twitter image. His method definitely works. Thank you again for your help!

  7. Tim T. says:

    I have CS4 and can’t find that option, would you mind doing this for me?


  8. Tim T. says:

    nm, got it. thanks anyway though

  9. ozkar says:

    if you are using GIMP, make sure there is nothing on the image comments. The one that reads made with gimp. This is metadata

  10. Danielle says:

    Thank you so much, I was going crazy waiting for Twitter to resolve this issue. With CS3, I went “save for web”, changed the output settings to “background” + “view document as background”. It worked!!!!

    Thanks very much, you can see the page here as evidence:

  11. I have CS3 and tried what Danielle suggested with changing the output setting to “background”. It didn’t work for me.

    Here’s what did work:
    I selected my image and clicked the “tile image” option. Hit save and it worked. Oddly, there was no tiling going on. Weird.


    Thanks for everyone’s help!

  12. Becky says:

    I’m having the same problem uploading a background image.

    I have photoshop CS2 but when I go to “save for web” I don’t see an option to remove the metadata. Can anyone help?


  13. Michael says:

    Hi all. I’m suffering from the same problem as you, but I can’t even upload a profile picture nor a background picture. I’ve tried know for several hours with changing file formats, sizes, (betweeen 48 – 700 k) like Jpeg and Png, different names, I have installed and tried on both internet explorer and mozilla firefox, i have now 2 twitter accounts to see if that was the problem but nothing is working…

    I don’t have photoshop just adobe elements and in there i can´t find any alternatives for selecting/deselecting metadata.

    Please help me somebody? Frustrated…

    Regards / Michael

  14. Michael says:

    Hi BigBear. I’ve sent my pictures to [email removed for spam protection] about this errand, was it the wrong adress?

    Regards, Michael

    • BigBear says:

      Hi Michael,
      Correct address :) – I’ll look at it tonight as the machine I’m on today does not have CS4.
      Big Bear

  15. Nikki says:

    I need some help.. can only save as a tile version for web as someone else said. No option to leave out metadate in my version of PS.. unless someone can tell me somewhere else I can look

  16. remco says:

    Thanks, this was the trick! But in CS3 I first needed to save it as a GIF without metadata, and then convert it to png…..but it works!

  17. [...] at, there was a solution to remove metadata from the JPG itself and this allowed the image to be [...]

  18. Karl says:

    I had been looking for a fix for ages now! Thank you so much. Why doesn’t Twitter post this temp solution? Check out our twitter (with a nice custom jpg background hehe) at for the latest video game updates.

  19. Michael says:

    Now its finally working! First i had the pic cleared of metadata (JPEG) then i converted it into a PNG file. Now it’s working! Don’t forbet the pic to be min of 48 k and max of 700 k. Thanks JoomlaBear for all your help!

    Here’s the proof:

  20. michelle says:

    I’ve tried this, and it doesn’t work for me. Tried to uncheck optimized as well, and it made no difference. So frustrated!

  21. BigBear says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Send me your pic – Ive had almost a 100% success rate so far with the ones I have processed myself.

  22. Valerie says:

    Hi, we’re also trying to upload our company background but nothing seems to work. Would you mind doing what you do to our three files?
    Thanks so much for your help on this !

  23. JudeUK says:

    I have tried all the solutions suggested and nothing seems to work…I’ve built versions of the page in PowerPoint, in Photoshop and in Image ready…I downloaded a Meta stripper, I’ve saved in every possible format and tried uploading them all in every combination of the above suggestions…can you tell I’m a mite frustrated? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated..:)

  24. Erica Kuhl says:

    Thanks so much for this post – worked beautifully!

  25. PeterFrancon says:

    Hi Joomlabear, nice advice about the meta tag data and CS4. I use cs2 and persistence paid off. It appeared it wouldn’t accept a re-upload of the same filename, so I suspected cacheing issues. But it worked eventually.

    I like you template designs!


  26. k16 says:

    The fix doesn’t work. I’ve tried everything suggested

  27. k16 says:

    Correction. Does work, but doesn’t actually tile. proof Just take out the metadata and it will be fine

  28. Crystal says:

    Okay, so I stripped all the meta data as you said (I do have CS4) and for whatever reason it still will not upload…you can see the status bar working and it gets about half way and then goes in Chrome > Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET): Unknown error. and in IE >Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage any suggestions on what else might work? BTW the image is 498KB, ty for your help.

    • BigBear says:

      Hi Crystal – have you tried uploading a smaller version of the image? The connection reset sounds a bit like Twitter is just timing out, perhaps because the image is too large?
      The error for which I wrote the above blog post was something slightly different where the image appeared to upload but would not appear in Twitter.

  29. BigBear says:

    No problem Crystal, I suspected it was quite possibly just temperamental old Twitter ;-)

  30. Parv says:

    This was really doing me head in. So glad I stumbled upon your site. Image optimized was my problem in Photoshop 7.0. Thank you!

  31. ruth says:

    Hi, I have CS4 and I tried this but still had no luck :(

    • BigBear says:

      Hi Ruth,
      Try making the image a little bit smaller perhaps – I’ve noticed that a background changing from say, 500kb to 400kb made a difference (I recommend smaller ;-)
      And also try uploading your image to Twitter at a different time of day… Twitter is quite temperamental…

  32. ruth says:

    I finally managed to upload it, I choose the file, then clicked on “dont use a background image” before clicking on save and that worked.. weird

  33. DB says:

    Struggled with uploading for ages … just saved it for web with high setting, then click ‘don’t use background image’ and its a winner. Check out AVAPR – DB

  34. JV says:

    You can strip data in vista (Not sure about XP) but right click on picture and hit properties, then click the “details” tab. click on “remove properties and personal information” at the bottom of the window. Make sure “create a copy with all possible properties removed” is selected and click ok. worked with a png, havent tested any other file format. Hope this helps!

  35. Amanda says:

    I’m having problems, I currently have a custome background, but unable to change it, even if I follow all these pieces of advice.
    maybe you can help? can I email my background image?

  36. Martin says:

    I thank you for your article.

    I followed these links and found, that you don’t actually have to pay to get cool Twitter backgrounds. I found many web pages, which also offer cool and interesting design for Twitter and you can get them for free.
    I hope that this will help you and the readers of this blog. Thank you again and I encourage you to write even more articles like this. They inspire a lot!

  37. Heath Close says:

    I have cs4, mac, os 10.5.8. I saved for web, unchecked optimized, selected none for metadata. When saving, saved as a background as suggested. When I browse for the pic, i select it. I click on save changes (is there supposed to be an upload step because I don’t show one, just select your file, and then save changes?) and when I do, it says your settings have been saved, but no pic change. What am i missing.

  38. Ruth says:

    This is what worked for me.. Try…

    “I finally managed to upload it, I choose the file, then clicked on “dont use a background image” before clicking on save and that worked.. weird”

  39. Heath Close says:

    Wow… that actually worked. I selected my file, chose do not use a background, hit save changes, and when it changed, it took away the twitter background and put my image in the box next to do not use a background. then i just selected my image and saved changes again and prest…

  40. Cherie says:

    Question regarding custom twitter backgrounds: what is the standard for background designers who leave their logo on the design? Thank you! Your guidance and/or examples is much appreciated :-)

  41. That actually works. I encounter some bugs also in designing twitter accounts. Thanks for this tips.

  42. Julie says:

    I’m having the same problem as Heath Close. I also use a mac, PS CS4, and have os 10.5.8. I did every suggestion on this page. Saved for web, No metadata, unchecked optimized, saved as a jpg at maximum and it comes in right under 800, saved as a background, click the don’t use a background button and then hit save. Nothing works!! It’s making me crazy.

    • BigBear says:

      800kb is very large and can sometimes be saved on your hard drive as a file slightly larger than what photoshop is telling you.
      Send me the jpeg if you want to – info at joomlabear dot com

  43. James says:

    It really works.
    Have some weeks that i was trying to change the twitter bg and nothing. After these changes it worked!!
    I used the PS CS3 ;)

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  45. Titike_ says:

    Hey im having problems with my profile picture, i wonder if this method also works for them, i do not have photoshop, so if you could help i would really apreciate it. Thanks greetings from Belgium / México.

  46. Ivo says:

    This method works brilliantly!

    I have a way of stripping meta data from pics too, let me know if I can help with all the requests.


  47. azuwa says:

    hey thanks!!! it worked!! ^^

  48. Sunil says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks a lot I spent a week waiting twitter to fix the issue.

  49. worked for me too! cheers




  51. Xerk says:

    this works wonders even now!

  52. JP! says:

    It worked! Thank you very much :)

  53. Darren Kurre says:

    I was able to get the background image to work by deleting the image I was trying to load in the Twitter Design tab that can be accessed in the upper right portion of the Twitter nav bar (1. Click Your Account Dropdown 2. Settings 3. Click/Navigate to the Design tab).

    Next I clicked on the “Check out Themeleon >>” link under the “Get more creative” content area of right hand panel located on the design tab/section.

    Once you are at the Themeleon for Twitter page ( you have to connect your Twitter account to Themeleon to allow it to adjust/access your theme. Do this by clicking the “Login to Twitter” button in the “Customize your Twitter profile with Themeleon” button in the box at the bottom of the page.

    What I did from there was choose one of the existing templates/themes in the “THEMES (By Tweety Got Back)” box at the top. I chose one that was relatively close in color etc. to what I was trying to emulate, but it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. I then uploaded my own image to replace the one in the theme I chose and tweaked the color scheme as necessary through the color palette adjustment tool in the “LAYOUT” panel at the bottom right of the editing panel.

    After that I just clicked “Save” and voila… it worked! Be careful trying to do any further edits to your new theme through Twitter if/when you are successful in creating your custom theme though because I had it break again when I tried to do that and had to do the steps above again.

    There was an instance where the method above didn’t work as described, but after logging out of Twitter, clearing browser cache etc. and then trying a few times, it eventually ended up working once again.

    Hope that helps! VERY VERY Frustrating!!!

    Darren Kurre

  54. Uzsaku says:

    Thank you Darren Kurre for the alternative fix! I’m using Firefox 3.6 when I get the problem when I upload a new background image via Twitter itself.

  55. Zamoty says:

    Anyone knows how to remove the metadata with PS CS3?


  56. elizza says:

    i cant change my background.everytime i try to save it this appears: “The method requires POST or PUT /settings/design/update This is what appears when i try to change my background. ARGH!”
    can someone help me! thanks! :'(

  57. Monica says:

    Nope, nothing works. I use photoshop cs5 and I followed the on-screen instructions. I used jpg, png, and gif but nothing works. Can you upload it for me please?

  58. GenesisPro says:

    I’ve contacted Twitter on this issue, & of course they say they are working on fixing the issue. I’ve tried your step-by-step to no avail (even followed the image you posted to a T), still not working. The problem I get when uploading is my browser goes to another page that says:
    No data received
    Unable to load the webpage because the server sent no data.
    Here are some suggestions:
    Reload this webpage later.
    Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data.

    When I hit “Reload”, the browser page is sent to one that says:

    This method requires a POST or PUT. /settings/design/update

    PLEASE Help! And thanks ahead of time for your help.


  59. Nobody says:

    Wow…. 2 years and this problem is still going on. What is going on with Twitter?

  60. Tried this. It does not work.

    Twitter is really ticking me off right now. It’s been EIGHT MONTHS and I can’t load a background or a new header.

    OY and WTF Twitter??

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