Thanks Tips! The Facebook Thumbnail Fix.

Facebook thumbnail link issue debugger

My team and I run into roadblocks every day that, although seemingly minor and annoying, can, in reality, turn your day upside down for absolutely no reason. In this ongoing series, that we’re creatively calling: “Thanks Tips”, we’re going to share little gems, tricks and “hacks” we’ve come up with that may not save the day but will definitely reduce the amount of swearing going on around your office.

Facebook won’t update the post thumbnail

One word for this: annoying. The fix? Easy.

You can (and should) of course be defining your Open Graph metadata in each of the main elements of your content so it’s properly formatted at all times when shared. Naturally, Facebook will try to figure it out but that’s the tiny tot talent time approach. We’re all grown up so we do the right things.

The scenario:

  1. You edit your post and you’re in the final stages of testing for either it’s release or scheduling. You go to Facebook, drop in your fancy link to test and it looks good. The title, description and thumbnail image all look perfect.
  2. You go back to your post, make a few final tweaks and decide to change up the image.
  3. You (hopefully) go back to Facebook to test it out and there’s the old thumbnail, hanging around when it’s not wanted. #$!^#$!^%$!

Frustration due to Facebook Logo Thumbnail issues

What to do? Wait a few days before Facebook decides to update its cache of your content? Unacceptable. But there is a neat little trick and it lives at the Facebook Debugger.

If you’re not a developer, don’t be scared. Just copy and paste your URL into the box there and press the happy “debug” button. You’ll see all sorts of magical voodoo language but what will happen is you will force an update of your page in Facebook’s cache.

End result: updated thumbnail image.


Facebook open graph cache thumbnail update



Note: if you’re a “social media guru” and you can’t read the results of the Facebook Sharing Debugger then you should grab a little HTML class and do some reading. We believe it’s important for marketers to understand how these platforms function to some degree, the days of the technically challenged marketer are over.

The analogy? Not understanding how the platform works and being a social marketer is much like saying you’re really good at watching movies, Stephen Spielberg is really good at making movies (that’s an extreme analogy), but you’re probably not very good at making them because you don’t know how to hold a camera let alone create something magical with it.

Enjoy this blog? Feel free to check out our latest marketing tips here.

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44 Responses to “Thanks Tips! The Facebook Thumbnail Fix.”

  1. Len July 28, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Thank you so, so, so, so MUCH! I was just about ready to destroy a wall with my face. Deep breaths. Deep breaths..

    • Dan Nedelko July 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Well, we’re glad you saved your face! 🙂

  2. Michael Bolé June 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I tried, it doesn’t seem to work. I put the address you provided in the titlebar on the debug page

    • Dan Nedelko June 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      Hey Michael, not quite sure I understand but I’ll try to help. You need to put the URL you are looking to debug into the object debugger address bar and it will give you the results for that page. Like so:

      Facebook Open Graph Object Debug Tool.

      • Daniel December 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        You may also need to click the “Fetch New Scrape Information” button, if you see one.

        • Brian February 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

          for me that button does nothing. the URL preview of what i will post on FB still shows me the old Twitter card

          • Ashley Dadaglio July 25, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

            did you ever get this resolved? mine is the same – nothings changing.

          • Aby July 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

            Brian you have to first upload new thumbnail on your post and then on that debug debug button 3-4 times.

  3. Jasa Niklanovic August 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm #


    does this work only on new posts or is there any way that i can keep my old post (its allready tied to an ad campaign and has a lot of likes) and Facebook could figure out a way to update the og thumbnail there? Im getting a new thumbnail in the debugger but my old posts still have the old og thumbnail image..

    Thanks, Jasa

  4. Moey September 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    You Sir, are a legend!

  5. C Smith October 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Thanks for the great information. I tried this for the website listed and it still shows the template image the URL is based off of, not any of the images on the final site – can you tell me why and what I can do about it?
    Thanks so much,

  6. Krista October 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Hi, thanks for all the info. When I go to the debugger tool, the thumbnail description updates. But when I actually go back to the facebook post, nothing has changed!! any suggestions?

  7. Andre October 22, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Hi there

    Does it really solve the Problem with the thumbnails?
    The problem is, that a change of the content behind such a link (pictures, graphics, video aso) is not updating anymore. I tried it several times but nothing changed. At the moment we try to solve this issue with an alias with our typo3 backend but this is a lot of effort to change it. And this is working al the time.

  8. Kirk January 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Hey Daniel, I did all this, shows the correct share image in the scrape but FB still shows the old image when I share. Drives me nuts.

    • Dan Nedelko January 12, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

      Hey there Kirk. This shouldn’t be an issue but did you try clearing your own cache? Once the scrape is complete Facebook’s cache *should* be forcibly refreshed, also you may simply need to wait a few minutes.

      One last thing: are you getting any og:thumbnail errors from Facebook? If you accidentally have two og:thumbnails Facebook could be easily confused and will just pick the first of the two listed in your meta-data.

    • justin April 7, 2015 at 4:20 am #

      I’m having the same issue. did you ever figure it out? did it fix itself over time and update to the correct thumbnail when you posted?

      • justin April 7, 2015 at 4:21 am #

        (in response to Kirk)

  9. Anthony January 29, 2015 at 4:57 am #

    This doesn’t work with Youtube Videos.

    The preview shows the correct image, but the preview posted remains as the same stale image from earlier. I think it’s a bug with Facebook

  10. Tran Nam Chung February 1, 2015 at 7:12 am #

    i have the same problem with Kirk.
    i add this in my header.

    When i click on “Fetch New Scrape Information”
    it show the new thumbnail.

    But when i click on “See this in the share dialog.”
    It still show the old image.

    How can i do.

  11. Artemisia Moltabocca February 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    I went to
    I entered my input url of
    Clicked “Fetch new scrape information”
    Shows up perfectly. (screenshot: )

    Cleared my Chrome cache in browser and by using CCleaner.
    Cleared my Facebook history within Facebook.

    Weeks have gone by. Facebook still isn’t updating my thumbnail.


  12. Artemisia Moltabocca February 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    Wait a minute, I figured it out! Clicking that last link brings you to my post. Click on the little uppermost right grey arrow, then click ‘Refresh Attachment’.

    I don’t know WHY I didn’t see this before! Facebook loves keeping things hidden.

    • TheHouseOfSaints June 24, 2015 at 5:54 am #


    • Francesca Romana March 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

      You are my goddess!!!
      Thank you!!!

  13. Jason March 5, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    thanks so much for this post. In the case that my edited post has a new url, I wanted to change the linked url as well. Currently, editing the post allows me to edit the displayed url, but not the clickable thumbnail url. Using the debug, neither is fixed

  14. YC July 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    Any pointers for how to get this to work for YouTube thumbnails?

  15. Teresa July 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    I tried doing this as well (genius hack, btw) but I’m trying to share a YouTube video and the issue is that the og:image parameter is still set to the weird automatic video still that YouTube picks instead of the much more flattering still from the video that I later selected as my default thumbnail. Any notion how to force YouTube to update which image is being metatagged as og:image ?

    • nicholas fillmore October 13, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Well, I’m no expert at these things, but I figured a way to get an image that didn’t upload or access a site-corrected attachment: (1) choose publishing tools dropdown menu at top of page. (2) From the published posts list click on the post—not the check box, so the post details window opens. (3) From the drop down arrow select “Refresh share attachment.” This will refresh your current attachment with updated info from the website. If that works and you feel like doing me a solid, come like my author’s page at

      • Elodie January 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

        Nicholas, I’ve read 200 replies about the Facebook debug tool …. that I used so many times with no results. Your solution is simply working! Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this info here! All the best. Cheers

  16. Andrew August 3, 2015 at 2:47 am #

    After doing the debug process the title still hasn’t updated 30 minutes later.

  17. Keivon September 19, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    OMG Thank you. I was about to murder my computer screen!!!!!

  18. Zinc October 3, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    This doesn’t work all that well. The debug page is showing the right thumbnail in the section that says: “when shared, this is what will be included.” But when I click on the link just below that that says, “see this in the share dialog,” I get one of three images, which you can select through, but NONE of them are the og:image specification I added. Also, the section “warnings that should be fixed” shows all the og.* tags with a message like “og.image property should be explicitly provided.” It is explicitly provided, and clearly it’s finding it because that is a custom thumbnail image that it does show as the right image in the DEBUG page, even if it’s not right when I create a new post with a url to the site on FB…

  19. James November 13, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    May I add that WIX have been suggesting this fix for a year now for my site and nothing ever changes. They even did it for me and still it didnt change. Frnakly there is no solution to this [I have this on authority from skilled developers who cant fix it either for me] and so it Will always remain an unsolvable problem for most.

  20. GT November 17, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    Still nothing… The share dialog suxxx… 🙁

  21. Dora November 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    Hi all, I am trying to handle that problem for a corporate website. We have recently updated the branding and the fb posts still share the old logos/banners in their thumbnails. I have tried to update the images from here but still nothing changes, neither in the debugging page, not in the new posts I am trying to make. Any ideas of what is happening?

  22. Leith December 7, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    Brilliant. Thank you so much. you’ve been bookmarked!

    • Dan Nedelko December 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      Thanks Leith, glad you found it helpful!

  23. David Mieloch December 16, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    Go here and enter your URL into the field and hit fetch new scrape information. Whala!

  24. Predrag Radojević January 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

    before OG: meta tags, everything works fine, but now i am unable to share correctly articles from my blog to facebook – picture (always the same one) is wrong (even i changed THIS picture in blog template), description is old description from whole blog, also CHANGED (but no, i can still have just this old description) and title is variable, once is title of whole blog, once is combination of title of blog with title of article and very, very rare, title of article. and “og:image was not defined, …”, i try at least 20 variations of size, ratio, jpg-png, servers,… nothing. that “Fetch” part of debugger doesn’t work.

    take a look on one of latest article
    Any suggestion will be nice, thanks in advance.

  25. Michael March 1, 2016 at 6:04 am #

    Thank you. I cloned a wordpress post but forget to update the featured image until the wrong one was staring back at me on Facebook.

    Your suggestion hit the spot. Which is a lot better than my fist hitting a wall. Like it did for the first 10 times or so this happened over the last few years. . So my walls in my house thank you too!

  26. Matthew May 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    I think Ive tried this method every few months….but never seems to work so I cant waste time trying over and over..bogus method really.

    • Dan Nedelko June 21, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

      Hey Matthew,

      The debugger does work, as it’s active for many Facebook Developers. Curious as to why you’re having so much trouble refreshing the Facebook cache. Happy to try to help get to the bottom of it with you though!

  27. Ranjith June 13, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks! I did not know about this sharing debugger. helps a lot!

  28. Rebecca January 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    I have to tell you that this information just made my day a whole lot nicer! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

    • Dan Nedelko June 15, 2017 at 3:36 am #

      You’re welcome, glad it’s working for you

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