SharePoint Basics – Compressing Image Files

Before I got my gig as a consultant, and I worked a regular day job down in the trenches as a SharePoint Administrator at a large company, one of the things I did every day was look at SharePoint site quotas.  We had many site collections, so I was able to closely keep tabs on their sizes.

Users frequently upload inordinately large files to their picture libraries, and don’t realize that these sizes aren’t really necessary just to display some company picnic or other such pictures on their site.  When digital cameras are set to 6 megapixels or larger, there can be a default file size of 2 or 3 megabytes.  Users tend to simply plug that camera into the computer and just dump everything up to their website, with no compression.  Here are the steps to take, in order to compress large image files that have already been uploaded to SharePoint.  Note that you should most likely discuss what you’re doing with the end user… just incase they do have a specific reason their files are that large.  In most cases, though, they don’t know it.

To look at a site collection’s size, click <Site Settings> at the site collection level, and click <Storage Space Allocation> in the “Site Collection Administration” section.  The libraries and lists will automatically be sorted with the largest size on top.  The image libraries will have this icon: itil  Click the name of the image library, and quickly look at some files sizes.  Click the <View> drop-down box, choose <All Pictures> and choose <Details>.  You can even sort by file size to see the largest.  If there are files larger than, say 500KB, they are probably good candidates for compression.

Here’s how to compress all the files in a SharePoint Image Library:

  1. Grab the URL to the library by copying it to your clipboard.  Don’t copy the part at the end with the FormsAllitems.aspx.
  2. Open Picture Manager by clicking <Start> <Programs> <Microsoft Office> <Microsoft Office Tools> and <Microsoft Office Picture Manager>
  3. Click the <File> menu, and choose <Add Picture Shortcut…>
  4. In the Folder Name box, paste the URL to your picture library and click <Add>
  5. Now, the image library images will be shown, and there will be a new shortcut under “My Picture Shortcuts” on the left.
  6. Click the <Edit Pictures…> button.
  7. Click to select a single picture, and then click the <Edit> menu and choose <Select All>
  8. Click <Compress Pictures> on the right.
  9. On the Compress Pictures panel, click to select “Web Pages”.  This screen will now show the original total size of all the pictures in the library, and the estimated total size when they’re all compressed.
  10. Click OK, and then click to <Save and Close>.
    Note that this won’t work on BMP (bitmaps).

Now the images in the library have all been compressed and saved back to the library, and you’ve saved a bit of space on the server.  You can train your end users to compress the files before uploading them to SharePoint also, also by using Picture Manager.



    You may want to mention that Storage Space Allocation is only available when site collection quotas are turned on. If you are not using site quotas the “Storage Space Allocation” option does not exist in the Site Settings section.

  • This is great info! However, it doesn’t work on the Images document library. Unfortunately, most of our users are using that folder. Any suggestions on getting this to work in that case?


  • Hi NG,
    Yes I noticed that in 2010, the “images” library isn’t a picture library, so this doesn’t work. Sounds like a bug to me.

  • hey laura, wonderful info. not only are you smart you are also hot. what a combination. want to go out sometime? 🙂

  • In Office 2013, you can use the application called Photo Gallery to do the same thing.

  • Any updates for doing something similar on sharepoint online?

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