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I'm writing a post on a Stack Exchange site from Safari on my iPhone 14 under iOS 17.4. I'd like to include a photo in my post.

I tap the Image button in the SE editor and then tap Browse, then Take Photo from the resulting popup menu. However, after taking the photo and tapping Use Photo, then back in the SE editor I get the error "Your image is too large to upload (over 2 MiB)". The same occurs if I try to select a photo from the Photo Library, or if I paste an image.

How can I reduce the file size of the image (e.g. by changing the resolution, quality, etc) so that I can upload it? So far I haven't found any way except to transfer it to my Linux PC where I can use ImageMagick, GIMP, etc.

Specifically, I would like to know if this can be done using only built-in iOS features, and the exact steps to accomplish it in the context of writing an SE post. If not possible with built-in software, then with open-source or ad-free apps. Ideally, it should cover the case of taking a new photo, as well as reducing the size of an existing photo from the Photo Library.


I do not believe that Are there iphone apps or automation for taking photos and sharing low resolution versions? is a duplicate.

  • That question only addresses taking a new photo at low resolution, and not how to reduce the size of an existing photo.

  • Most of the answers there involve external non-free apps; there is a brief mention that this can be accomplished with Shortcuts but it does not explain how, nor how to use it in the context of Stack Exchange.

  • Two of the apps mentioned there (Simple Resize and MRCamera) do not exist anymore as of 2024.

  • The LOWER app does exist but has obnoxious ads. It lets you select from a few fixed low resolutions, but you would still have to guess which resolution would result in an appropriate file size.

  • The Camera+ app linked there is now called Photon Camera, but the steps to accomplish this particular task with the free version are not explained. In particular, I was not able to figure out how to change the resolution and/or quality.

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3 Answers 3

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Instead of tapping Browse > Take Photo:

  • Switch to the Camera app and take the photo there, or get the image into your photo library by any other means
  • Switch back to the Stack Overflow editor and tap the image button then Browse > Photo Library
  • Select the photo in your library. If it opens up with a heading 1 Photo Selected, tap Cancel - but the photo should still be selected.
  • Tap Options in the bottom left of the screen and choose a smaller size for the photo - Large should be OK.
  • Tap Done. Your photo should now be ready to insert into your post.

Here’s a photo I have just added by this method, on my iPhone XS with iOS 17.3.1:

photo added by this method

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  • lol great demo there
    – Fattie
    Mar 20 at 19:16
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In the Shortcuts app, create a new shortcut.

  1. Click the (i) icon in the bottom toolbar and enable "Show in Share Sheet"
  2. Exit the (i) screen and configure the shortcut to receive just Images.
  3. Add a "Resize Image" task and a "Share" task. Configure it to resize to a percentage or a smaller size (e.g. a smaller width + auto height) that you think will accomplish the file size reduction you need. You can guess and retry.

Then you can run it from the share sheet in the photos app, and save it back to photos when it prompts.

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  • 1
    This works! And it's good motivation to get more familiar with Shortcuts - the list of available tasks is impressive and may help me solve a lot of other problems. Mar 17 at 19:40
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You can also just email the photo to yourself. When you hit send you will get a prompt that asks if you want to reduce the file size of the image you’re sending. Pick one of the options less than 2mb. Go to your inbox and save the reduced size image.

The shortcuts option already mentioned seems like a much better option. But if you are trying to explain to someone with limited technical capability how to do it, as a one-off, they might already be familiar with sending an email.

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