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Cannot Open Images downloaded via Firefox

  • 4 uphendule
  • 1 inale nkinga
  • 235 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu Kyle Scoble

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Any image (png or jpeg) I download from the web I cannot open, I get an error message and the file size is always less than 300kb. I will go and download same image via chrome and not have any issues.

Any image (png or jpeg) I download from the web I cannot open, I get an error message and the file size is always less than 300kb. I will go and download same image via chrome and not have any issues.
Ama-screenshot ananyekiwe

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Hi Kyle, sometimes the file extension that the image editor relies on to understand the contents is incorrect. Here are two other things it could be:

(1) A webP image

webP is a new container technology for better compressing all kinds of images. Servers often wrap a PNG in a webP container without changing the file extension on the requested URL. This can lead to some confusion on the part of Firefox on how to name the file when you save/download it. If you view the image "stand alone" in its own tab (for example, right-click or Ctrl+click the image and then Command+click View Image to launch it into a separate tab), then the tab should indicate the true format. You may need to hover it for a few moments and look at the tooltip if you have a lot of tabs open since they may be too narrow to read that information.

webP is similar to HEIC, I believe, so if you save the image with the .webP extension, your software may or may not already be able to handle it. Worth a try before looking at other converters or add-on suggestions.

(2) An error page

Sometimes sites will serve an error page like "not authorized" in place of the actual image. Considering the large size of your file, I doubt it is a little error page in this case, but if you wanted to check that, you could change the file extension to .txt and see whether TextEdit or another program that reads text files shows you HTML of an error page (look for the <title> tag).

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All Replies (4)

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Hi Kyle, sometimes the file extension that the image editor relies on to understand the contents is incorrect. Here are two other things it could be:

(1) A webP image

webP is a new container technology for better compressing all kinds of images. Servers often wrap a PNG in a webP container without changing the file extension on the requested URL. This can lead to some confusion on the part of Firefox on how to name the file when you save/download it. If you view the image "stand alone" in its own tab (for example, right-click or Ctrl+click the image and then Command+click View Image to launch it into a separate tab), then the tab should indicate the true format. You may need to hover it for a few moments and look at the tooltip if you have a lot of tabs open since they may be too narrow to read that information.

webP is similar to HEIC, I believe, so if you save the image with the .webP extension, your software may or may not already be able to handle it. Worth a try before looking at other converters or add-on suggestions.

(2) An error page

Sometimes sites will serve an error page like "not authorized" in place of the actual image. Considering the large size of your file, I doubt it is a little error page in this case, but if you wanted to check that, you could change the file extension to .txt and see whether TextEdit or another program that reads text files shows you HTML of an error page (look for the <title> tag).

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It was totally the first scenario! getting it onto it's own tab fixes the issue. Thanks!

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If you'll allow a little self-promotion, I recently wrote an add-on that discourages sites from sending Firefox webP-format images, which should reduce the number of times you run into this problem. More info on it here if you're interested:

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/dont-accept-webp/