I don’t know what happened, but now when I save images from Edge, they show up as “webp” format, not jpeg or png. How can I convert them so I can use them with other programs on my PC?
It’s remarkable just how many different graphics formats there are nowadays, from classics like BMP and PICT to the fancy new PNG and WEBP. Each has its benefits and use cases, though some are definitely designed for a more modern computing environment. The problem is that while there are all these formats, that doesn’t mean that every program that can work with one format can smoothly switch to any of the other formats you might prefer.
The worst offender is the new Web-based progressive image format WEBP, or, more commonly, WebP. WebP is an image file format developed by Google and is intended as a replacement for JPEG, PNG, and GIF image formats. WebP supports both lossy and lossless compression, along with animation and alpha channel transparency. It took them a while to get the format figured out too: Google announced it in September of 2010 but didn’t release the first WebP supporting library until April 2018. It is a good format, but if your target program can’t understand it, well, ya gotta convert.
Fortunately, Microsoft did something really smart with the latest version of Windows 11 to make that pretty darn simple: It added WebP support in Microsoft Paint. For real. When was the last time you used Paint? Turns out it’s a great image conversion utility. Let’s have a look…
OPEN UP A WEBP IMAGE ON YOUR WINDOWS PC
To start out, I needed to upload a profile picture of myself and decided instead to use a photo of my buddy Tom. Here’s his picture on my PC desktop:
You can see that Windows correctly recognizes and identifies the image file type. Right-click on it and you’ll see that Paint is one of the listed programs that can open this image format:
The first program is the one registered with the system as the official owner of WebP format, and it’s not a surprise that it’s Microsoft Edge. That won’t let us edit the image, however, nor change its format as it’s saved as a new file. Instead, choose “Paint” to proceed.
Now you can see whose photo I grabbed. Now, how to save it in a different format?
SAVE A WEBP IMAGE IN ANOTHER FORMAT?
It’s pretty easy, actually. Choose “File” > “Save As” and you’ll get a list of image file formats:
Handy shortcuts, really, and notice that WEBP isn’t on the list. Okay, let’s save this as a Progressive Network (PNG) graphic. To do that, I’ll choose “PNG picture” and go straight to a file save dialog box:
You can view all the file formats supported by Microsoft Paint by clicking on the “Save as type” menu. You can also switch from PNG to JPEG, for example, by choosing it. Enter a file name, ensure you know where you’re about to save it, and click “Save“.
Since the PNG format doesn’t support a transparent layer, you’ll get a warning from Paint:
Let’s do it! Click on “OK” and you’re done:
Tedious, but not difficult. Mission accomplished.
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