The image [...] cannot be displayed, because it contains errors

Martin Brinkmann
May 5, 2008
Updated • Dec 7, 2012
Firefox, Image

I recently ran into the error message "The image [...] cannot be displayed, because it contains errors" twice in the last day and I was wondering if it was related to my new computer or a coincidence because I never encountered that error message in Firefox before. Internet Explorer 7 is displaying the images fine and I have yet to install Opera 9.5 to test it with that browser as well but I suspect it will render it fine.

For anyone who wants to test the images in their browser, they are here and here. I was not able to come up with a solution yet, the second image was displaying fine after a few tries but it seems to be caught in an endless loading loop. The image is displayed completely but the loading bar is still loading something, not sure what it is. Saving the images and viewing them in Windows turns out to be working fine without any issues.

A quick research seems to suggest that those images have been saved using CMYK encoding and not the usual RGB encoding. It turns out that Firefox is having problems displaying images that have been encoded this way and cannot display them properly, hence the error message The image [...] cannot be displayed, because it contains errors when trying to load such an image.

Update: I have tested both images in a newer versions of the Firefox web browser and both display fine and without issues in it. It seems that Mozilla has fixed the error in an update released for the web browser.


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  1. jarze said on June 26, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Strangely, I just had this problem in Firefox 13.0 (though IE 8 and Google Chrome 19.0 also have the same problem). The image in question is, but it only happens with the basic thumbnail size selection (800px), all other sizes show without problems, even the huge original image (16,384 × 8,192 pixels), which I didn’t care load wholly.
    I don’t have Skype at all, and the CMYK solution would be strange since the problem only occurs with just one thumbnail size.

  2. Manivel said on May 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I have created page in using C#. That page is containing image control. i loaded the images from database. The image is display in Internet explorer 6. The Same image page does not display in higher version of IE and Firefox. Please tell me what is the reason for that and tell me the the solution. Please Mail me.

  3. John said on March 5, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I have same problem. But, no skype AND the images are not CMYK but RGB (including your header.jpg) I’m runnig Fedora FC9 with Firefox 3.06 (just upgraded)

  4. Russ said on February 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I don’t have Skype, but I get this same exact error message. After checking which add-on is causing the problem, it was determined that the “Content Preferences” add-on is causing the problem. If you have this add-on, I suggest disabling it or uninstalling it and see if it works for you.

  5. quashie said on October 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Yep, skype for me as well. Simply disabling worked. Thanks for the help!

  6. Happy said on June 30, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Disable Skype addon and problem solved for me! Yippee!

    I disabled it rather than uninstalled it so that maybe an update to that addon might smooth over this problem… I actually like the addon when it worked…

  7. Io said on June 22, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Skype addon was the issue for me also, thanks for the help!

  8. PAC said on June 20, 2008 at 4:01 am

    I disabled the Skype addon and now it works. I remember having upgraded to Skype V3.8.0.115 lately and the problem started at about the same time.

  9. Jams said on June 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Yep… it was the damn skype plug-in… thanks folks!

  10. Kip said on June 4, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    the Firefox gif loading glitch was a frustrating problem. Thanks Eyebee (and others) and thanks google!

  11. Kamatoz said on May 31, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Everything is because of the errors of some extensions such as skype add-on in firefox, simply just turn them off or uninstall and everything will be ok!

  12. Eyebee said on May 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Glad I found the cause, but I’d like it to be cured at some point, as I actually find the Skype extension useful, as I use SkypeOut.

  13. Larry_g1s said on May 28, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Skype was it.

  14. Klox said on May 28, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Damn Skype! Me too :) Tnx

  15. Steak said on May 27, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Skype extension was the culprit for me as well.

  16. Caze said on May 27, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Skype was also the bugger for me, thanks a lot guys :) was really annoying me

  17. Yak said on May 27, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Guys, skype add-on sucks, thanks a lot I would never suspect on that, but I just erase it and everything is working fine

  18. Stan said on May 24, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Yea, I disabled skype and it works now, Thanks guys!

  19. erik said on May 22, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    perl program that “cleans” cmyk images using Image::Magick

  20. Oonter said on May 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Wow, thanx or much guys. It was Skype. I was having the same problems

  21. Chris said on May 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    BOO Skype! Same issue with me, and now fixed thanks to this thread! Well done ppl *thumbs up*

  22. yic17 said on May 19, 2008 at 8:20 am

    yep, Skype is the evil one here.

  23. Baratong said on May 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I had the same problem and it turned out to be the Skype Extension. I turned it off, restarted Firefox and now the images work just fine!

  24. Digatron said on May 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    The problem was the Skype Extension. Curse that damn thing!!! Uninstalled it and now everything looks fine. Thanks!!

  25. eurydice said on May 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    yay, thanks for the firefox tip, after uninstalling it now works fine! :-)

  26. n0iz3 said on May 12, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    same problem here, same solution.
    looks like the skype extension must be recoded for FF3.

  27. semaj said on May 11, 2008 at 6:14 am

    I have the same image problem and it only started with firefox beta 5 version 3. works fine in firefox2 and ie. ill try the skype thing

  28. Muhammad Khan said on May 10, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Yep!! disable the Skype extension and its solved.

    Win XP Pro SP3 (Clean insall)

  29. Michael said on May 9, 2008 at 3:50 am

    My problem just started recently too with version I disabled my Skype extension and problem solved…

  30. Eyebee said on May 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Thing is, until the latest FF updates, that Skype Extension worked fine for me. I used it sometimes too.

  31. Zack said on May 8, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    It was the Skype extension for me, un-install the skype extension and then it’ll work!

  32. Rodney said on May 8, 2008 at 10:19 am

    It converts all recognisable phones numbers into links that you can use Skype to call them.

    BTW, it also broke PDF’s as well as images.

  33. David said on May 8, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Just uninstalled the Skype extension as well. I installed skype a few days ago and since then been getting all sorts of loading errors with FF. Some pages reloading infinitely or randomly as well as the “this image cannot be displayed” rubbish.
    I don’t even recall being asked if I wanted to install that extension, but I guess I was.
    What exactly does it do apart from break FF?

  34. Dave said on May 7, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Uninstalling the firefox Skype extension fixed it for me as well. Thanks.

  35. Rodney said on May 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Yes! I also uninstalled the Skype extension as part of the process because I didn’t want it. Thanks, everyone.

  36. Eyebee said on May 6, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Yes F3 b5 Kbuntu 8.04 here is just fine too. It was the Skype Extension for firefox in Win that was causing the issue for me.

  37. What is Firefox? said on May 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Firefox 3 beta 5 shows both images just fine in Kubuntu 8.04.

  38. Martin said on May 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Eyebee that was it ! The Skype extension was automatically installed by Skype and after uninstalling the Skype extension the images are loading fine.

  39. Eyebee said on May 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I had the same issue recently start in Firefox. I went thru my add-ons, one by one. I found that it was the Skype Extension that was giving me the issue. I disable that, and all images now display fine.

  40. Rodney said on May 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    @Wokkel Well spotted, mate! I have just disabled all of my image related extensions & it’s good to go! Now the laborious task of figuring out which one is the culprit.

    Ugh! Just re-enabled all of them & it’s still working. Which is good, but I haven’t found the culprit or the combination.

    That’s the way it goes, I s’pose.

  41. Wokkel said on May 6, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Maybe a plugin is the problem, but not firefox itself.

  42. Kavin said on May 6, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Both images worked fine for me.

    Firefox on Win Vista and Norton 360.

  43. Malinthe said on May 6, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Checked with Firefox 3 Beta 5, loads without errors.

  44. Crucible said on May 5, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I’ve been getting this problem since the latest automatic update for firefox. Something in the latest build I think caused it.

    First picture loads, second one gives that error.

  45. ReNe said on May 5, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    easy man, just chage the DPI to 150 or less thats all

  46. Dante said on May 5, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I’m running Firefox with Windows Vista and ZoneAlarm firewall – no problems viewing the images.

  47. webrider said on May 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    i experience this problem from time to time when i click on an image link and before the image starts loading (if it loads in the same tab) i click on another image link
    ive experienced it since firefox was 1.0 so i dont think its a recent problem
    right now using firefox without firewall your images load ok

    anyone knows why sometimes when i drag an image on a web directly to a folder on my computer the file its 0 kb? if i use “save image as” the image saves ok

  48. Martin said on May 5, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks guys, I discovered part of the problem. I imported the Firefox settings from my old computer to my new one and forgot to change the temp directory. It was located on a drive that did not exist on the new computer.

    Now I get the endless loading loop on both images but at least they are shown now ;)

  49. TuttoSoftware said on May 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Do you read this message in a new window or right-clicking on the image property ? In the second case I think that Firefox tries to read the alternative test of the image but because the image is not in an HTML page (not tag IMG present), it produces this strange message.

  50. Transcontinental said on May 5, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    No problem here reading above linked images. Firefox on XP SP3 with KIS 2009.

    I have no idea of the problem you’re encountering, Martin. Since Keule mentions same symptom and firewall implication, it could be that I guess.

  51. MadToni said on May 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    well, i’m using firefox and i’ve no troubles opening both of the images you talked of. additionally, i also wasn’t caught in an endless loading loop so far ;) i opened the images with IE6 and IE7, no problems….

    which firefox version are you using currently?

  52. Cronnie said on May 5, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Both images worked fine for me.


  53. Rodney said on May 5, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Seems to me that this problem Firefox is having has only started recently.

  54. Bruno 'ReX' Barbieri said on May 5, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I’m using the latest Firefox 3 nighthly/trunk build and both load just fine.

  55. Keule said on May 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Check your firewall filter settings. I could’nt read some images as well, reading only [AD-IMG]. When I switched my firewall off, they were all viewable.

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