Commons:Maximum file size

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The maximum file size for any file on Commons is GiB (4,294,967,296 bytes[1]). Uploads using the Upload Wizard, other tools that support chunked uploads, and server-side uploads must be smaller than this limit.[2][3] Otherwise the limit is 100 MiB (104,857,600 bytes)[4] because of technical issues in the uploading.[5][6]

This means that it is not possible to upload a file larger than the maximum file size without first breaking it into smaller parts, and uploading those parts as separate files. The template {{Split file}} can be used to link the parts of files split in this way.

Please note that every effort should be made to keep files under the file size limit without splitting them. There are various means to do this, including changing file formats, removing parts of a file not really needed, and downsampling resolution, increasing compression levels, etc. Only where these measures aren't enough (because further loss of detail would reduce quality too much) should files be split.

In particular, TIFF images are often very large, but can have their file size reduced by enabling compression. As long as the compression method is lossless (such as “deflate” or “LZW”), the file size reduction does not affect image quality (but beware of obscure compression methods which can cause data loss, or make the file incompatible with some software).

On the other hand, there is no limit to the total size of uploads by an individual account. However, if you plan batch uploads amounting to several TB, it may be wise to warn the sysadmins.

Note: Large SVG files (> 256 kb) need to have the translations appear closer to the beginning of the file.

Maximum size for thumbnails[edit]

In addition to the general size restriction, for several filetypes (GIF and TIFF) the software only produces thumbnails and previews on the main file description page below a certain size limit — currently, 1,000 megapixels.[7][8] However, for large GIF animations the limit is currently 100 megapixels. For files where the software does not provide thumbnails because of this limitation, a thumbnail version (either a full-sized JPEG or a smaller PNG) should be uploaded for thumbnail/preview purposes, and linked with the main file. The templates {{Archival version}} and {{Compressed version}} are available for this.

SVG files were subject to a 10 MB limit till 2016,[9] but Large SVG files are generally still undesired.

PNG files now have a much larger limit, of very approximately 2,500 megapixels (since August 2013).

An unrelated reason thumbnails may fail to display (example) is for very long filenames – so long that they approach the 255-byte limit of filename length (which for some cases with non-ASCII characters may be much less than 255 characters, due to UTF-8). It is impossible to upload a file that has a name this large, but it is possible to move a file to such a name.[10]

Technical notes[edit]

  1. gerrit:280831
  2. Originally 500 MiB, increased to 1,000 MiB in November 2013, increased to 2,047 MiB in Feb 2016, increased to 4 GiB in April 2016
  3. This is a hard limit because of how MediaWiki stores file sizes.phab:T191805
  4. It has been 20 MB for a while and was raised to 100 in November 2008.[1]
  5. Village pump (2011-11)
  6. Wikitech-l (2010-07)
  7. See Category:Files with errors. The limit was 12.5 megapixels, or about 3500 x 3500, before T43125 raised the limit in October 2012. The general limitation is under phab:T11497.
  8. This is because these filetypes can only be thumbnailed by MediaWiki’s ImageMagick library by first decompressing the entire image in RAM, which can cause severe server loads.
  9. phab:T111815 (resolved)
  10. phab:T32202