I have a habit of dragging images I want to share from Web pages onto my Desktop. Then I later send them via text message, email, or repost them on social. Lately, however, I keep getting images that are in .webp format. How do I convert them to PNG or some other better known format on my PC?
It’s easy to click and drag images from Web pages onto your Desktop whether you’re on a Mac or Windows PC. I do it quite a bit too, and also sometimes end up with the progressive Web WEBP format image. What’s WebP? I wrote about it way back in 2010 when the format was announced, actually: What is the WebP image format? But you don’t have to click to find out: It’s a graphics format optimized for the Web and championed by Google. As a result, I can conclude that you’re using Google Chrome – or Microsoft Edge, which is built on Chrome – as your Web browser.
Whatever the deal, it’s frustrating and there are plenty of programs that understand GIF, JPEG and PNG, but are clueless about the WEBP format. Which makes those graphics files on your Desktop a lot less useful than you might prefer. Fortunately, just as it’s easy to convert WebP to PNG on a Mac system, it’s also easy to convert these images to PNG on a Windows 10 system too with just a few clicks.
To start out, here’s my WebP format image with handy Windows info pop-up:
Confused? It’s a graphics file – not a page! – but Windows is showing it as a Chrome HTML document. That’s just wrong!
Double click to open it. If that immediately jumps you into Chrome, back up and right-click then choose “Open With…”. You should get to a menu of choices like this:
You can see that the default is Google Chrome in this instance, but that’s not useful. Instead, choose “Paint” from the list. Yes, that venerable old Microsoft program that’s been a part of Windows since the very beginning. It was recently rewritten and actually is a pretty powerful graphics editor nowadays.
The image opens up in Paint:
As you can see, there are oodles of choices, options, tools and modifications you can make – this ain’t your grandpa’s Paint program any more! – but we don’t want to do any of those transformations. Now that it’s open, simply go to File and choose Save As…
As you can see, the program supports four main graphics formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, and GIF. I would say that 99% of the time you should choose PNG or JPEG for any images you’re working with, but it’s good to know that MS Paint supports all of these, making it a handy image format conversion too.
For this task, choose “PNG picture”. As it describes, Save a photo or drawing with high quality and use it on your computer or on the web. Now you can choose the new file name and where it should be saved, as usual:
In this instance, I’m going to keep its original name, but note the Save as type is “PNG”. Fixed.
Except for one tiny niggle: WebP supports transparency in a different way than PNG, so you’ll get this pop-up:
Odds are very good that the photo or picture doesn’t have a transparent layer anyway (that lets the background graphic “bleed through” into the image space) so you can just say “OK” to proceed.
And you’re done. Boom! Now there’s a PNG version of the file on the Desktop:
Pretty easy once you know the path to travel, really. You should be able to convert those WebP photos and images in under 60 seconds when you get the hang of it.
Oh, and one more thing: Instead of dragging images and dropping them on your Desktop, try right-clicking on the image next time and choosing “Save As…” directly from the context menu. That often produces a PNG image instead of that annoying WebP format.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Windows 10 tips and tricks for many years. While you’re visiting the site, please do check out my extensive Windows 10 Tips and Tricks library for lots more useful tutorials and how-to guides! Thanks.