Quick Fixes: How to Download an Image from a Google Doc


There is no obvious way to upload an image from a Google Docs document.

Quick Fix

Download the document as an HTML file.

The full story

Like most online publications, The edge uses a CMS (content management system) to upload its content to the web. This particular CMS requires you to upload any images you want to use separately from the text, which is usually no problem. But recently, a writer submitted an otherwise great story in which they had included the images in the text. The writer was away on vacation, so I couldn’t ask them to send the images separately – and there didn’t seem to be an obvious way to upload the images for me to insert into the CMS.

After doing some research, I found that there are several ways to box download an image from a Google Doc (unless using a third-party app). None of them are obvious, but none are really difficult either. Here they are.

Download to HTML file

This is, in my opinion, the easiest way to do it.

The easiest way is to download the document as a compressed HTML file.

  • While in the Google Doc, navigate to File > Download > Webpage (.html, compressed).
  • The page will be compressed and downloaded.
  • Go to your downloads folder (or wherever you directed your downloads) and look for a zip file with the name of your document.
  • Unzip the file. Look in the resulting folder for a subfolder called pictures.
  • Open the pictures folder, and you will find all the images in the document.

Publish to the web

It’s a little more circuitous than the first method, but it works.

  • While in the Google Doc, navigate to File > Share > Publish to Web.
  • You will have the choice to post a link or an embed. Under the Link tab, click the Publish button, and when it asks if you really want to do this, click OKAY.

Pop up that offers a link to a web page of your document

Click the Publish button to get a link to a web page version of your document.

  • You will get a pop-up window with a link to the webpage. Copy the link.
  • In a new tab or page of your browser, paste the link and press Come back.
  • Now you can just right click on any image you want and save it to your device.

Save the image to Keep

Weirdly, even though you can’t download images from Google Docs, you box download them from Google’s notes app, Keep. So here is the third alternative.

  • Right-click on the Google Docs image you want to download.
  • Click on Show more actions > Save to keep.

Google Docs with Keep in the sidebar

After sending an image to Keep (it’s in the sidebar on the left here), you can then save it to your computer via the context menu.

  • You can look in your Google Docs sidebar or you can open Keep in a separate tab/window. Either way, once you find your new Keep note containing the image, you can right-click on the image and download it.

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