Choosing the Right Upload Option

Options IE 7-9 IE 10 Firefox Chrome PC Mac Tablet
Multi-photo
HTML 5
see help
x
Multi-photo (IE)
ActiveX required
see help
x x x x
One-by-one
older browsers
see help
x
Facebook Users
Import albums
see help
x
Picasa Users
Import albums
see help
x
Mobile Users
get iphone app
get android app
see help
If your photos are located elsewhere online
Picasa Desktop or Picasa Web Albums allow you to upload and order directly from the Picasa software.

Shutterfly allows printing to your local CVS Store directly from the Shutterfly software.


Fast Uploaders

The easiest way to transfer photos from your computer to your CVS Photo online account is by using our Fast Photo uploader. Depending on your computer and browser preference you will see the HTML 5 or ActiveX edition when you click to upload photos from computer. You can select as many photos as you would like from one folder on your computer at a time. You can select photos as often as needed to gather the photos you want to upload together before uploading.

About the HTML 5 Edition Uploader for PC and Mac

With the quick uploader - HTML 5 Edition you can select multiple photos from different folders on your computer and upload them all at once.

iPad/iPhone users: The HTML 5 edition uploader allows you to upload photos from iPad and iPhone devices running iOS version 6.0 and above.

  1. Select "Upload from Computer" in the main menu.
  2. Create a new album for your uploaded photos by entering an album title. To use an existing album, use the "upload to existing album" dropdown menu to select your destination album from the list. Click the "Choose Photos" button.
  3. Drag your photos from your hard drive or iPhoto application to the "Drag Files Here" graphic. You can select multiple files for dragging by holding the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) button down while you click on the file names. Alternatively, click on the "Select Your Photos" link to open a file browser. Find and click on the photos you wish to upload (again using Ctrl or Cmd to select multiple files) and click the "Open" button.
  4. You will now see a list of the photos that you wish to upload. To remove a file from the list, click the "x" symbol next to its Status. To add more photos, click the "Add Photos" button above the list.
  5. Once you have selected all the photos you would like to upload, click the "start upload" button. You'll see an indicator that the upload is in progress. Please don't close the upload window or go to any other part of the website until your upload has finished. We'll let you know when it's done.
  6. When your upload has finished, you'll see the album that contains all the photos that were successfully uploaded.

NOTE: When you upload a digital photo to your online account, only a copy of it is placed in your account. The original digital photo file remains unchanged on your computer. You can upload photos from your computer's hard drive, from a floppy disk, from a DVD-ROM, or directly from a digital camera connected to your computer.

About the ActiveX uploader - IE Edition for PCs

The ActiveX uploader IE edition is compatible with Internet Explorer. The ActiveX edition uploader will be presented as default when accessing the Upload page from Internet Explorer. If you are using the multi-photo uploader for the first time, you will be prompted to install an ActiveX control. Please click here for instructions on installing ActiveX control. Please see below for instructions on installing ActiveX control.

Installing the ActiveX Control

If you are a new CVS Photo user you will be prompted to install an ActiveX control when first using the Fast Uploader. You may also be prompted to install the ActiveX control after updates have been made to the uploader software. To install the ActiveX control:

  1. A yellow information bar will appear below the address bar to let you know that you need to install an ActiveX control in order to continue. If you see the install instructions on your screen but no information bar, then the ActiveX control could be present but disabled. You might also see a bubble alert telling you that the ActiveX control is disabled.
  2. Click the Information Bar and select "Install ActiveX control..." in the dropdown menu.
  3. A Security Warning window will appear to confirm that you would like to install the ActiveX control. Click the "Install" button to continue.
  4. When the installation completes, you will be able to use the ActiveX uploader - IE edition.

Using the ActiveX Uploader, Step by Step

  1. Click the "Upload" link at the top of the page, or click the "Upload Photos" button on the My Photos page.
  2. Select "Upload Images from Your Computer" as your upload method.
  3. If creating a new album, enter the album name in the field provided (the album title will default to the upload date). If you would like to upload to an existing album, use the dropdown menu to select the album where you would like to upload your photos.
  4. Choose an Upload Setting. You can select either "Regular Upload", recommended for prints, photo books and collages, or "Large Image File Upload", best for creating large sized gifts and posters. Note that the "Large Image File Upload" takes longer due to the larger file size.
  5. Click the "Choose Photos" button and navigate to where the photos are located on your computer. Photos should be in .JPG format to be uploaded, as other format types may fail to upload.
  6. Select photos by clicking on their photo thumbnail or clicking on the checkbox below them. To select all photos within a folder click the "Select All" link.
  7. Click the "Upload" button to begin uploading.

You'll see an indicator that the upload is in progress. Please don't close the upload window or go to any other part of the website until your upload has finished. We'll let you know when it's done.

NOTE: When you upload a digital photo to your online account, only a copy of it is placed in your account. The original digital photo file remains unchanged on your computer. You can upload photos from your computer's hard drive, from a floppy disk, from a DVD-ROM, or directly from a digital camera connected to your computer.

One-by-one Photo Uploader

Another way to upload your photos to your CVS Photo account is to transfer them using the One-by-one uploader.

  1. To use the One-by-one Photo uploader, select "One-by-one uploader" from the right hand menu.
  2. If creating a new album, enter the album name in the field provided (the album title will default to the upload date). If you would like to upload to an existing album, use the dropdown menu to select the album where you would like to upload your photos.
  3. Click the "Choose Photos" button, and a file selection window will appear. The file selection window will allow you to navigate to where the photos are located on your computer. Photos should be in .JPG format to be uploaded, as other format types may fail to upload.
  4. Find the location of the photo you would like to upload. Click its file name twice. The file name should now appear in the photos selected area on the Upload page.
  5. If you wish to add more photos, click the "Add More Photos" button and repeat step 4. Repeat this process until you have the all the photos you wish to upload. Click the "Start Upload" button to continue.
  6. When your upload has finished, you'll see the photos that were successfully uploaded in the album to which you uploaded them.

NOTE: When you upload a digital photo to your online account, only a copy of it is placed in your account. The original digital photo file remains unchanged on your computer. You can upload photos from your computer's hard drive, from a floppy disk, from a DVD-ROM, or directly from a digital camera connected to your computer.

Troubleshooting Uploads

Troubleshooting ActiveX for PCs

Please find below help tips regarding the ActiveX uploader IE edition. If you still experience issue, then we would recommend you to try the One-by-one uploader. This uploader can be accessed by clicking on the links in the right hand menu on the upload page.

Click here for instructions on using One-by-one uploader.

To check your ActiveX security settings:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer and select "Tools" from the dropdown menu.
  2. Select "Internet Options" and then click on the "Security" tab.
  3. Click the "Default level" button to set your security settings at Medium or Medium-High.
    The Security Settings Level Buttons
  4. If you want to customize your settings, click the "Custom level" button to access additional security settings and choose your desired ActiveX security. We suggest setting it to "Enable" or "Prompt".
    The ActiveX Custom Control Options
  5. Click the "Ok" button and refresh the CVS Photo Upload page.

Other Troubleshooting Tips

If you are still experiencing issues trying to upload images from your computer, please try the following suggestions.

Check Corporate Firewalls
If you are on a corporate network or are behind a corporate firewall you may be restricted from using ActiveX and will not be able to use the Fast Uploader. Try using the Simple Uploader instead.

Check Personal Firewalls
If you are experiencing problems installing or using the Fast Uploader (ActiveX), then you may beed to disable banner/skyscraper ads in your personal firewall program. See the documentation for your firewall software of choice to disable the banner/skyscraper ads, and then reload the CVS Photo Upload page.

Resize Large Files
If you are using a Fast uploader and see a warning that a "photo is too big" in the place of any of your images, then you need to reduce the file size of your image. You can do this easily using any piece of photo/image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Microsoft Paint. Simply open the large photo in your editing software and change the width and height to decrease the size of your file. Our site requires that the size of each image be less than 15mb (15360kb).

You can also decrease the file size of your photo by adjusting its resolution. The size of your file is directly proportional to the resolution of your image. Increasing the resolution of your photo will increase the size of your file and decreasing the resolution of your image will decrease the size of your file. However, capturing an image at a high resolution is the best way to ensure that the quality of your image is preserved when reducing file size, whereas starting with a low resolution image could result in a loss of quality for an image that needs to be stretched or reduced to fill a 4 X 6 print.

Resolution can be measured in terms of pixel dimensions, 1280 X 1024 pixels, or by pixel density 2 Megapixels. The absolute minimum resolution that will yield a clear image is 930 X 620 pixels, but we recommend a resolution of approximately 2 Megapixels or 1200 X 1800 for a clear image. You might also see resolution referred to in terms of dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). If you set your dpi to 300 and your image size to 4 X 6 inches, then your picture will be approximately 2 Megapixels.

300 dpi X 4 inches = 1200 pixels per inch
300 dpi X 6 inches = 1800 pixels per inch
1200 pixels X 1800 pixels = 2160000 pixels (or roughly 2 Megapixels)

Check Your File Type
CVS Photo has found that the .jpg file type works best, but you can upload .bmp and .tiff files as well. If your files are not showing up in the uploader then you may need to convert them to .jpg. This can be done using any piece of photo/image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Microsoft Paint. Simply open the photo in your editing software and select "Save as" from the main menu. Save it as a .jpg or "JPEG".

Frequently Asked Questions about Uploading

What is the difference between the fast and full resolution upload speeds when using the multi-photo uploaders?
When you choose the fast speed, we upload your images up to 5x faster by compressing them slightly. There is no loss in the visible quality of your photos. The compression is just small enough to reduce the transmission speed while maintaining the visual integrity of your photos in order to produce high quality prints. Please choose the fast upload speed for print sizes up to 8x10.

Because there is a slight compression that would be noticeable only at large print sizes, it is best to choose the full resolution speed if you wish to produce enlargements beyond 8x10 or if you wish to use a photo on a large gift. While this will transfer your photos more slowly, it will ensure an appropriate resolution for large prints.

I would like to upload photos from my phone / tablet.
The CVS mobile app allows you to print images at CVS stores from your phone photo library or print from your CVSphoto.com account albums.

Click here to download the app for your iPhone.
Click here to download the app for your Android phone.

How do I contact Customer Support
If you are experiencing problems using our website, please read through the FAQ as some of the solutions listed below could be applied to fix many issues. Below are the most common issues that have been identified by our customers.

If at any time during your use of our site, you notice an issue not covered in our help documentation, or if you would like to provide us with some feedback, please send an email to customercare@cvs.com or call us at (888)607-4287.

What are the recommended resolutions for my photos?
The image sizes listed below are the best for ordering prints or making photo gifts:

Print Size Minimum image resolution required
4 x 6 690x460 pixels
5 x 7 805x575 pixels
8 x 8 Enlargements 920x920 pixels
8 x 10 1150x920 pixels
8 x 12 1380x920 pixels
11 x 14 Enlargements 1610x1265 pixels
12 x 12 Enlargements 1380x1380 pixels
12 x 18 Enlargements 2070x1380 pixels
16 x 20 Posters 2300x1840 pixels
20 x 30 Posters 3450x2300 pixels
Wallet Prints 374x259 pixels
Photo Gifts 900x600 pixels

What is the maximum size of image(s) I can upload?
Individual pictures may not exceed 15mb in file size. We recommend uploading no more than 40 images at a time. If you are using Multi-Photo uploaders and you notice "photo is too big" in the place of any of your images, then you need to reduce the file size of your image. Click here to find instructions on Resizing Large Files.

How much time does it take to upload?
Upload time for photos can vary significantly depending on the size of your image(s), the number of images in the upload batch, and the speed of your internet connection. In general if you have a high-speed cable or fibre internet connection you can expect that each picture will take from 45 seconds to 2 minutes to upload.

Does it cost me anything to upload photos?
Uploading, sharing and editing your photos is absolutely free.

How long are my photos stored by CVS Photo?
We offer free, unlimited storage of online photos as long as you remain an active member of CVS Photo. Create as many albums and upload as many photos as you would like.

To remain eligible for free storage, you must access your account at least once every 180 days and make a purchase at least once every 365 days. The 365 day period will restart with each purchase you make from the Web Site. If you do not make at least one (1) purchase every 365 days, the Web Site may delete the photos stored in your account.

Furthermore, if your account has not been accessed at least once in a 180 day period the account itself may be terminated including all information, communications, postings, albums, image files or any other content within the account. Please note that CVS reserves the right to modify this policy without notice at any time.

Can I use images I have stored on another site?
CVS Photo has the functionality to enable you to import photos and albums from your Facebook or Picasa account. For more details on importing photos from social media accounts, click here.

What is your policy for adult or offensive content?
This site prohibits the uploading of adult or offensive content. This site reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine whether any use by you of the Service is prohibited or otherwise violates this Policy.