We explained how uploading screenshots via Steam works, but the feature can have errors. Two particular ones are “Image failed to upload.” and “There was an error uploading X screenshots. Steam Cloud may be temporarily unavailable.” and can both annoy users. Their appearance also helps drive the point home about the benefits and convenience of having an overlay and a screenshot functionality. Since it’s free and available to all users, you should get access to storage space restored as soon as possible. We can teach you how to fix the Steam screenshot upload error.
1. Wait for the Steam screenshots to sync
Steam servers may be unavailable or overloaded temporarily, so you can give it some time for them to appear. Additionally, Steam may not detect a change immediately, especially if you did what most people do. Did you erase the failed screenshot on the web? Or, perhaps, moved it away from the folder, then put it back in? If so, the name likely remained unchanged, and the service doesn’t detect a “new” file right away.
Some users suggest changing the status of screenshots from Public to Private or Private to Public, then to the original setting to force Steam to sync. Also, we noticed this problem with users who play games in 4K resolution. The size limit for Steam screenshots is 8 MB, and yours may exceed it if it wasn’t compressed. You can compress it yourself and copy it to the folder.
2. Update Steam to fix the screenshot upload error
It’s worth noting that you can sign out, quit Steam, then open the software and log back in to receive the newest updates automatically. The difficulty may be cloud or game related and solved. From our experience, it’s worth trying to run Steam beta client to see if that solves the problem. To do so, go to Steam in the left corner, then:
- Select Settings on Windows and Preferences for Mac.
- Go to the Account tab.
- Click Change… near Beta Participation.
- Click on Steam Beta Update.
- Confirm by clicking on OK.
- Exit Steam, then log back in and wait for the updates before trying to upload screenshots.
3. Check your account status for Steam Forums
Have you been posting on Steam Forums or partaking in Steam Discussions? Were you redesigning your profile and using risky images or posting controversial quotes? We’re not blaming anyone. However, one reason users cannot upload screenshots to Steam is that they were banned, temporarily or permanently. The quickest way to check is to open the email service tied to your account. If your upload capability was terminated, you’ll see a Hello <Steam name> message with an explanation such as, “your account will be unable to upload user-generated content until <date and time>”.
4. Power cycle your network router or use other networks
Users often forget that routers should be turned off from time to time. In some cases, a constantly running router can lead to packet loss and Steam may experience uploading problems. The quickest way to reset things is to power cycle it: turn the router and/or model off, unplug it/them from power, then plug them/it back in after a few minutes. Wait for the lights to come on WAN, LAN, and other necessary functions. Test the upload again. If that is unfruitful, try unrelated connections such as a mobile hotspot from cellular data or another trusted network. That will eliminate any router firewall and port blocking issues.
5. Check your Firewall settings for Steam
If something went awry with uploading, removing a potential block is the next way to fix the Steam screenshot upload error. The first suspect on Windows is Firewall since Mac’s Firewall cannot be meddled with. You have two options:
1. Add a Firewall exception rule for Steam
On Windows 10 and 11, you can do the following to allow an app through the Windows Firewall:
- Open the Start menu by clicking the Windows icon in the taskbar or pressing the Windows key.
- Search for “allow app” and select Allow an app through Windows Firewall.
- You will now see a list of software on your computer. Find Steam or Steam (x64) and ensure it has checkmarks on both the Private and Public columns. Click on OK.
- In case you can’t find it on the list, use the Allow another app… button.
- Open the Steam installation folder manually.
- Select the Steam executable.
- Repeat step 3 once Steam is on the list.
2. Temporarily disable Firewall
We only propose this method if you are on a safe network and if you enable the Firewall shortly afterward. If that is the case, do the following to turn off the Firewall:
- Search for “windows defender firewall” and select Windows Defender Firewall or Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security, depending on your version.
- Click the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off setting in the left sidebar.
- Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall under “Public network settings” then click OK.
- Take a screenshot using the Steam Overlay and its screenshot tool to test the upload.
- If that works, the Firewall was the problem. We recommend posting on Steam Forums and stating that it remains blocked despite being added as the exception. The block may be on the router level, which is a lot more difficult to solve.
- If it does not, do the same as in step 3, but for “Private network settings”. Once again, if disabling the Firewall lets you upload, you need advanced help. Otherwise, turn the Firewall back on for both sections then confirm with OK.
6. Disable a proxy or VPN
Steam doesn’t appreciate users employing proxy services or VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) on their gaming platform for unfair purposes. For example, users are forbidden from switching locations to game the store and get discounts or cheat the system in other ways. Additionally, its security features may have blocked access if you obfuscated your location. If you did so, consider turning them off and logging in from a recognized device and location. Steam may have detected you as someone unauthorized, after all.
7. Use a third-party Steam screenshot uploader tool
We don’t advise the use of unofficial tools for uploading screenshots. However, sometimes they can be the last resort because Steam has strict rules on locations, names, syncing, and sizes, and offers inferior quality. These tools remove the need for Steam Overlay and let you take high-quality screenshots with high-quality compressions. Some tools even promise to fix the Steam screenshot upload error from the get-go.