Why is Uploading Files to SharePoint 2010 Failing?

upload a file in SharePointThis is a common question we receive at Fpweb.net, the home of SharePoint Hosting. Luckily, you don’t even need to be a SharePoint expert to get to the root of the problem. There are a few easy-to-follow steps that help identify the cause of a failed upload in SharePoint which I will share with you in this article. I would recommend checking these first before beating your head against the wall in search for answers. That just makes a SharePoint headache worse…

First, it is important to know that this is typically caused four common culprits:

  • Blocked file types
  • The size of the file
  • Antivirus protection
  • Naming convention

So while uploading most files should be possible, we would need to narrow down these possibilities if you are encountering issues. You should ask yourself, “What are the behaviors I’m seeing when this does not work?”
**Please note that if interactive media is being uploaded within an Archive or other file type, it will only be stored and will not be playable when uploaded in this manner. You may choose to rather embed Interactive Content to the site to make them a playable file. This is done by encoding the file in a Web Friendly File type and size and uploading to a cloud storage platform. This lets you offload the processing to the cloud storage and embed the video to your page so it’s not actually stored in your SQL database. That’s a win-win situation.

Steps to Upload Files to SharePoint 2010 After a Failed Attempt:

  1. You can check blocked file types on your SharePoint server, in Central Administration–>Security–>Define blocked file types
    1. Here’s a full list of blocked file types.
  2. The next thing to check is the size of the file. SharePoint has a default size limitation on uploads of 15MB, this is also set in Central Administration–>Application Management–>Manage Web Applications–>General Settings–>Maximum Upload Size. This is not the only place that size limitations must be updated. To learn more, check out this article on how to extend file size.
  3. If neither of these are the culprit, (as you can quickly deduce from checking the file type and size), you can rule out naming convention by uploading each video individually and ensuring that no illegal characters such as spaces and ‘&’ are listed. Ask yourself “Do any of them upload successfully or do any of them have special characters?” If not, then move on to the last step.
  4. Antivirus. Antivirus. Antivirus. This can be blocking uploads on the server. Testing this is fairly simple by just tuning it to ignore the file extension of your uploaded content. To do this, login to your server and open your antivirus client. On most Antivirus Clients, this is done by clicking Tools–>Options. Uncheck Automatic Scanning and add the file extension to the “Do not scan these file extensions” list.
  5. Try your upload again.

By completing these steps, you’ll likely find the cause of failed uploads in a SharePoint environment. If you have questions, feel free to ask, and as always, if you enjoyed this post, remember to Link it, Like it and Subscribe to it!

2014-03-31T08:56:45+00:00 March 31st, 2014|


  1. JSanborn July 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Recently our SP2007 server has started to upload files but then not prompt for version check-in (Excel files, specifically). It’s happening on multiple files, and we’ve checked the client-side apps are all alike. Some people have the problem while others are fine.

    Yesterday it happened to me, and I’m supposed to be the guy that knows how all this works! I saved a file several times within a 2 hour period; closed Excel and noticed that I didn’t get the version check-in prompt. Thought it may indicate the file didn’t save, so I re-opened the file from the site page. It opened correctly, showing the changes as expected. I then noticed that the file was still checked out to me, so I cancelled the checkout via the dropdown “discard checkout”.

    After doing that, when I opened the file a few minutes later, it was the file from 2 hours ago. I looked through the version history and there was nothing. I checked my local auto-recovery directory, and there was nothing. It was just vaporized. My SharePoint admin couldn’t locate any temp files (not sure he knew where to look).

    Wondering if this file is gone for good, or if it’s hidden someplace where we can get it back?


  2. Mike M December 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply


    I am editing two Excel 2010 (xlsx) files in Excel, directly off of a Sharepoint site. When I hit the save button in Excel, one saves correctly, the other comes up with an “Upload Failed” message. I can save to my hard drive then copy the file over the old version in Explorer view, but I cannot save this file directly within Excel. There should not be any file type, naming or size issues (files are <1MB).

  3. ashwani April 1, 2016 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Lovely… great help thank you..!!

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