Where do I store images in SharePoint?
We tend to think of SharePoint strictly being a repository for office documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs. However, even in the business world, it is not just about these office documents. More and more, visuals, like photos and videos become a necessary content in the daily business life.
In SharePoint there are different options for storing Images, with different pros and cons, which we describe below.
Option 1 - Modern Document Library
The old document library did not have anything special to accommodate photos, and they were stored just like any other documents in a list format.
The new modern document library (available in traditional sites as well as in modern sites) allows for photo viewing capabilities. The built-in “Tiles” view,
allows viewing thumbnails of images right within a document library, without a need to click on each image!
Option 2 - Picture Library
Picture library is a separate app (list template) that is available in SharePoint to store images.
Up until the modern library experience, it has been the dedicated place to store images, as it allowed for some of the picture-specific functionalities, like thumbnail preview. Now that the modern document library has those features, a separate picture library is almost not necessary.
That said, a Picture Library, unlike a Document Library, does have some superior image-specific functionalities that might tip the scale in its favor.
- By defaults it switches to the “Tiles” view by default, unlike Document Library, which defaults to a “List” view.
- It contains some default, image-specific metadata that you can use, e.g. “Date Picture Taken” (unfortunately these metadata do not grab the images' metadata while uploading them).
- Another benefit of a picture library is that you can tie it to a slideshow web part and display photos from the picture library in a slideshow on a page.
Option 3 - Asset Library
Any time you insert an image or images on a classical or modern page, images end up being stored in a Site Assets Library.
When you insert images via Modern Page:
When you insert images via a Classic Page:
They all end up in a Site Assets Document Library:
Our recommendation is to store images in a Modern Document Library, unless you have the need of image specific metadata such as “Date Picture Taken” or need to create a slideshow. If you are considering storing all your images in one place, our recommendation is therefore to create a MetaShare workspace, using a unique workspace configuration with picture related tags/metadata. When you need to view thumbnails you just open the workspace in SharePoint, by clicking on the "Open in SharePoint" icon on the workspace's top-bar and there navigate to the document library.