Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips]

Angela Randall 11-06-2013

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips] facebook iconHere’s a little problem that almost all of us have experienced at least once. You go to Facebook with an awesome link you want to share, paste it in and realise there’s no image thumbnail showing up. You can’t seem to make Facebook understand that the page does have images on it and you’d really like to show a thumbnail. Or can you?


Yes, you can force Facebook to show a thumbnail for your link using a neat little trick before you post the update. Today we’ll take you through how to do this and a few other handy image-related tricks to make your Facebook timeline look great.

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Image For Link

If you’ve pasted a link into Facebook and there’s no thumbnail image showing up to choose, here’s what you can do. To start with, don’t make your update just yet.

Instead, head to the Facebook Developers debug tool (search for it if you lose the link). Here, you can enter the URL of the link you’re trying to post. This forces Facebook to crawl the link and see if there is an image.

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook Debug Link

If you scroll down into the debug results, you should now see an image thumbnail. Now you’re ready to make your update.


If you now go back to Facebook home or your profile in order to share your link you should see at least one thumbnail image appearing. So, choose your image and post your link. Easy!

Adjust Thumbnails Of Your Photos On Your Facebook Timeline

Sometimes you upload a photo to Facebook and when it appears on your timeline you realise it is terribly cropped – sometimes cropping out the head of the person or focusing on something which isn’t the subject of the photo. These can actually be nudged about so that the thumbnail image is showing the best part of the photo. It’s actually quite easy to do.

On your timeline, while looking at the photo update you will see the edit button in the top right. Click that and choose “Reposition Photo” from the menu list. Then you’ll be able to choose which part of the photo is shown in your timeline. Obviously anyone clicking through will still see the whole photo. This is just to make the timeline look better. For instance, showing photos of faces instead of a pair of knees. Note that this will also change what other people see in their home feed. Trust me, it’s weird to see people showing off a photo update that only shows their legs.

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook Reposition Photo


Highlight Certain Photos In An Album

When you or your friends are looking at your photo albums, sometimes it’s nice to be able to show quickly which ones are your favourites. Facebook actually makes this really easy. Head over to your own photo gallery, which will show all of the photos you have uploaded and are tagged in. For any photo you love, click on the little star in the top-right. This will highlight the photo on this page and in the album of yours it appears in. If it’s not your photo, it will just highlight it on your timeline, not the other person’s.

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook Highlight Photo

Highlighting the photo like this makes the thumbnail image for the album or photos page much larger. In fact, it now takes up the same space as four un-highlighted thumbnail images. Facebook will automatically rearrange your album view so that the order is maintained, yet the photo is bigger. If you highlight a selection of photos from each of your albums it makes browsing via the album view just a little more interesting for your friends. Plus, the photos which are highlighted will receive a lot more attention from anyone viewing via the album view.

Force Facebook To Show Thumbnail Images For Links & More Image Tweaks [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook Highlighted Photo


More Photo & Thumbnail Facebook Tips

If you love uploading photos to Facebook, there are a number of great tools and tips you may benefit from. Check out previous MakeUseOf articles on using IFTTT to import your images to Facebook Using IFTTT To Automate All Your Facebook Photos & Video [Facebook Tip Or Hack Of The Week] Not everyone uses Facebook to store their photos and video, but alternative photo and video storage still doesn't seem to have the best social integration just yet. Most of the alternatives are designed for more... Read More , arranging and deleting photos from a Facebook album How to Customize, Delete, and Arrange Photos in Facebook Photo Albums Here's how to customize, delete, and arrange your photos to add personality and order to your Facebook photo albums. Read More , photo tagging on Facebook 3 Things You Need To Know About Photo Tagging In Facebook When you are being tagged in a photo, the tag not only reveals that you are in the photo, it also links to your Facebook profile and, if done well, is positioned across your face.... Read More , tools for uploading photos automatically to Facebook Upload Photos To Facebook Automatically And In The Blink Of An Eye With These Tools Whether it's automatically uploading photos on the go using your phone, or automating uploads from your computer, there are several handy ways you can take the hard work out of getting your photos into your... Read More , using Stipple Bring Your Flickr, Instagram, Facebook Photos & More In One Place With Stipple Between Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, you probably have a lot of photographs that you've uploaded to the web. It becomes a pretty unwieldy task trying to keep track of all your images in so... Read More to get Flickr, Instagram and Facebook photos in one place, and free places to design a Facebook timeline cover The 6 Best Places To Design Your Own Facebook Timeline Cover For Free If you’ve failed to create an enticing cover photo for yourself or your Facebook Page, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start. Here are six free web apps that can help. Read More .

There are so many great tools, tips and tricks Facebook users can make use of when it comes to photos. How do you keep your Facebook timeline and photo albums looking great?

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  1. Leo Rodriguez
    January 15, 2020 at 10:30 am

    You're a genius, thank you thank you. I've been searching for weeks for a solution to this dilemma, glad I bumped onto your site. Most appreciative, lr

  2. John
    April 30, 2018 at 11:24 am

    The debugger tool doesn't help at all. Sorry! Any suggestions?

  3. Renea Starr
    December 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I see my Instagram image in the debugger, but it is not a thumbnail and it does not show up in a fb thread even after scraping and reposting several times. Any suggestions?

  4. thanks4nothing
    June 12, 2017 at 1:02 am

    The developers kit gave error reading it cant crawl facebook urls.

    • slabrum
      July 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      I got the same message :-( I'm still not sure how to fix this problem. Does anybody have a solution???

  5. Lya
    December 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    This is quite useless and simplistic. At no point do you show in what format the picture has to be pasted or inserted. This dictates EVERY formatting that we can do. This is typical of someone being shown how to do something is a selected, curated and controlled fashion and this person propagating the sliver of false knowledge, without having a foundational knowledge of engineering. What you have shown may work for a couple of copy/paste/insert methods. What a waste of time. This is just an endeavor to get eyeballs to you sight. Please be conscientious of searches' time. Horrible waste of time. Nothing you showed worked for me. N O T H I N G!!!

  6. Timothy Takemoto
    September 13, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    But alas I don't get the preview image even though it is shown on the debug screen and even if I post the direct link to the image rather than to the flickr page. Here is the debug page showing my image
    I can't show the group where I am trying to post since the group is private.

    The problem started when I posted flickr links, changed the photos, found that my image had of course been replaced with "This image is not available" and then spent some time trying to repost the links in attempt to get them "rescraped." After a while I found that deleting the post and posting again did not help. Had I known about the debug page and its rescrape button that would have solved my issue but, perhaps by reposting several times facebook has blacklisted me and now does not preview my image links.

  7. rasel khan
    September 7, 2016 at 4:43 am

    I have seen your full article about photo editing. I have more benefited from your website. thanks for this article

  8. dorthe
    July 17, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Hi. I've tried to debug, but there's still no image showing. What to do?

  9. OwenStearns
    June 19, 2016 at 9:42 pm


  10. Hamza Khan
    April 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    i have a problem my facebook account did not showing the thumbnail link what did i do any one have a solution how to fix it

  11. Nathan
    February 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Nope this did not work. Three years later it doesn't work. It sees my images but does not post them or use them. It ignores the main one too.

  12. Ramesh
    April 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    How to share thumbnail of blog on facebook page?

  13. Nita
    March 11, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Suppose you don't want any image at all? Of late there is no option of "no thumbnail" when you are updating a page.

    • Hamza Khan
      April 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      i have a problem my facebook account did not showing the thumbnail link what did i do

  14. Peter Achutha
    February 11, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for the help. I have been struggling with this for weeks on end because I was trying to promote my anti hacking software and the images would not appear at all!!!

    Now I have got them to appear.

    • Angela Alcorn
      February 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

      A picture on Facebook makes all the difference! Glad you got it working.

      • Hamza Khan
        April 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        i have a problem my facebook account did not showing the thumbnail link what did i do

  15. Ashutosh
    February 3, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Thanks a million. I had been pulling my hair on this for so long!

  16. Ginchen
    November 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you! FINALLY I found out, why facebook never used the image that I had specified in the Open Graph meta tag - it was too small! (Obviously it has to be at least 200x200 pixels, otherwise facebook won't use it...)

  17. Onaje Asheber
    June 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I'll try these bits of info out, Thanks.

  18. Leandro Toledo
    June 14, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Well, I do something easier: I copy the link of any image from the article and paste it on facebook so it'll show a thumbnail of that image. Then I overwrite the link of the image with the original link to the article and rename the caprion (it'll probably show the caption of the image or just the link). And that's it.

    The only downside is that people should click on the link to access it because if they click on the picture, thay'll open just the picture...

    I hope I have helped!


    • Angela Alcorn
      June 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

      That's an interesting way of doing it. I guess to stop people clicking on the image-only post you could make that update viewable to "only me", then delete it after you've posted the link post. That's also a cool way to ensure you get the option of the thumbnail you want. :)

  19. Suresh Volam
    June 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing it. Cool.