Enables users to upload a file to complete a form.


When to use

  • To collect files from users.
  • To provide clear guidance on what should be attached.

When not to use

  • To collect small pieces of information—use an input field.
  • To collect longer, text responses from users—use a text area.

Component status






Content structure

Label: provides a clear description of what users should upload; placeholder: provides additional info before a file is uploaded; button label: describes the main action and works best when short; help: optionally provides additional help for what's expected.


Use labels

Labels serve to clearly present what’s expected. They’re especially important for people who don’t see other visual cues. But they also help everyone know exactly what to enter.

For the label, use short descriptive phrases, ideally nouns that make the request clear. See our patterns for form labels for some examples.

Use specific action text

In addition to a label to help direct user action, change the label on the upload button to make it specific to what users need to upload.

Use error and help messages

For more complicated fields, sometimes labels aren’t enough. You want to include any necessary information as clear as possible to help users complete the fields.

Use help messages to guide users before they enter anything and clear calm error messages when there’s a problem with what they entered.

Remember that such messages are likely to invoke negative feelings, so be positive and focused on solutions to any problems.

Error and Help messages

Consider including placeholder text

To prompt users to upload a file, consider including relevant placeholder text to indicate the task isn’t done yet.

Remember that placeholder text is visually less important, low in contrast, and disappears once users enter anything. So do not include anything necessary, such as what file types are allowed.

Look & feel

Background color and borders

See why background and borders for fields differ between app and website versions.