How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space from

Back in January I shared Everything You Need to Know About the New Cricut Explore™. One of the really cool features about the new Cricut Explore is that it comes with Cricut Design Space for free. And an even cooler feature is that you can now upload your own images! Today, I’m going to walk you through a very basic tutorial on how to upload your own images in Cricut Design Space. It is super easy and in less than a minute you’ll have an image uploaded, stored in your library, and ready to cut!
How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space

Once your logged into Cricut Design Space, select “start a new project”. Then on the left hand side bar select “Insert Image”. This is the screen you will get when you select that option.
How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space

Next, select “browse” and choose the image you want to import into Cricut Design Space. I got this image from USF.Edu I have an upcoming project that involves a lot of these beauties! 
How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design SpaceThen, select what type of image quality best matches the image you just uploaded. In my case, my image is VERY simple, so I selected “Simple Image”.

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design SpaceOnce you click on “continue to step 2” this screen will appear. This is where you will remove all the white space that you do not want cut. Right now, if I was to leave it as is it would cut a big rectangle. Click on the little magic wand highlighted in green on the left hand side and begin removing the white space that you do not want cut.

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space

You’ll notice, all of the white space is gone. Now click on “continue to step 3”.

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design Space

Next up, name your file. This will help you find your file later on down the road. Also, make sure you tag your image. I chose 3 simple tags, but you can do as many tags as you want. Once your done, click “save image”.

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design SpaceOnce you’ve uploaded your image you can do one of two things. You can upload another image into the library or you can “insert images”. I just wanted to upload one new image so I chose the “upload images” option. You’ll notice that there is a green check mark on my image. This just means that this one image will be uploaded onto my mat in Cricut Design Space.

How To Upload an Image in Cricut Design SpaceThere you have it. Easy as that, I’ve uploaded my OWN image into Cricut Design Space. It’s a super simple and easy process. I do want to let you know if your image has multiple colors you will need to upload EACH color separately. In my case, I’ve uploaded a silhouette for a fish and I know that I only need it one color.

Hope this helps out everyone who is new to Cricut Design Space! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer to the best of my knowledge!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase from the link we will make a percentage of the sale.


  1. Great tutorial! Maybe you could write a guest post for my blog! Thanks!

    • Thanks Misty. Hope you enjoy playing with the new Cricut Explore.

    • Hello! I have a few older cricuts and am on the fence about what machine I should purchase next. I really want a machine that I can take our kids team logo which is in different colors, scan it and the machine cuts everything! I think the silhouette is the only one that can do that, but I am hoping this new cricut can as well… Can anyone help me with this question?

      • Hi Melanie, so sorry for the late response! Yes–you can upload any image you want to the new Cricut Explore line that uses Cricut Design Space. You can also use any of your own fonts you have on your computer. Hope that helps!

        • Hi Katie,

          Regarding Melanies question…you state that it can print the logo, my inquiry is how? lol if the logo contains multiple colors in it, how is that supposed to work? I know its an ignorant question, but I’m just now starting to learn the cricut explore air 2. From my understanding its a cutting machine not a printer correct? Any info would be greatly appreciated!


          • Hi Melida, sorry for the delayed response. Yes, the Cricut is a cutting machine; however, you can sync with your printer. When you want to print a design you will upload it and on the last step you will select for printing not cutting. This will allow you to print multiple colors (i.e., the design). Hope that makes sense.

    • I am having problems on how to link my fonts to my computer and also sign in on my design space .I can get on it and do what I want but when I try to link my fonts theres no where on it to sign in?

      • Hi Judy–your fonts should automatically pop up once you sign in. Just click on make a new project then select text. Scroll through and/or sort by system fonts and you should see your own fonts. If that doesn’t work let me know and I can get you in touch with my personal customer service associate at Cricut to assist you.

        Also–try shutting down your computer completely, and restarting both computer and Cricut Design Space. Sometimes I have to do that if I don’t see a new font that I recently added.

  2. Just spoke with Cricut support. The upload feature is not working for Macs using Safari. They suggested using Firefox or Google Chrome until it is fixed in Safari.

  3. Kiersten says:

    Hi Katie! I’ve been playing with adding my own images and have a question…Do you know how to DELETE an image you’ve uploaded? Not from your “mat”, but from your actual image file. I cannot for the life of me figure it out 🙂
    Thanks for any help you can provide!

    • Hi Kiersten, I do not know how to delete an image after you’ve downloaded it. I have reached out to my Cricut concierge host in hopes she can help field the question (for both of us)! Stay tuned…

      • You can delete your images by clicking “Upload Image” on the left. A window will appear with your uploaded images at the bottom. When you hover your mouse over an image another smaller widow will appear with a “Delete” button.

        Hope this helps

        • Thanks Seth for answering that question!

        • This did not work for me, I clicked upload image>my uploaded images appeared at the bottom>I hovered over the image with the mouse and no box appeared. I even tried to right click (delete is not an option).

          • Hi Lisa–sorry to read you had issues uploading. I would suggest contact Cricut customer service.

          • I hope you were able to get your images deleted. On your image, there is a little “i” in the bottom right corner. If you click on that, there is an option to delete your image. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Katie,

    I’ve never had a Cricut before but I’ve just got an Explore and I can’t get it to upload my images, the uploader just sits there not doing anything. I’ve tried lots of different files and none of them upload, do you know if anyone else has had this problem and if so, how did they fix it? It was one of the main reason why I bought the machine and I’m really disappointed that this doesn’t seem to be working.

    I also bought it because it apparently cuts fabric which it also doesn’t seem to do without tearing and bunching, would this be because the dial is for pressure rather than specifically for ‘material’ (if you see what I mean?!) and it would depend on the thickness of the actual material being used?

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks =)


    • I’ve found that it doesn’t seem to upload in the Safari browser but it does work in Firefox so the uploader works now, but not working on Safari is a bit annoying! I’m still working on the fabric problem so I’ll let you know!



  5. Shannon says:

    Hi there! Just stumbled upon your site and I love it! My husband bought me the cricut explore and I have been addicted to vinyl ever since. lol…I’ve never had a cricut before this one. I have learned how to upload my own images but how do we get it to recognize the different colors in the uploaded image. For example, I’m doing a business logo with red and black and when I insert it into the design space its all black. I do appreciate any insight and I will be back to check out the rest of your site!

    • Hi Shannon, Great question! I’ll have to do a blog post on this, but until then I’ll tell you the secret. You have to upload the file multiple times cropping and erasing out the parts that are not the color you are looking for. Does this make sense? So if you have a red circle and black writing. You need to upload the image twice. The first time erase out the writing and save as “red circle logo” and then the second time upload the same flat image and erase out the circle keeping the black font and save as “black font logo” (or whatever name you want to save it as). THEN bring both images into Design Space and set them how you want them. Then when it’s time to cut you will see two mat colors one red and one black. You will have to piece them together to make it work after you’ve cut them out. Hope that helps and makes sense. I’ll try to get a post up about that feature soon.

      • Shannon says:

        It does make sense. Thank you! My children have one day left of school and then maybe I can attempt this. lol 🙂 I was going to print it twice but I’d be wasting vinyl. Your way I won’t be. Thank you! Its new to me. I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing, but I’m loving it. I have no cartridges at this time and I also upload my own fonts. Congrats on your baby! Adorable! I’ll be back! 🙂

  6. Hi there! Love your tips and suggestions. I really appreciate not having to learn EVERYTHING the hard way! I was wondering if you have dealt with more complex black and white uploaded images? I have a logo that is all black and white but it has different fonts, designs and details. After I make all my changes and block out things like the center of the P or A, the image comes back with it all blacked out. Is this normal and will still cut correctly? I am afraid to waste material and was hoping you might have some insight before I just try it…

    Thank you again for your great info!

    • Hi Amanda–I’m glad I could help. I’m not sure though if I can help with your question. I’m thinking try on some scrap paper. I’m afraid this one might have to be a little trial and error. :-/ sorry!

  7. I am on the Cricut design space and the entire canvas is black. I have tried to change to canvas type and nothing has worked. Do you have any ideas for me?

    • Hi Holly–sorry I’m getting to this so late. I hope you called the support line for answers. If not, when I run into a snag I always shut down Design Space and my computer and restart everything. That seems to help at times if their is a glitch.

  8. I just got my first “Explore” two days ago. I am interested in being able to load up my images. One issue I have is the screen visibility is difficult, esp when you have tiny areas of white to delete. I have found just when I “thought” I had erased them all, I had a few more bits that needed removal. Spent a lot of time doing the first round, then uploaded it only to find I had missed some. Is there any way to go back and clean up/edit an uploaded image without having to start all over again?

    • Hi Pauline, first off congratulations on getting the new Cricut Explore. It’s an amazing machine. Unfortunately, I don’t believe you can go back and edit once you’ve uploaded. I too have ran into the same problem. Just trying using the zoom tool as much as possible to try and get all the little pieces and parts. Also, I believe you can look at it in the preview mode and then go back and edit more before saving the final image.

  9. I just got my cricut explore for my birthday and I have figured out how to upload a picture, but I cannot get it to allow me to choose to immediately “cut” it. The only thing it will allow me to do is “print then cut”. Am I doing something wrong in the upload process?

    • Hi Heidi! Congrats and no worries. You can get the machine to cut only–trust me I do it all the time! You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  10. I just got my Explorer this past Friday and bought a design kit from svgcuts. but can not import on the cricut design space. It does step one but only each piece of this box but won’t or no button to go to step 2. I even updated again to make sure.I have done this same step too many times to count. And part of the time it says it doesn’t support file, only svg. Don’t know what is going on, Read to send cricut back. I also have win 8. please tell me what I’m doing wrong. Also the done button I can hardly see.

    • Hi Lynda, I’m so sorry you’re having issues! I wish I could help but I don’t have any experience uploading an svg file (guess I need to give it a try so I can help others). The best bet would be to contact Cricut customer service. They are wonderful and will help resolve your svg issues!

  11. Hope Cochran says:

    Hi there. I had no trouble uploading a simple black image and getting into design space but I have no idea how to cut it on my heat transfer vinyl. Why do I have to print first? I just want to cut out the design! Ugh I’m thinking this may be a waste of money bc it’s so hard to use. Thanks for any help you can give

    • Hi Hope. You don’t have to print first. This is a new feature and unfortunately it’s defaulting everyone to do this. I promise–you did not wage your money. Once you learn how to use the Explore you’ll be in love with it! You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  12. Desty Evans says:

    I just got a cricut explore this weekend and was able to upload a picture from my computer but when I go to cut it out, I get the dialogue box that tells me to print and continue. I dont know what I am doing wrong! I dont want to print it I just want to cut it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Desty, This is a new feature and unfortunately it’s defaulting all projects to do this. You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  13. I am still learning my Cricut Explore. I have only had it for a few months now. When I am uploading an image and I “clean” it up. For some reason when I save the image and then put it into my project, it is coming over as a print image. I have tried many things I can think of to make it cut, but it is staying as a print. Can you please help me with this?

    • Hi Bridgett, this is a new feature and I’m still learning it too! You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  14. HI!

    Uploaded my own image and when I go to cut it is sending it to my regular printer? Do you know how to make that not happen?!?! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Gretchen, You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  15. I have uploaded pictures from Google Images and they all force me to print and calibrate first! How can I just cut the darn thing????? Please help me.

    • Hi Corliss. I hope you figured it out by now, but if not here is my tip. You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps!

  16. Julie Wells says:

    AHH thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on the vinyl cutting option for images! I spent half of a day trying to figure out how to turn an uploaded image into a vinyl decal yesterday! Thanks again! I am keeping your blog in mind for any other questions I might have 🙂

  17. Kerri Manterola says:

    SO….Thankful to have found this blog. I’ve been searching the net for several days on a method to bypass the automatic print feature in Design Space. The main reason I chose the Cricut Explore machine was the free upload images feature that would allow me to use my creations from Photoshop. I tried saving my image in every format possible. GRRR!!! This may need to be escalated to the Design Space team. Thanks again Katie! You RAWK!

    • Hi Kerri. You’ll want to highlight the item you want to cut in the side bar, then click the unflatten button. Click on the printer button and you’ll see the other 3 options–select cut! Hope that helps! As for you not being able to upload your own images… not sure what is going on. You should be able to upload any jpg, tiff, or svg file. Make sure you have the latest update of Cricut Design Space and maybe restart your computer? If that doesn’t work I think you’ll need to reach out to customer service.

  18. Kellie Lawhorn says:

    I still cannot delete any of the images I have uploaded. I tried the trick of hovering the mouse over the image, but no small box appears with the word “delete”. I appreciate any help. Thank you

    • Hi Kellie–I’ll have to look into this. I’m not sure if you can delete an image once it’s in design space…? I’ll check into it for you.

  19. LilGreenBug says:

    My question is about sharing and saving files created in Design Space. Others have shared files with me, but when I create a file and save it, I am unable to check the public box so I can save it. Can you help me?

    • Hmmm not sure about the “public” box you speak of. I know you can’t share projects that the other person doesn’t own. For instance if it’s a specific font on your computer. They won’t be able to see that. To simply share a file you just copy and paste the link in your browser. Hope that helps.

  20. When I upload an image to Design Space the size of the image changes and it’s larger. Any idea when this is happening?

  21. Hey Katie, So i am hoping you can answer my question. the print and cut option is it ONLY for paper? i can’t save an image and print it on vinyl? feeling flustered, just received the circuit air and just doesn’t seem to work.

    • Hi Fallon, I’ve never tried printing on vinyl. It shouldn’t matter what the medium is because it doesn’t ask you to specify that. It is automatically going to assume your printing on paper because you are using the printer. I have noticed that some images I upload will only allow me to print. Not sure if that is the problem your running into.

  22. I just wanted to first of all say thank you so much for this very helpful blog, I have done everything you have said to do but when it come to cutting my image its asking my for printer options and its saying it cant read my marked lines? I am using iron-on and im trying to do baseball stitching.

  23. Hi Katie,
    Just got me explorer air yesterday, uploaded some images and when i try to print & cut, it says it cant read some markings and something about white paper? help…..

  24. Marita Nogueiras says:

    Can the Cricut cut felt and can i upload my patters to use to cut the felt?

    • Yes and yes! 🙂 It can cut the thicker stiffer felt. I’ve never tried it but I know its one of the 52 different types of material the Explore can cut!

  25. Hi, I am trying to upload jpg and other files that have been converted to svg to design space and can’t seem to do it. When I get the file converted then try to upload it as a vector file, it comes out all black. Any suggestions?

  26. Ok, so thanks again for this page! I uploaded my images, several, they appear under the uploaded images, I click on 1 & a green check mark appears & the Insert image icon turn green but it won’t insert the image? All of my images at the bottom right hand corner of each image is an ! mark, I have clicked on it & right clicked on it, no warning or anything appears. Please help!! I have upload 6 or so images & they all have that?

    • Hi Kellea, that’s so odd. Maybe there is a glitch in the system? Have you tried shutting down your computer and then restarting. I’ve never had issues with uploading images and not having them appear. If it still happens please contact Cricut customer service.

  27. Hi! Bought th Explore several months back while it was on sale for future use. Just finally was able hook it up yesterday. Printed and cut the test card perfectly. I uploaded an image to cut and it prompts that I must calibrate first. I can not get it to calibrate. Keeps giving me the following error: The machine cannot read the cut sensor marks. Please make sure the page is placed correctly on the mat, the cut sensor marks are fully printed, and white material was used for printing. Press GO to retry.
    I have a bad feeling abut this machine as items were missing from the box and the cords were not wrapped up like they should have been for a new machine. And since I bought this months ago, I think I just got screwed out of $250!

  28. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for this page! You have provided so much helpful information. I have a problem that I didn’t see an answer to. I uploaded and image, pretty easy. I inserted it onto my mat, but when I try to cut, I get an error message telling me that the image is too large (trying to cut as 7X7). I have reduced it multiple times, but I still get the same error message. Can you help?

  29. can i open cricut design space in safari or firefox on an ipad and upload images that way???

  30. HI have a similar query to what I have read but the solution doesnt help. When I upload an image it appears as a black box. I think I can see the image behind around the edges but I can’t do anything with it.. Does this make sense and can you help?

    • Hi Janette, I think I know what you’re talking about; however, not sure if I can help. My only guess would be its the file type i.e., not a jpg png or svg? I would definitely try Cricut Customer Service! Sorry!

  31. Hi! This is a wonderful tutorial! I’ve got my image uploaded, cleaned up, and sized….however, when I click the cut button, it takes me to the final page and a red error bar pops up at the top that says “Remove Exclusive Content” and the actual cut button is “greyed” out and unclickable. Not sure what remove exclusive content is referring to. Any ideas? Thanks!!

  32. hoosiergirl7us says:

    How come i only see grey square when i try to upload a clipart in design space.I can see the print and cut but not the cut only. I’m new at this program. Thanks.

  33. Gwendlyn says:

    Hi all, I’ve uploaded a file from a scan on my PC, and it took and I cut it. But, while it was cutting, it didn’t do straight lines, it did teeny tiny jagged lines, which end up looking like straight lines to the naked eyes. I’m assuming it is from the pixelation of the image that I brought in. Has anyone had any issues with this? And how can I, other than scanning at a higher resolution, fix this? Thanks

    • Yes sounds like pixelation… not sure how to resolve this other than making sure you have a high-res version or somehow enlarging the scanning? Does your scanner give you an option to make the scan larger?

  34. So I just got the new cricut. I am trying to blue tooth an image from my ipad to the cricut do you know where I shall begin?

    • Hi–not sure what you mean. Are you trying to cut an image from your iPad? If so–you would do it just like you would on the desk top–turn on the machine, load the paper in and set your setting. Then select cut on your iPad and it should connect. Hope that helps and that’s what you were asking.

  35. I am so hoping you can help me. I’ve attempted to contact Cricut support several times, but after being on hold for 35-45 minutes each time, I opted to email. They returned my last email 9 days later. I am hoping you can help me with this? When uploading a picture, the curser disappears behind the picture when I attempt to remove the white rectangular background. This has happened several times after uploading items under every possible format. It doesn’t matter if it is an .svg or a .png, the curser will not show up on top of the picture. I wish it were as simple as a layering issue, but sadly that is not an option in this area. I am new to Cricut and am getting pretty frustrated.
    Thank you

    • Hi! I’m so sorry to read your having trouble uploading an image. I’ve honestly never had any problems especially like what your describing. I’m wondering if it’s the operating system your on (i.e. an older computer). Have you tried opening Design Space in different browsers? I operate on a Mac and only use it in Firefox. Hopefully maybe that would be your answer? Hope you are able to figure it out soon. :-/ sorry

  36. Alexandra says:

    I have uploaded an image and spent so much time separating the layers for each color and now I can’t figure out how to save the image so I can upload it to my facebook page. I am now very worried that it isn’t possible. Can anyone help?

    • Hi Alexandra, not sure what you mean by sharing uploading on your Facebook page. How did you create the images with the different layers? I would say save one final version on the platform you designed the image. Does that make sense?

  37. melissa harrell says:

    I am wondering what website to download clipart from? everything i have found has a watermark on it. Can you help?

  38. Brooke Anderson says:

    How come it says that I’m using exclusive content when I’m not? It says I have to remove the image.

  39. I am buying a Cricut or a Cameo and have uploaded the software on both to give them a test drive before buying. I’m using it for business purposes. I was leaning toward the Cricut because of the stronger cutting force, but the software looks like amateurish junk at best. Once an image is uploaded, I can’t see any options to either clean up the image or to fill in areas that I want to remain uncut. Even in the clean up window, when I first upload an image I can’t find a way to fill in areas that I don’t want cut. Not to mention really slow upload speeds. All the work will be our own images, so we need to be able to modify our files efficiently. Is the Cricut software that weak on editing features or am I missing the editing tools? Though still not pro level, the Cameo is much more sophisticated, but I’m hooked on the cutting force of the Cricut. Please let me know if I’ve missed the editing tools so I can finally choose one of these machines! Thanks!

    • Hi Anna, Yes, the Cricut Design Space software is very user friendly. Most Cameo users moved to the Cricut because it’s so much easier to use. I think you might be missing steps for editing your image once it’s uploaded. Once you’ve uploaded you will find a screen where you can erase the background, clean up edge, etc. I find that zooming in helps to alleviate missing areas I might have missed had I not been zoomed in. Once you are done editing then continue to the next step. You will get a preview screen, and if you noticed you missed something you can click the back button and fix the area you missed. Please take note that the screens look much different now then from the post back in 2014 when the Explore was just launched! Cricut updates software as needed (sometimes on a weekly basis), and they are constantly tweaking the look and feel of the program. Also, they just unveiled the new Cricut Explore Air 2 which cuts even faster and more precise! Hope this helps!

  40. When I upload my image and select erase to remove white parts my cursor goes behind the image how to I fix this problem

  41. Hello, I would like to know if I can upload and use my own images with my cricut mini? Also, if it is possible, how do I do so?

    • Hi Ashley, you can not use Cricut Design Space with the Cricut Mini. You would need to purchase a new Explore version of the machine to use Cricut Design Space. Hope that helps answer your question.


    • Hi Liz, so sorry for the delayed response. Is the image from Cricut or did you upload it? If you uploaded it you might not have erased all the negative. And if you upload the image you will have to upload twice to do two separate cuts of the colors you select. Hope that makes sense.

  43. Hi, thanks for all your help, but I really have a struggle since 2 days trying to print and cut..Unfortunately it doesnt cut! I am uploading images i follow your steps carefully but when it comes to cut there are no sensors and no cutting. My cricut is new.. where do you think is the mistake i do? And i dont get this message: “Preserve original image within space”. I hope i gave you all possible info to solve the problem.

    Thanking you

    • Hi Lena, Ohhh I’ve never had any issues and to be honest I don’t have answers for you. I will share your information with my Cricut customer service rep so she can help you!

  44. Hello, I am not sure how to use this. I uploaded an image and it keeps saying print image? Where or how do I do this?

    • Hi Coela, when you upload your image the last option before you save gives two options. One is print then cut the other is cut. Try selecting the cut option (it automatically defaults to the print then cut option). Give that a try and let me know if that works. If not–I might have one other option for you.

  45. Kathy Cornwall says:

    Every time I try to cut my image after I have Uploaded it the machine says it cannot read sensor marks please make sure you’re using white material and it is positioned correctly the sensor cuts are fully printable I have done all of that and it still won’t let me cut it just keeps coming back to that

    • Hi Kathy, I’m sorry to hear this. The only thing I can recommend is to completely shut down your computer and try to restart. If that doesn’t work you can call Cricut OR I can help get you in touch with my personal customer care rep.

  46. Jason Franks says:

    Hi i just bought a explorer air 2 and when uploading black and white silhouettes to cut out there are gaps in the lines so when i try to cut out the picture is still connected to whatever material i am cutting. How can I fix these line gaps in the picture and or smooth out the rough edges? thanks!


  1. […] I’ve included the image below, full size. Just save it to your computer, then import it into Cricut’s Design Space. If you don’t know how to import images, there is a great explanation at the Sew Woodsy blog, here. […]

  2. Built Blog says:

    The Clean Cuts Of The Seth Bar

    […] utorial just for people like me and Hope. lol. I can finally make my daughters w […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.