How to convert WEBP images to JPG, PNG (or any other format)

Why WEBP? The format introduces improvements on many fronts, according to Google. For example, it supports both lossy and lossless compression, and can result in a file size saving of 45% over PNG (preserving transparency) and 28% over the same PNG’s that are re-compressed with compression tools (source: Wikipedia).

While Google’s introduced the WEBP image format in 2010, it seems to have taken a while to become more widely used on the internet. If you have come across WEBP and, like me, found that your image conversion and editing programs will not recognize or convert it to other formats, this post will suggest a number of ways to do it.

Interestingly, a WEBP codec is available for Windows, which provides WEBP support for a number of common Windows applications (e.g. Windows Photo Viewer, MS Office 2010, and FastPictureViewer). It also adds WEBP thumbnail preview support in Windows Explorer, but does not really help much if you want to convert from WEBP; to do that you can use one of the FREE converters/image viewers below.

List of free converters that support WEBP as source:

It was strangely difficult to find freeware programs/services that support WEBP conversion, but here’s a list of desktop and online converters that do (as of Nov 2013; others may have followed suite as you read this).

Name Platform Note
Picasa Windows, Mac You probably know Google's Image Management Suite, and you probably guessed that it supports WEBP conversion.
ImageMagick Windows, Mac, Linux, Others Comes in command line form but there are several GUI front ends that are available.
XnConvert Windows, Mac, Linux, Others My free Converter of choice; simple, multiplatform, and a delight to use
XNView Windows, Mac, Linux, Others One of the world's best freeware image viewing programs, supports WEBP, can do conversions.
NConvert Windows, Mac, Linux, Others Command line utility from the makers of XNConvert and XNView.
FastPictureViewer Windows An image viewer that can open WEBP if you install the aforementioned WEBP codec, and supports saving images into other formats. Note that the 'standard' version is free; simply let the PRO version expire and it will revert to the free version.
IrfanView Windows This extremely well known and versatile freeware image viewer for Windows supports viewing and converting WEBP.
GIMP Windows, Mac, Linux, Others The world's most well known free/open source bitmap editor and Photoshop alternative, supports and can convert WEBP
Paint.NET Windows, Mac, Linux, Others The world's SECOND most well known free/open source bitmap editor and Photoshop alternative, supports and can convert WEBP (although you may need to install this plugin).
RWPaint Windows Despite the heavy hitter free Photoshop alternatives above, this program is my favorite bitmap editor and the one I use. Supports and can convert WEBP
WebP Utility Windows A small program from Google that can do WEBP conversion from the command line.
Cloudconvert.org Online Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.
Online-convert.com Online Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.
Zamzar.com Online Online conversion service, can convert WEBP.


Our Recommendation: use XNConvert

For the following reasons:

  • It is multiplatform: Windows/Mac/Linux and others.
  • Is a dedicated converter: not an image viewer, image manager, or image editor
  • Easy to use: drag and drop.
  • Can convert in batch.
  • Supports every output image format under the sun (500+).
  • Is fast and reliable
  • Portable version available; as is 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions.

Step by Step conversion instructions: simple, self explanatory, and probably not needed, but here goes.

(1) Download and install XNConvert, or use the portable version.
(2) Run the program and drag and drop the images you want to convert onto the interface (see the screenshot below)

XnConvert Screenshot1

(3) Go to the ‘Output’ tab and select the format you want from the dropdown (as in the screenshot below)

XnConvert Screenshot2

(4) Finally, in the same ‘Output’ tab, click the ‘Convert’ button on the bottom right, and you’re done.


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
flattr this!
  • smaragdus

    I wonder why you truncate the RSS feeds.

    • SamerKurdi

      In short, to prevent scrapers from re-publishing my content all over the place. I have had issues with this that many people advised me may have been affecting my rankings in Google.

    • KoalaBear84

      There is nothing wrong doing this. It’s also that people open the website so it gets more views and the webmaster can keep the site up and running. :)

  • KoalaBear84

    Have the WebP codec installed, but can’t open them with Paint.NET 4.0 (the new beta) at least.

  • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

    Another attempt at Google trying to run the internet. I have yet to come across any site using this format and highly suspect I never will except sites run by Google.

    • llamaswill

      Obviously you don’t understand the point. As a web designer, this codec (once widely accepted) can replace all others for a number of reasons. It has the lossiness control that JPEG gives me, supports animations like GIFs, and ends up being smaller than PNG images (often about a third smaller, which is extremely significant).

      • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

        As a web developer of 13 years I know exactly how Google are pushing it. I also understand mob mentality which is why it will not catch on at least in the next five years. MP3 is the oldest and far from the best audio codec yet it is the one most people use. Years ago PhotoHD format was released which delivered photo quality at a fraction of the size of JPG but where is it now? We already have animated PNG (APNG) yet everyone still uses GIF.

        Google have tried to do the same with audio/video using the WebM codec yet it will not become mainstream until the likes of Apple and MS support it in their browsers. And that is why this will fail as well.

  • smaragdus

    hah, censorship here, congratulations samer!

    • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

      How is it censorship when the full article is available for all to see? Is a movie trailer censorship? Is a new headline censorship?

  • MDW

    WEBP is a great format for web applications, thanks for the conversion tools. To save bandwidth and disk/file space, I may consider converting all of my current images to WEBP – at roughly 1/3 the size with no real detectable loss in clarity, it’s almost a no-brainer.

  • Jessica Bell

    After finding a number of .webp files on my computer that showed up as blank icons and would not open with any of my programs, for some reason I tried simple renaming the files with a .jpg extension. Did not run them through any conversion apps at all but amazingly just by changing the extension names they became immediately viewable and usable.

  • KoalaBear84

    It’s really strange that FireFox still does not support it…

  • http://tutorialsmu.blogspot.com/ tutorialsmu

    oh so like this the way of converting the image, I will try to practice