Sending files or photos in Yahoo Messenger

This article provides steps to:

  • Transfer a photo or a file using Yahoo Messenger
  • Transfer file or photos with someone not on your Messenger List
  • Transfers files from behind a firewall

Note:  Before you attempt to transfer any files or photos, be sure that they are saved to your computer and that none are open, to avoid getting an error message.

Send files and photos in Yahoo Messenger:

  • You can drag-and-drop a file or photo onto a contact in your Messenger List, even when you're not currently messenging that person.
  • When you're in an IM (instant message) conversation with someone, you can drag-and-drop one or more files right into the Conversation window.
    - The other person can choose to either "Save the file" or "Decline the file transfer."
    - You'll be notified of their decision.
    - If they do accept the file, your Conversation window will show the progress of the file transfer.
  • If the files you drag-and-drop are all image files or photos (like JPEG or BMP files), you'll be asked if you want to start a photo sharing session with the other person.
    - If you answer yes, your friend will be invited to the photo sharing session.
    - If your friend accepts, your image files will appear in a side panel.

Send files or photos to someone NOT on your Messenger List:

  • Try adding the person to your Messenger List if you're having difficulty transferring files or photos.
    - After you add them to your Messenger List, try the file or photo transfer again.
  • When someone is on your Messenger List: You can transfer and unlimited number of files or photos during a single transfer session.
  • When someone is not on your Messenger List: The number of files or photos you can transfer at one time is limited.

Using file transfers from behind a firewall:

  • Try temporarily turning off the firewall: If you or your friend¬†are behind a firewall and you're having difficulty transferring files or photos, try temporarily turning off the firewall to see if you are able to send them.
  • There's no limit to the size of the files you can transfer:
    - As long as neither you nor your friend are behind a firewall that prohibits peer-to-peer transfers.
    - If one or both of you are behind such a firewall, then the file is sent through the Yahoo servers and the file size is limited to 100MB.

You may have a corrupted version of Yahoo Messenger:

If you've tried the steps above and still can't send files or photos, then it's possible the version of Yahoo Messenger installed on your computer may have become corrupted. Get the latest version of Yahoo Messenger.

Please see these articles for instructions on uninstalling:


  • For additional troubleshooting information, see Messenger Troubleshooting Procedures.
  • If you get an error message or the file does not transfer:
    - It could be a system glitch, and trying again has been known to resolve the issue.
  • Dial-up connections:
    - File or photo transfers are possible, however, you should allow extra time for the transfer to complete.
    - Try several smaller file or photo transfers rather than a single large file or photo transfer.
  • Wireless connections (such as, 3G/Edge Mobile):
    - File or photo transfers are possible, however, we can't guarantee that the file transfer or photo sharing will work as expected.
    - Try several smaller file or photo transfers rather than a single large file or photo transfer.
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