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Cannot download image from web page? Problem and solutions

Cannot download image from web page? Problem and solutions

Every once in a while I get emails which go like – “Why can’t I download an image from this web page? or “Why can’t I save an image from the web?“… followed by the web page URL. The thing is, if you can see the image in a web browser window, you’ve already downloaded it! So the question is now, how do you save the image to your computer?

Not all images available on the web are for commercial or personal use. In fact, most graphics and photos that you find on web sites have some kind of copyright attached. Graphic designers would have spent hours on their creation and would certainly not like having it ripped by unscrupulous people.

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If the designer is smart, she would add a watermark on the image which can serve as a major deterrent to illegal use of the graphic. Anyway, as I mentioned at the beginning, if the image is displayed in the browser, it’s already been downloaded to your computer and the only thing left is for you to save it to a folder on your computer. Let’s see how you can go about it.

Preventing download of image from web page

As detailed in how to download image from web page, the easiest way to save an image from a web page is through the web browser and you’ll find instructions for the most popular web browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera – in that article.

However, many a times, web developers and designers employ tricks to stop you from using the right-click in a web browser window. This is typically done using a client-side scripting language and you can find more on this at stop right-clicks in browsers using JavaScript. So if you cannot download the image from a web page that has this code, you can disable JavaScript in your browser and reload the web page… yes, that’s it!

Don’t want to tinker with web browser settings? There is another way to save the image off a web page though it’s more roundabout. All you need to do it to take a screenshot of the web page and then crop out the image from it. And in Windows you don’t need any special software or a program – all the tools you need are already with you. For details, please refer the article on how to take a screenshot of a web page. Once you have the screen-capture image in the clipboard, Windows users can paste it in MS Paint (a very basic image program found under “Accessories“) and crop the image out. Actually with this option you can gather all what’s on a web page. Cool!

Side note: Want to show everyone how “nerdy” you are? You can view the page source, track the image URL and load it in the browser! That’s a really really roundabout way of doing things but you prove your point.

Cannot download image because the right-click menu has no save option

Sometimes when you right-click on an image, the web browser menu will have no save option – check out the image right-click menu for popular browsers on download image from web page. For instance, take a look at the twitter.com homepage. There is a line-art graphic of clouds and when you right-click on it (on Firefox), there is no option of saving… what’s going on and how can you download this image?

The thing is, images can be added to web pages either as individual elements or as backgrounds of the web page and other elements. In such cases, to save the image on your computer you need to use a little common sense. Depending on your browser, the option can be straightforward or you need to take a more circuitous route. Read save web page background for details and how to download web page backgrounds to your computer.

The above graphic is a background and not as a standalone image. Right-click on it… you will probably not see a save image option in your browser (depends on the program).

Removing watermarks from images

Yes, the web is open to everyone but that does not mean you can use an image (or any other content) just because you took a fancy to it. In fact, a lot many images carry watermarks, especially those from stock photo resources. If you see a watermark it most probably means the image is not for free use (commercial or personal). Asking the designer for permission (politely) might help but then again, your request may be turned down or you might not get a reply at all. My sincere advice is to use the image as it is but if you want to impress people, there is a way to remove watermark from images – read to know more about it.

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