Saturday, February 10, 2024

Fixing Drive hosting for 2024

If you used Live Writer or other third-party app to publish blog posts, you do not need me to tell you that the images in your posts have disappeared.

A box of bandaids
franck injapan

That may be the worst consequence of a recent restriction at Google Drive, but anyone who used Drive to embed anything on any web page probably needs to adapt to the new reality.

Here are some options for doing that.

Google Drive let a lot of us down this year when it restricted the ways you could host media there to use on the web.

Worst off were bloggers who had been using third-party apps to publish blog posts. Images published that way were degraded to unsightly links:

A web address with a tiny icon of a broken picture
From a screen shot—not an actual link.

The links still go to their images on Drive. They just don't work on your blog any more.

If you are affected by this, you should first of all stop using the app. Update: But see this idea from an experienced Live Writer user.

For the posts with ugly holes in them where the images used to be, you have two, and perhaps three, options:

  • download the images from Drive and upload them into the blog posts using Blogger's post editor.
  • live with things as they stand for affected posts and move on, but use the Blogger editor for new posts.

The third option is one I have not tested:

  • install a script on your blog that rewrites the invalid web addresses for the images as valid.

That script is provided in a discussion thread in the Blogger help community.


You can download images directly from Drive, or by using Google Takeout to download all your Drive files at once.

It's worth noting that uploads of images using Blogger's post editors are both unlimited and free. The Drive uploads count against your storage quota at Google.

So if you replace these broken images with the same images uploaded into Blogger, you can delete them from Drive and free up space.


The script I refer to is crafted to deal with the unorthodox way that LiveWriter stores images on Drive.

It's possible that it will similarly cure images inserted by some other third-party apps. I don't know enough about these apps to say.

However, I do know that there is no script for files inserted by the BlogTouch app. Those are typically deleted, not restricted, after about a month.

At least for now, Drive will still let image files stored there be used on web pages if the links to them are properly formed. The script properly forms them.

The script will slow your blog down a little, and will not work on browsers that do not permit javascript to run.

This is not my script. I have not tested it and cannot provide support for it or answer questions about it.


More about how Google messed with Drive embeds, and what we can learn from that.


  1. Good stuff Adam--for the last couple years, I've been opening a new post on the Blogger Posts page, adding all my photos there & exiting. THEN I open that post in Open Live Writer on my desktop, add my text above, around or below the photos--and resize or reposition them. Hit 'Publish' and as the photos were already loaded on the post previously, the publication to my blog is instant.

    1. That is the better workaround, I think, for people who want to use Live Writer (or similar) going forward.

      There are no issues about text being placed in blog posts using these apps—it is just the images that are hosted elsewhere.

  2. Hey Adam, I used Live Writer for a while, many years ago but I don't know exactly when. I searched for "live writer" and came up with several posts where Live Writer was mentioned. I don't see any broken images.
    2 questions:
    1. Is there any way to find what posts were created with Live Writer?
    2. I probably used Picasa Web albums for all photos - might that have avoided the problem?
    Thanks! Good to know I made the transition to your new email list. Chris

    1. Hi Chris. I do not really know enough about the different versions of Live Writer to say, but I think you must be right about PicasaWeb uploads being OK.

      Live Writer is older than Drive, so must have used a different method originally. And images on Picasa Web were carried into the Album Archive and then the Media Manager.

      Why not check one of those posts and see?

      As for finding ALL of these posts, I can't think of a Blogger-internal way to do that.

      You'd have to use a search engine that indexes the HTML (they exist) and search for a Drive url fragment common to the problematic ones.

    2. PS I made the terrible mistake of sending an email to subscribers on the OLD service, reminding them it would be terminating in a few weeks and that if they want to unsubscribe they have to click on "unsubscribe" from the NEW service.

      This was a mistake because people do not read emails and are unsubscribing from old, leaving me in existential doubt about their intent.

      Anyway glad you made it!

  3. Funny Story, kind of related. These guys built their web site on Google Sheets ->

    1. Tops marks as technical tour-deforce. As an actual strategy, not so much!