Tech Xpress

Download Protected Flickr Images instead of Spaceball.gif files

Ever tried to save a protected image from Flickr to your computer? You won't get the picture you want. Instead, a transparent image file named spaceball.gif is downloaded.
This is because Flickr always puts a transparent image file in a layer over the original picture. So when you right-click the original picture, you are actually clicking the transparent image, which is eventually saved to your computer.

How to Save the Original Picture from Flickr
However, the original image is stored in your browser cache. Firefox gives a pretty neat view of all the contents in your cache. Let's see how we get the original picture from Flickr with Firefox.

1. Open the Flickr page that has the picture.
2. Right-click on any blank part of the page (Do not right-click on the image) and click View Page Info. This opens the Page Info box.
3. Select the Media tab. You will find all the media files here. Once you get the image, hit the 'Save As' button to save the image. That's it!

I haven't tested this with IE, Opera or Safari. With these browsers, you can always check the source of the web page and get the link to the original image.

posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, September 04, 2008


Actually there's an easier way to do this. All the way at the bottom of the image there's about 2-3 pixels of room where you can right-click on the image to save it.

As a side note, the spaceball image is a small transparent image that is stretched to fit the width of the flickr image. So you can ALTERNATIVELY use ImageZoom in Firefox to shrink the spaceball.gif and then easily save the picture.