Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to get around Chrome's new save-as-WebP image format issue

The Chrome browser now defaults to saving image files in the WebP format. Here's how you can convert images back to JPG or PNG without having to use an image editor.
Google Chrome on Mac and iPhone
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Over the last year, Google has shifted the Chrome browser such that anytime you save an image file, it wants to default to the WebP format. 

This was done because the WebP format makes the image files roughly 25% smaller. That reduction isn't the actual image size, but the size of the file that is saved. 

Also: 3 things Google needs to fix for Android to catch up to iOS

That's great for websites that need to save on server space but not so great for users who want to reuse an image for, say, computer wallpaper or to share with friends and family. 

That WebP format isn't exactly a standard that can be viewed by just any application. 

So, what do you do? Are you going to have to install an image editor to cover the file from WebP to a useable format?

Also: Too many Google Chrome tabs open? Here's how to take back control

Fortunately, no. There's a Chrome extension you can add that will allow you to convert the image into either JPG or PNG format. Let me show you how to install and use this extension.

How to circumvent Chrome's new save-as-WebP image format issue


The only thing you'll need is an updated version of the Chrome browser. I'll demonstrate with version 109.0.5414.119, running on Pop!_OS Linux, but the operating system you use doesn't matter.

With your browser ready, let's take care of this problem.

1. Open Chrome

The first thing to do is open the Chrome web browser.

2. Install the extension

The extension in question is called Save image as Type. Point your browser to the extension's page in the Chrome Web Store and click Add to Chrome. When prompted, click Add Extension, and the installation is complete.

The Save image As Type extension in the Chrome web store.

Installing the Save image As Type Chrome extension.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Pin the extension

Once the extension is installed, you'll want to pin the extension to the Chrome toolbar for easier access. To do that, click the puzzle piece icon and, from the drop-down, click the pin icon associated with Save image as Type.

This will pin the icon, which looks like a small image, to the toolbar. You don't have to pin the extension to the toolbar if you don't want to because that's not how you interact with it. But this is always the easiest way to remove an extension from Chrome. 

Also: These 3 free Google Chrome extensions can save you time

If you decide to remove the extension, all you have to do is right-click the icon and select Remove From Chrome.

The extension drop-down in Chrome.

Pinning the extension to the Chrome toolbar.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Using the Save image as Type extension

Before you can use the extension, you'll need to close and re-open Chrome. Once you do that, open a webpage that includes an image you want to save. 

Right-click the image and select Save image as Type > Save as X (where X is either JPG, PNG, or WebP).

The Save Image As Type dialog in Chrome.

Saving an image in JPG format in Chrome is once again possible.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Your image will be saved in the file format of your choice, and you're good to go.

Also: 3 Google Chrome extensions to boost productivity

That's all there is to get around a problem that has been frustrating users since Google opted to change the default behavior in its web browser. Even though WebP is a valid image file format, it's simply not as accepted as JPG or PNG. This simple extension avoids that issue.

Editorial standards