Discover why Google Chrome saves images in WebP formats

Have you ever tried downloading an image on a website only to find that it is in the WebP format? When browsing the web on Google Chrome, you may have noticed that the browser often saves images in a format called WebP. This may have left you wondering why Chrome specifically opts for this format and why many websites these days are using WebP given the plethora of web image formats available today, like JPEG 2000, JPG, PNG, GIF, and more.

Long story short? In most cases, Chrome isn’t actually the browser you should hate here. What that means is that it doesn’t automatically convert the images to WebP when you download them but it is the websites that host them that are serving images in WebP. So why then do websites choose to serve WebP images?

Website owners and developers are continually seeking ways to improve speed and performance. These two factors are paramount in today’s digital era. One of the most powerful tools in their toolkit is optimizing images and converting them into WebP: a modern and highly efficient image format.

In this blog post, we will dive into the world of WebP and explore its benefits and the workarounds from downloading WebP formats on Google Chrome. We present the info as follows:

Understanding the WebP Format

WebP is an image format developed by Google back in 2010 to improve web performance and reduce file sizes. It utilizes advanced compression techniques to achieve high-quality images with significantly smaller file sizes (over 25%) than its traditional image formats counterparts like JPEG and PNG. Its support for image transparency (a key differentiator compared to JPEG) is also a key reason why Google prefers it, coupled with the fact that WebP allows for both lossy and lossless compression.

The underlying compression algorithms employed in WebP enable efficient encoding and decoding of images, resulting in faster load times and reduced bandwidth usage.

The Benefits of WebP Image Format

When it comes to website speed, every second counts. Slow-loading websites frustrate users! As images take up the most page weight on a website, large image files often slow down page load times. That’s why WebP image compression comes in so handy!

Enhances Web Performance

By utilizing WebP, Google Chrome can deliver images that load much faster than before, improving the overall browsing experience for users. Especially since search is now multi-modal, consisting not only of text results but also rich media like images and videos. The smaller file sizes of WebP images enable Chrome to quickly download images from servers and reduce the time it takes to display web pages. This is crucial in today’s speed-obsessed world, where users expect instant access to information!

Reduces Bandwidth Consumption

WebP’s superior compression capabilities also contribute to reduced bandwidth consumption. Smaller file sizes significantly reduce the amount of data transferred between the user’s device and the web server. This translates to lower bandwidth usage, benefiting users with slower internet connections or limited data plans. When more users worldwide can browse the web quickly and affordably, isn’t that great news for Chrome?

Maintains Image Quality

Despite its smaller file sizes, WebP images still maintain their high image quality. It employs lossy and lossless compression techniques, enabling users to balance file size reduction and visual fidelity.

  • Lossy compression works by selectively discarding specific image data less noticeable to the human eye, resulting in smaller file sizes without significant loss in perceived quality. 
  • On the other hand, lossless compression retains all image data but achieves less compression.

Chrome’s adoption of WebP ensures that users can enjoy fast-loading web pages without compromising the visual appeal of images.

Allows for Forward Compatibility

WebP’s forward compatibility is another compelling reason Google Chrome saves images in this format. As the web continually evolves and new technologies emerge (at a very fast pace), having a future-proof image format is essential. WebP’s widespread adoption and continued development ensure it remains compatible with evolving technology.

Stopping Chrome from saving images in WebP

While WebP is still the way to go on the web, if you prefer to save images in other formats on Google Chrome, then you can try the following methods:


A Chrome extension is one of the easiest ways to save WebP images in other formats. In particular the “Save Image as Type” extension, after installing, allows you to download images in your desired format.

Online image converters

Online image converters by using the origin image URL can also help you with this. All you have to do is to “Copy Image Address” and add it to the tool. It then helps you to convert it into PNG or JPG.

Alternatively, you can also download the WebP image and then upload it onto image converters and download the format you want.

Paint App for Windows Users

Windows users have an additional workaround where you can use the default Paint app that comes with your windows software.

What you can do is to “Right Click” and copy the image and paste it onto the Paint app (CTRL + V). In the File tab on the top-left corner of your screen, you can then save this image in your desired format.


All in all, with the given advantages of WebP to optimize web performance, reduce bandwidth consumption, maintain image quality, and allow for forward compatibility (plus perhaps the fact that Google created WebP), it is no surprise why Chrome prefers to save images in the WebP format as compared to all other image formats. By embracing WebP, Google Chrome continues providing a seamless browsing experience for its users, ensuring they can access web content quickly and efficiently.

And as a website owner, developer, or even a marketer, understanding such benefits of WebP and optimizing your images accordingly can significantly improve your site’s speed and enhance user experience. Your visitors will thank you for it when you embrace the power of WebP!

This is a departure from our usual article formats, but we hope you found it useful as, no matter who you are and what we do, we are always confused when technology suddenly starts doing something that we were not used to. Knowing about the WebP format when it comes to images will help anybody in creative and marketing fields – because to be sincere, who has not ever saved an image from the internet to their computer. While you are here, why don’t you take a look at our article showing our best Chrome Extensions that are powered by A.I.?

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