Attachment Unavailable: How to control the privacy of your Facebook photos

If you’ve seen the Facebook alert that says, “Some people may not be able to see this attachment because of its privacy settings,” you’re in the right place.

I have another short how-to video today. It’s one of those tricky little Facebook quirks that, if you know it, can make your life infinitely better.

Below the video is the transcript, if you’d rather scan that instead of watching the video. Enjoy!

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Hi! This is Kathleen Heuer, with another Facebook tip for you today. Today, I’m going to show you how to control the privacy on your photos.

So as you can see, I’m here on my profile page. I’m going to create a new status; this one’s going to be a photo. I’m going to upload the photo that I’d like…which’ll take me a moment here to find. Here we go. It’s uploading. And I’m going to paste some text to go along with it. As you can see, it’s just a photo and a quote.

Okay, now here’s where I’m going to change the privacy. Down here next to the post button, you have a drop-down menu with some options.

The top option is public; that’s the world icon or the globe icon.

Below that, you have friends. You can choose friends except acquaintances, if you have a list of acquaintances set up. Facebook might even do that automatically for you, so you should go ahead and check that.

You can also choose “only me;” you can set a custom list of people that you’d like to share this with, or you can use your friend lists, if you have those set up, as well.

So for right now, I’m going to choose friends only, and I’m going to post it.

Okay, so there’s the new post. That’s what it looks like on my page. We will flip over to the news feed, and I’ll show you what it looks like there. Okay! There you go.

So right now, you can see down here, at the bottom of the picture, there’s a little icon with just two people in it. That means that only my Facebook friends can see that. But if I want everyone to see it, I can go ahead and change it to public.

But let’s say for right now, it’s still set only to friends. And I decide it’s so great, that I’d like to share this with a group. So I go ahead and hit the share button, and I’ll do it in a group. And I’ll choose the group that I’d like to share it to.

Now, you’ll notice here at the bottom we get a little warning message, with a yellow triangle. It says, “Some people may not be able to see this attachment because of its privacy settings.” That’s because I have it set to share only to friends, and I’m going to share it into a group. So right now, the way I have it set up, it’s only going to be visible to my Facebook friends who are in this group. So I’ll go ahead and share it, and then we’ll go ahead and find the group so I can show you what it looks like there.

Okay, so here it is in the group. We, of course, can see it, because it’s ours. However, anyone who’s not a Facebook friend of mine will get, instead of this lovely photo, it will say attachment unavailable. [sad trombone sound effect] We don’t want that to happen, so we can go ahead and fix that very easily right here.

We can go up next to my name, right above the text of the post, and select this icon. Right now, it’s the icon of two people, which is the friends icon. We can change it to public, we can change it to only me, we can change it however we’d like. But in this case, we’d like to be able for everybody in the group to see it, so we’ll change it to public.

Okay! And with that change, now everybody can see it.

This has been another Facebook tip for you today. If you’d like more, you can check out my website at Thanks for watching! [upbeat jazz music]

Got any questions for me? Let me know in the comments, or find me on social media and hit me up!

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11 thoughts on “Attachment Unavailable: How to control the privacy of your Facebook photos

  1. Edie

    Hi Kathleen,
    It’s not quite the answer to my question. When I have a person’s permission to share their photo/post, and I click share with my friends – I get the message mentioned above that “some people may not be able to see because of privacy settings”. So even though I click share with my friends, it appears that only our mutual friends of the original posting will be able to see this – not all of my friends. So is this only able to be controlled by the original poster, and not by me at all? Sorry, if this is a dumb question or already covered in your post. I’m just not a very knowledgeable FB user.

    1. Kathleen Heuer Post author

      Hi Edie!

      You are absolutely right. The privacy is ultimately controlled by the ORIGINAL poster. If you can’t get it changed, you can always download it (click to display the image full size, then hover over “options” and select “download”) and repost it yourself.

      Thanks for catching that!

      1. Edie

        Thanks, Kathleen! That’s what I’d learned to do with photos. Just didn’t know if I was missing something obvious. Now it’s clear! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. JIm C

    Unfortunately it is not working any more in facebook. It is my photo that I posted to my own group and wanted to share in another group. I get that some follks will not be able to see this.. blah blah.. I posted as your video suggested.. When I went into the group there is no provision to change the share permissons next to my name in Firefox any ideas?

  3. Karen

    I’ve received this error even when I do a new upload from my computer directly to the group. I may have previously uploaded it to my personal timeline but I’m not sharing it from there. Any ideas?

    1. Kathleen Heuer Post author

      If you’re uploading it from your computer, it should give you the option somewhere to select who can see it. Be sure it’s set to “public” (indicated by the globe icon). Otherwise, it might just be another one of those inexplicable Facebook hiccups.

  4. Vicki

    I’m grateful to find someone giving tips about the ever-changing, ever-frustrating, but utterly addictive FB.


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