Upload Error: “Unexpected response from the server. The file may have been uploaded successfully”

We’ve identified the likely cause of the error “Unexpected response from the server. The file may have been uploaded successfully…” received while uploading a file, such as a bulletin PDF, to the Media Library.


Our websites are likely refusing the files for security purposes. Files that are close to the 4 MB limit, such as files that are 3.6 MB, are being rejected as if they were past the limit. Although the file sizes are indeed less than 4 MB, they need to be compressed further so that the file size does not flag the security protocols of the Media Library.

It’s not just our Blackbaud Media Library that is flagging such PDFs as larger than 4 MB. When one of the rejected 3.6 MB files was uploaded to a PDF compression tool on a separate website, it also saw the size as a 4 MB PDF. This might be caused by certain methods bulletin editors use when exporting the PDF to you. Either way, there is a solution.

When we compressed rejected files so that they were much smaller than the limit (i.e. less than 3 MB), the files were uploaded successfully.


If you receive this error when uploading a PDF to the Media Library, compress the file and try uploading it again. See this article for help with compressing a PDF.

If you have access to a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat, that program may be able to compress the file for you.

If you do not have access to a PDF reader, use this website from Adobe to compress your file. Once you’ve downloaded the compressed file from the website, upload it to the Media Library.

If you have any questions or need further assistance on this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Annie Williams at or call (573) 635-9127 (ext. 231).