Help / FAQ / On the Flickr website

I have concerns about something I've seen on the site. What can I do?

We've created a Report Abuse form for you to give us feedback if you come across something or someone on Flickr that is causing you concern.

When you send us your report, we need as much detail as you can give us (like links to photos, or links to an account, or... you know, links to stuff). We will review against the Terms of Use and our Community Guidelines, and take appropriate action as required.

There's also a link to this form on the footer of every page. If you use that link, the form can send us the page you were looking at when you clicked. This is handy.

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I think a Flickr account may have been compromised, what happened and what can I do?

First, please read a security notice we issued previously.

If it was another person's account, who leaves suspicious photopage comments or emails linking away from Flickr for you to access 'private pictures', please use the Report Abuse link at the bottom of the page. Make sure you identify the Flickr Member and provide details of the incident. It may be innocent, but it can't hurt to let us know if you are concerned.

There are a couple ways this probably occurred:

1) A link left by someone on a photopage or in FlickrMail, which invites you to download a photo package. The link may send you to a page designed to look like Flickr and links to a file. The file is likely malicious, containing a keystroke logger that affects Microsoft Windows computers, or some other Trojan Horse application which allows someone else to monitor what you do on your computer. It may not just log how you access Flickr, but it could potentially record other interactions you have on the Internet.

2) A link, similar to what was described above, but rather than downloading a file, it asks you to enter in your login ID and password information. This is operating system independent, and once your user ID and password are given out to an untrusted and unknown party, they have access to your account.


The first case is potentially the most serious, due to the possible ability to access information on other accounts you routinely log in to. If someone is using a keystroke logger to access your Yahoo!/Flickr account, they could potentially use the same method to access other private data. In some cases, established anti-virus or intrusion detection software may be able to identify a file and eradicate the infecting software, though it depends on the instance of the malicious software that was installed. If it is determined your user name and ID have been compromised through software infection, you should take the affected computer offline, and then access another computer to change passwords for accounts you may have logged into. If you are inexperienced, consult a professional computer technician for advice.

If it was the second case, in other words, you simply entered in your ID and password in a fake Flickr page somewhere, we suggest you immediately change your account password.

There may be another way that sensitive information could be captured, and that is if you accessed a web page that exploited a browser deficiency that installed malicious software just by loading the page. This is probably less likely, but it is a possibility. To lessen the likelihood of this, please make sure your browser software is updated to the most current version.

Do not access any pages that tell you that a 'Private Photo Package' is waiting for you to download. Flickr does not create photo packages for downloading, and if someone claims they put one together, do not download it. Please report it to Flickr using the 'Report Abuse' link at the bottom, and indicate who the comment came from. Make sure your browser address bar has in it and when you are logging into your Yahoo! based account:

Emails about a Flickr postcard sending system are false and should not be opened. Flickr doesn't send "postcards". If you get an email asking you to try it out, the best thing to do is don't click on any links in it and delete the email.

Helpful Links:

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I can haz keyboard shortcuts?

Sure, we have lots of keyboard shortcuts and many of them are page specific so there are different ones for the photo page, photostream, set page, etc. To see all the shortcuts for whatever page you are on just hit ? on your keyboard or use the "show all shortcuts" link near the bottom of the page.

Making keyboard shortcuts work is difficult and depends on your browser and keyboard layout so a few notes:

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What considerations have been given to copyright?

We offer the ability for you to associate a Creative Commons licence with one or all of your photos. You can find out more on this page.

If you see your work in someone else's photostream, please submit a Notice of Infringement to the Yahoo! Copyright Team. Information on how to do this correctly is here, and there's a link in the footer.

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I've found my photos on someone else's website, what do I do?

There are a few ways that your photo might be displayed outside of Flickr, but still hosted here. Some of the ways include:

Through the Flickr API, it is possible to construct such websites and applications that query Flickr's publicly available photos via tags or user ID and build dynamic content that displays photos in interesting ways. If they are properly using the Flickr API and abiding by the requirements, the photo as seen on the page will link back to the photo page as it is found in your photostream and adhere to the API’s Terms of Use. The actual image itself is not hosted on that site, but the display will probably look different than what you are used to.

Some people are not comfortable with this, and we understand that. To that end, we allow our members to opt-out of API applications that search for text, tags, or your username and email address; your images may still show up in other types of API requests, however, so long as they are public and safe on Flickr. Your photos will still be searchable on and you will still be able to use third party sites for your own stream if you give them permission via the authorization process. Separate from the API search opt-out, we offer the opportunity for members to hide the 'Blog This' button above your images. This will prevent people from using Flickr's integrated blogging feature found above a photo, though it is not a guarantee that your photo will not be blogged manually.

Note: There are a few instances where your image may be hosted on Flickr, but someone has just linked to the static image element and not through to your photostream itself. This is against the Flickr Community Guidelines. If you have questions about that, feel free to drop us a note via Get Help.

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I am not a programmer- what exactly is the Flickr API and what does it mean to me?

API stands for Application Programming Interface which allows outside ("third party") applications or websites to communicate with Flickr and exchange information. This exchange allows developers to create cool programs or services that make use of data from Flickr. That might mean allowing you to use your photos to make a calendar, introducing new ways for presenting public photos, or enhancing your Flickr experience with tools or features which Flickr doesn't offer directly.

There are many popular third party applications built by clever developers, and Flickr's open API allows them to create these. Some developers create games, screen savers, photo albums, and lots more. For some samples, take a look in the App Garden.

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The application/website is asking for authorization from me- will it reveal my Flickr/Yahoo! password?

No. The authorization is a process in which the application you want to use will send you to the website to ask for permission. There will be a paragraph that explains that the application wants your permission to change various things in conjunction with your Flickr account. Different applications ask for different levels of permissions depending on what they do. Some types of changes are:

You are given an option to grant permission, or just continue browsing on Flickr if you choose not to. Your password is not sent to the third party application or website, there is an exchange of information between Flickr and that application that you have granted permission to allow the changes that the application is designed to do. After clicking the blue button, you then return to the third party application to use it. If you ever want to remove permission, you can do so through your Account settings page where there is a link for third party API applications that you have given permissions to.

If any outside website asks you for your Flickr/Yahoo! password in addition to your user ID, do not give it out, but please let us know about it.

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Can I have HTML in my posts on the Flickr website?

Because there are pesky people out there who like doing pesky things to whatever they can get their hands on, we've made a few limits to the sort of HTML code you can post in fields like your description, or a person's testimonial. You can't post HTML in Flickr Mail, or the interests, favorite books or favorite movies fields on your profile.

Even so, we encourage you to make your stuff look pretty, so if it's within the guidelines below, go for it!

Here's the list:

'tag' => 'attribute' (allowed)

'a' =>
'strong' =>
'b' =>
'blockquote' =>
'em' =>
'i' =>
'img' =>
'u' =>
's' =>
'del' =>

You can also easily embed a photo or video in a comment by putting the page URL in square brackets.

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What is the buddy icon menu and how can I use it?

As you explore Flickr you'll see buddy icons next to people's photos and comments. If you'd like to find out more about these wonderful people just mouse over the icon and click the arrow that appears. A menu will open where you can explore their account, send them a FlickrMail, or make them a contact.

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Flickr has short URLs?

Yes! There are short URLs you can use for images and accounts. The formats are:

Account:[custom URL]
Photo:[short code]

For example: = =

The short URL for a photo or video isn't shown on the page but if you have Twitter setup you can see it in Blog this > Twitter.

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What is an RSS feed?

RSS feeds are addresses that look pretty much like any other link on the web (http://...) but act differently. When you give an RSS address to an RSS reader (called subscribing to a feed) it will tell you when there is something new at that site! For example, if you subscribe to a friend's RSS feed, your RSS reader, will show you when she uploads new photos! Or if you subscribe to a group's discussion, the new posts will come to you in your RSS reader instead of you having to go to the group.

Flickr has RSS feeds for photostreams, sets, favorites, group pools, group discussions, recent activity, the Flickr Blog, and even some searches!

You will see this icon on the bottom of any page that has an RSS feed. When you see that, copy the "Feed" or "Latest" link next to it, and give that to your RSS reader. (the 'geoFeed' link is for geotagged photos and the 'KML' link can be used with Google Earth.)

If you don't have an RSS reader lots can be found here.

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Why do I only see 20 items in RSS feeds?

Flickr only shows the latest 20 items in a feed. Because of this, the first time you connect to a feed you will only see the most recent items. But if your RSS reader saves items (as most do) you will see more than 20 as the items build up over time.

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How do I get on Explore?

There is no one list of things to do to get on explore. But if you are interested in having more people view your images, the best thing to do is be involved in the Flickr community. Join groups, tag your photos, geotag your photos, explore and comment on other people's photos. Flickr is a friendly place. When you say hi, people will usually say hi back.

Hi! :)

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How do I know if I am on Explore?

Explore is there to help you go out into the wilds and discover new things so you won't find links to see your own stuff. But, if you really want to find out what of your's might have been explored, there is a tool called Scout over at fd's Flickr toys that my be able to help you out.

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What are the system requirements and supported browsers?

For PCs, Macintosh or Linux, we recommend the following browsers:

In addition, for PCs we also recommend the most recent version of Internet Explorer.

We use Adobe Flash in a small number of places on the site, as well as in the integrated editing tools from Picnik. Please ensure you have the latest version available.


Although there are no specific system requirements for viewing Flickr, we do recommend that you use a reasonably powerful computer, and a fast Internet connection, because that will make it more fun.

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The site is acting weird! Things aren't saving... photos are missing... what gives??

A basic explanation is that we have lots of databases running Flickr, and if an individual machine gets overwhelmed, updates can fall behind. These are the main symptoms of weirdness:

Even though it's confusing, the updates you are making around the place do work (mostly sub-second actually), it's just that there's a short delay in them showing up.

Unfortunately, this particular problem is compounded when people see that their comment hasn't come up, and try to post it again, and then again... so, if you see this sort of behavior happening, the best advice we can give is just to leave it for a while and then come back. There's no need to post things again - your data has made it through, even though it doesn't look that way.

We're continually working to make Flickr as stable as we can. We hate it when this problem pops up... probably more than you!

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Help! My images are all red x's (or broken icons, not loading, etc.)

If you suddenly notice that images from Flickr are broken in your browser or they are just not loading while the page does, it's probably one of a few causes:

In most cases, the first one covers it, especially for Firefox users. If you are using Firefox, check to be sure the Flickr servers are not in your block list. You can get to that option here:

Tools menu > Options > Content > Load Images Automatically > Exceptions

Firefox menu > Preferences > Content > Load images automatically > Exceptions

You can also try to right click from your mouse (ctrl-click on a Mac) an empty image element, and look to see if the option to 'Block images from *' is selected, substituting the * for one of the host server names mentioned above. If so, deselect it.

If that didn't take care of it, first try clearing your browser cache (instructions). If that didn't do it, point your browser to our test page so you know exactly what of our resources doesn't load for you. Also do try using a second browser to test it out. If you can see images in the second browser, the first one might just need to be restarted to reset it. Firefox users can also try turning off add ons they have installed; some add-ons (like ad blocking extensions) may block images. On the browser menu: Tools > Add-ons. The Mozilla Firefox site also has a comprehensive troubleshooting guide which can be very useful when dealing with browser add on and profile problems.

If you cannot see images in the second browser either, perhaps it's a firewall issue. But, try a reboot of your system before contacting your network administrator/help desk, as sometimes mysterious network gremlins can zap image loading and make you think all your images have vanished. If you use a home firewall, either software or hardware based, check to make sure that any updates done to them did not cause any change in settings. Try rebooting your router as well.

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You've asked me to clear cache on a page or the browser - how do I do that?

First, try clearing cache on a single page. This may refresh a script which was loaded a bit wonky in your browser, giving you a clean copy.

Go to an affected page, then do a hard reload of that page to override the cache. For most browsers on Windows, CTRL-F5 should do the trick. On a Mac, the key combination is slightly different: command-shift-R (command being the 'Apple' key).

To completely clear all browser cache

For Internet Explorer/Windows

From the browser menu:
Tools > Internet Options > General
Select the "Temporary Internet Files" section
Press the button marked: [delete files]

Firefox (Mac & Windows)

From the browser menu:
Tools > Clear Recent History...
When the dialog pops up, select the 'Cache' option and de-select others
Press the button marked: [Clear Now]

Safari Mac

From the menu bar:
Safari > Empty Cache
Press the button marked [Empty]

Safari Windows:

From the settings menu dropdown selector:
Reset Safari > Select the 'Empty Cache' selector only
Press the button marked [Reset]

Opera Mac

From the menu bar:
Opera > Preferences > Advanced > History > Disc cache
Press the button marked: [Empty now]

Opera Windows

From the browser menu:
Tools > Preferences > Advanced > History > Disc cache
Press the button marked: [Empty now]

Google Chrome Windows

From the wrench icon on the browser toolbar:
Tools > Clear browsing data > select "Empty the cache"
select the amount of data that you want to delete
Press the button marked: [Clear browsing data]

Google Chrome Mac

From the browser menu:
Chrome > Clear browsing Data > select "Empty the cache"
select the amount of data that you want to delete
Press the button marked: [Clear browsing data]

After you have cleared your browser cache, reload the page to refresh the content you see.

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Flickr tells me I need to enable cookies to use the site, but they are already enabled...what should I do?

If you aren't sure whether cookies are enabled or not, you can check using these instructions.

If you have cookies enabled but for some reason still can't get into Flickr, try using a different browser. For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, try using Firefox. Another thing that may work is to close down your browser session and open a new one. Still can't access the site? Please contact us.

Opera users:

Opera may not log you in if you select the option to only accept cookies from sites you visit. If your settings are like that, you may need to set your preferences to allow them globally.


Opera Menu > Preferences > Cookies > [x] Accept Cookies


Tools > Preferences > Cookies > [x] Accept Cookies

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I'm an AOL user having trouble viewing photos. What's going on?

AOL 9.0 uses the AOL TopSpeed technology to speed up browsing. Under the AOL Keyword: 'Browser Settings', there is a section called 'Web Graphics'. For Flickr to display properly, the 'Never compress graphics' option must be selected, which is not the default option. Close AOL and log on again.

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I've been told to "slow down partner." What's up with that?

If you're reading this FAQ entry, it's very likely that you've bumped into one or more of the limits that we've had to put into place to combat spam and spammy behavior* on Flickr.

The fact that you're reading this makes it highly unlikely that spamming the Flickrverse was your intent and we don't mean to cast aspersions about your character. This message should clear by waiting a little time and trying again.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue to upload new photos, create sets, share your photos in groups and otherwise Explore! The more you share, the less likely you'll be to experience similar road blocks in the future.

* An example of spammy behavior would be commenting "Great shot" on 20 photos in 1 minute. Leaving the same comment that quickly isn't really giving the photographers feedback but is usually self promotional and "spammy behavior".

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I'm having all sorts of trouble logging in. Help!

There are a few things that some members have mentioned may affect your ability to login or view Flickr.

Merging Accounts

If you're being asked to "merge" your accounts but can't get into your Flickr account after signing into Yahoo, please don't panic, and whatever you do, don't delete your Yahoo account.

Instead, provide us with your Flickr account name, or a link directly to the account you're trying to access and we'll be able to tell you the correct log in to use.

There's also a chance you have more than one Yahoo! account - if that's the case, try signing out of everything and signing in again with that second account.


If you're seeing an error message about cookies, here are some tips to try to log in:

If you still can't get in, ask someone at Flickr to help you.

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I have a great idea for a feature! How can I suggest it?

The best place to start is probably in the FlickrIdeas Group. This is the best place to put your ideas out there for everyone to discuss.

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Can I link to my photography site?

Members are allowed to link to an external site where they show their photography portfolio and talk about their services. A single link to this site without sales verbiage under your photos is allowed. But we ask that you not link to a site with a shopping cart or that is essentially just selling prints.

Other commercial links are still not allowed on photo pages since, as noted in the Community Guidelines, Flickr is a personal photosharing service – not a site to sell or promote your products, services, or yourself, whether you’re a commercial entity, non-profit organization, or an individual.

"Don’t use Flickr to sell.
If we find you engaging in commercial activity, we will warn you or delete your account. Some examples include selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream or in a group, using your account solely as a product catalog, or linking to commercial sites in your photostream."

We don't allow commercial links on photos, sets, or other places in the photostream. We do allow you to have a commercial link in your profile – which is where people would go to find out more about you.

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Someone is using my name/business name as their Flickr URL. What can I do?

After a URL has been set for an account it can't be changed or transferred to a different account. We're sorry but Flickr has a firm policy on this in order to maintain data, metadata, and link integrity.

The easiest way to resolve this is to use an available alternative. For example if you are the Healthy Bread Company, /healthybread may be taken but you can try /healthybreadco, /eathealthybread, /healthyslice, /freshhealthybread, /healthybreadcompany, etc. Most people are able to find an alternate URL that works just as well or better.

If you believe that your trademark is being infringed by a Flickr member, please use the "Copyright/IP Policy" link at the bottom of any Flickr page and our copyright team will work with you to resolve the issue. However, even if a URL is determined to be infringing we cannot 'give' a URL to another user. We can remove the trademark infringing account, but we cannot subsequently give you that URL.

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How can I keep myself safe on Flickr?

If you are concerned about privacy and safety there are many things you can do to help keep yourself safe when using Flickr.

If you would like to find out more information on keeping safe online, please visit your local Yahoo! Safely site:

Argentina, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Maktoob, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Quebec, Singapore, Spain, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, en Español, Venezuela, Vietnam

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Or, return to the main help page.