How to avoid saving images in webp format in Google Chrome - gHacks Tech News

How to avoid saving images in webp format in Google Chrome

If you are using the Google Chrome browser you may have noticed that images on select websites, many Google properties like Google Play for example, display images in Google's webp format and not a standard format like jpg or png.

Google claims that webp reduces the size of images significantly in comparison to png and jpg. It reduces the file size in comparison to png images by up to 26%, and by up to 34% in comparison to jpg images.

If you are running Chrome, you get webp images exclusively on those websites, while Firefox or Internet Explorer users get the standard image formats instead. The websites in question check the browser you are connecting with and either deliver webp if supported, or fall back to jpg or png if it is not.

While that is not a big issue, since most modern image viewers support the webp format by now, it is still something that you may not like that much, depending on what you do with the images.

webp download

While you can view them in many programs that support the format out of the box or by installing a codec on your system that adds system-wide support for the format, you may not be able to use them in all programs or make them your desktop wallpaper. If you try, you will notice that the format may not be supported.

Conversion comes to mind, and programs like XnConvert support the webp format so that you can convert the downloaded images into another image format.There are numerous online converters available as well for that.

That's however only a solution for the occasional download, but if you need to download images regularly that are only offered in the webp format, you may not want to go down that route as it adds another unnecessary step to the process.

I'd like to present you with two options that you can use to avoid saving webp images and save them as png or jpg images instead.

How to not save webp images

1. Chrome Save as png

save image as png instead of webp

The first option is the Chrome extension Save Image As Png. It adds an option to the browser's right-click context menu to save any image that you hover over as png instead of the format it is supplied in.

While I cannot say exactly what is happening behind the scenes, the author notes that it converts the image on the fly. There is no mentioning of a remote service that it uses for that which means it is not really clear how the conversion is handled in the background.

2. Use a browser that does not support webp

Not all web browsers support the webp format, and most web services that use the webp format fall back to png or jpg images instead when such a browser is used.

You can run Firefox or Internet Explorer instead for all your image downloading needs, so that the images are automatically saved as png or jpg images.

If you rely on Chrome, try the User Agent Switcher extension instead which fakes the browser you are using. Select the user agent of a browser that does not support webp, and you should get the same png or jpg delivery that those browsers get.

Now Read: Why the Google Play website is faster on Chrome

How to avoid saving images in webp format in Google Chrome
Article Name
How to avoid saving images in webp format in Google Chrome
Find out how to save webp images in Google Chrome to another image format that is more widely supported than Google's own image format.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. RV said on October 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Thanks, very useful share.

  2. ilev said on October 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm


  3. Blue.bsod said on October 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks Martin, this is useful but the PNG’s it saves are uncompressed. I was using an online file converter service to convert them prior to editing/saving. Now I can skip that step.

  4. Gregg DesElms said on October 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Useful post… thanks, Martin.

    I’m thinking, though, that the right way to do it is the way at least I always have as new formats emerge and haven’t caught-on yet: Save ’em to the local hard drive in their native format, then convert ’em using something like the very thing you mentioned, xnConvert. Or, better yet, just use xnView as one’s image viewer, as I have for years, because anything xnConvert can do, xnView can do…

    …which means that when the oddball, saved-to-disk image is finally viewed in xnView, one need only save-as or export it to something more standard. And even if the viewer can’t convert (but as long as it can at least view), all anyone would have to do is take a screenshot of it of it or something.

    There are many way to skin a cat. I’m not sure, though, that it’s worth adding yet another extension to the Chrome browser (the more one has, the slower becomes the browser) just for that right-click save-as option. Just my opinion, mind you.

    Still, great post.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Gregg, I think it depends on how often you save webp images to your system. If you do it regularly, you may fare better with the extension or a local video converter.

  5. Dr. Robotnik said on December 18, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I tried a User-Agent Switcher extension on Opera and no matter what I set it to, it still wants to save images from certain websites as .webp when I drag-and-drop. If I manually save them, it offers the proper .jpg extension, but dragging and dropping is a billion times faster. Any ideas?

  6. Tom said on October 6, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Interestingly, you can right click and rename the file, just deleting .webp and adding .jpg as the file extension, and it works fine – no converter necessary! Pain to do each one, but it works.

  7. Anonymous said on October 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    nice share…it works successfully tnx…

  8. Nityanandi said on January 30, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Thank you so much!

  9. G said on February 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Completely useless advice, since the biggest reason people want to save images from their browser is to post them on Facebook, and Facebook doesn’t support webp.

  10. Jane R said on March 28, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Totally useless advice. The fundamental problem is that Google is forcing webp to users. When there’s a link with perfectly fine .JPG file, why can’t Chrome save as it is? This is just plain stupid and that’s all there to it.

    We need a fundamental solution to disable webp.

  11. Eff Google Forever said on April 7, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    fu©k google. google is full of idiots, from the top down, who only want to cannibalize everything the same way microsoft did: by producing shit.
    google is the stinkiest, tiredest, most petrified heap of dung ever to happen to the internet.
    i wish Schmidt and all his minions horrific and violent deaths, drawn out and slow so they feel the rest of the pain and rot that they’ve tried to hang on everyone else.
    they ripped off savvysearch anyway, way back in the 1990s.
    just like microsoft. a bunch of thieves and low quality ones at that.

    1. Shanker said on October 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      I agree!!! GOOGLE SUCKS HARD POLE!!!!

  12. unes said on May 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you so much that’s exactly what I needed !!

  13. Nenad said on August 30, 2017 at 10:19 am

    TY, well done!

  14. bayu said on December 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    thanks man it’s really helpful, cheers!

  15. GNP said on February 7, 2018 at 1:03 am

    One more option: If the URL of the webp image ends with -rw or -rw-no, just delete those final characters and Chrome will reload the image in its original jpg or png format.

  16. GNP said on February 7, 2018 at 1:06 am

    One other option: If the URL of the webp image ends with -rw or -rw-no, just delete those final characters and Chrome will reload the image in the original jpg or png format.

  17. Steven D Visek said on April 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

    The PNG app doesn not work. I just get a message on my download that it failed due to the system being busy.
    I couldn’t figure out how to use the Agent Switcher app(no instructions). Admittedly I am not computer savvy.
    Changing the extension does not work.

  18. CG said on April 1, 2019 at 3:06 am

    Please – someone help me disable this nonsense!!! After the latest Firefox update, it is forcing my image downloads into this format, and I cannot see their thumbnails in File Explorer or edit them, or even open them on my home computer. Why don’t they have an easy way to disable this??

  19. LA said on April 20, 2019 at 12:15 am

    I’ve been experimenting with another approach that works “most” of the time.

    – Right click the image
    – Select “Open the image in a new tab”
    – Move your cursor to the end of the image URL
    – Add: “?1” or any random set of characters after the “?”
    – Hit enter

    In most cases this second request tricks Chrome into allowing the file to be saved as it’s native format

  20. dave said on April 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    – Right click the image
    – Select “Open the image in a new tab”
    – Move your cursor to the end of the image URL
    – Add: “?1” or any random set of characters after the “?”
    – Hit enter

  21. Dusk said on September 5, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    A solution I just found after reading this helpful information:
    I used a cache refresh for the page with “CTRL+F5” (or “CMD+R” for apple/mac I suppose), after that chrome allowed me to save as .jpg.

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