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Flutter Web Uploading An Image Using Firebase Storage

Jules Lee Jules Lee Follow Jan 03, 2021 · 2 mins read
Flutter Web Uploading An Image Using Firebase Storage
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Uploading an image on the Web with the use of Flutter might have been something unheard of until late 2020. It’s not permitted to go through the File system in your browser with Javascript. I’m saying this because I initially planned on having a file system listener inside a local folder like I was able to do with Electron-Vue.

Even now, there is hardly a bulletproof solution around this; but a solution, there is.

There have been plenty of other articles written about how to upload an image using flutter web. It even entails adding a number of other dependencies. But here, you’ll need the firebase_storage of course; the latest version you can find. Moreover, in my web/index.html, I use the firebase-storage.js version 7.22.1. The other dependency you need is image_picker.

There is one other dependency that I have imported but haven’t used; image_picker_for_web.

I don’t know why but the image_picker only works and doesn’t give me this error:

MissingPluginException(No implementation found for method pickImage on channel plugins.flutter.io/image_picker)

… if I have image_picker_for_web imported in the dart file where I’m using image_picker.

There is no need to initialize firebase_storage in index.html or in main.dart, just the use of FirebaseStorage.instance.

 final FirebaseStorage _firebaseStorage = FirebaseStorage.instance;


In my experience, I haven’t been able to upload images when uploading an image thru the localhost. I’ve had to deploy the project to firebase hosting to steer clear of the access error.

The image_picker is pretty straightforward to use.

final picker = ImagePicker();
final PickedFile image = await picker.getImage(source: ImageSource.gallery);

Although we’re using flutter web, we can still use ImageSource.gallery as the source of our image’s location. However, the return type is not what you’re actually expecting. PickedFile is not the same as File and there’s no way you can directly convert it to File type unless you do conversions.

Also, why not use File at all? Even html.File? To answer your question; I’ve tried both. Flutter web at the moment doesn’t allow us to use File from dart:io. It always ends up in error whenever I use it. html.File, from dart:html, on the other hand, isn’t accepted by putData’s File parameter; the only File from dart:io is accepted. Plus, I could not convert Uint8List to html.File.

In this article, the file type we’re going to extract off of PickedFile is a Uint8List, other known as bytes. You’d need to import ‘dart:typed_data’; for that.

Uint8List bytes = await image.readAsBytes();

Reference ref = _firestorage.ref().child('${DateTime.now()}.png');
UploadTask uploadTask = ref.putData(bytes, SettableMetadata(contentType: 'image/png'));
TaskSnapshot taskSnapshot = await uploadTask
	.whenComplete(() => print('done'))
    .catchError((error) => print('something went wrong')));
String url = await taskSnapshot.ref.getDownloadURL();

Now that you’ve learned to upload, downloading this file is kind of different from the way you’re used to. I wrote another article about that; Displaying a Uint8List Image File From Firebase Storage and [Flutter Web] 2021.

Jules Lee
Written by Jules Lee
Hi, I am Jules, the author of FlutterGeek. Demystifying complex instructions from the internet.