Image file formats are plentiful, from PNG and JPEG to the dreaded WebP. But what happens when you want to convert something from one file type to another? The conversion process was once an arduous process, but there is now built-in functionality within Windows, macOS, and even your web browser to get it done. Not to mention the many (many) online tools. Here’s everything you need to know to easily convert these file types.
Change File Extension
To easily convert JPEG (or JPG) to PNG, PNG to JPEG, or Google’s WebP web file format to JPEG or PNG in Windows, open File Explorer, and make sure the box next to File name extensions is checked under View. Click on the file you want to convert, delete the extension, and add your preferred extension.
Mac users have been able to do this for a long time now. Right-click an image and select Get Info from the pop-up menu. Under Name & Extension, delete the extension and add your own, then press Enter. You should notice that your computer now refers to the file in its new format.
Convert in Microsoft Paint
Windows users can also use Microsoft Paint as a simple file converter by opening an image (including WebP format), then saving it as a different file type. Go to File > Save as and open the Save as type drop-down menu. You can then select JPEG and PNG, as well as TIFF, GIF, HEIC, and multiple bitmap formats. Save the file to your computer and it will convert.
Use a Web Browser
Results may vary with this tip; some sites support it, others do not. But if you plan to download and then convert an image from the internet, try changing the format from your browser. In Chrome or Edge, right-click the image you want to download and select Open image in new tab (View Image in Firefox). You will see that the URL of the image contains or ends with a file extension. If you have a .jpg or .webp (-rw for images in Google Play), replace it with .png to convert the image to a PNG file upon download. On Chrome, Edge, and Safari, you can only convert to PNG on supported sites. Firefox will only convert to .jpg.
Try a Chrome Extension
Another option is a Chrome extension. Convertio and File Converter support many different file extensions and media, but I would recommend Save Image as Type for its simplicity if you’re only working with JPG, PNG, and WebP files.
While other options may link you back to their website to perform the conversion, this extension does not. Add Save Image as Type to your browser, then right-click an image and hover over Save Image as Type in the pop-up menu to save the image as a JPG, PNG, or WebP file.
There are more online converters than one can count these days, but if you’re looking for a reliable name, Adobe has its own. You can follow these links to convert JPG to PNG or PNG to JPG. Other services, such as CloudConvert, Convertio, and Online-Convert.com allow you to choose among dozens of file extensions, upload multiple files at once, and convert files via direct upload, Google Drive, Dropbox, and URL.
If you’re shopping around for a professional service, look into their data collection and retention policies. Both CloudConvert and Convertio collect a negligible amount of data, delete your uploads within 24 hours, and have no access to your documents. They also have server infrastructure located in Germany, making them adherent to GDPR regulations.