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What do the U1 and V1 buttons mean in Midjourney AI?

Want to upscale or generate variants in Midjourney? Look for the U and V buttons under each response.
May 21, 2023
MidJourney Community Showcase
Matt Horne / Android Authority

Midjourney can generate beautiful art, photorealistic pictures, and illustrations with a simple text-based prompt. It’s one of the most capable AI image generators, but you can only use it via the Discord chat app. But while getting started with Midjourney is quite easy, it can quickly become challenging with the sheer number of buttons and options you can tweak. So in that vein, let’s quickly run through what the U1 and V1 buttons mean in Midjourney and how to use them.


The U1 and V1 buttons in Midjourney mean upscale and variants respectively. The number indicates which one of the four images you'd like to either upscale or generate variants of.


What do U1, U2, U3, and U4 mean in Midjourney?

midjourney example prompt
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

When you generate a new grid of images with Midjourney, you’ll notice that the response also contains a series of buttons at the bottom. The first set of buttons, starting with the letter U, allow you to upscale one of the four images. So in other words, you can click the U1 button to upscale the first image, U2 to upscale the second, and so on.

However, it’s worth noting that the latest Midjourney model does not support upscaling whatsoever. So if you click on one of the buttons starting with U, you’ll get the standalone image from the grid sent back to you. The Midjourney bot will not upscale the image any further. Instead, it will only make it more convenient for you to download or share the output with others.

We have a dedicated guide on how to upscale images in Midjourney, but you’re essentially better off using a third-party service for now. AI upscaling tools have become increasingly capable of late. For example, professionals can use Gigapixel AI while the open-source chaiNNer tool works well enough for amateurs.

What do V1, V2, V3, and V4 mean in Midjourney?

midjourney upscale image
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority
Upscaled images

Have you ever generated a set of Midjourney images only to find one that’s very close to your intended vision, but not quite the perfect matchup? Like the U1 upscaling button from above, the buttons like V1 in Midjourney will generate variants of a particular image. The V1 button will use the first image as a starting point, V2 will reference the second image, and so on.

Clicking on one of the variation buttons will yield another set of four images. The response will also have the same set of buttons embedded so you could theoretically keep generating variations.

However, keep in mind that Midjourney’s subscription plans only provide you with a limited number of GPU hours. On the $10 per month tier, for example, you get 3.3 hours of render time. Each image generation task takes roughly one minute to output four images, but variations take lesser time.

What does the refresh button do in Midjourney?

midjourney example prompt
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

The ninth and final button in Midjourney is represented by the refresh emoji and it does exactly what you’d expect. Clicking on it will generate a fresh set of images. In case you didn’t like the previous output for any reason, simply click on this button to get four more options.

The refresh button will simply re-send your original prompt to Midjourney. But why does the same text prompt yield different results? The way Midjourney works is by starting out with a field of random TV-like static. It then gradually denoises this image to match your prompt. And in order to create that field of static, the bot uses a random “seed” number for each task. Midjourney’s docs have some examples showing how random seeds yield different end results.

So to summarize, you can click the refresh button to get a new random seed. The result will be a completely new set of images.


The U button in Midjourney stands for upscale, while the V button generates variants. The numbers after U and V indicate one of the four images in the grid.

Yes, Midjourney can make variations using one of the images as a starting point. Simply click on the V1, V2, V3, or V4 button to indicate you’d like a variation of one of the images.