How to save protected images from Flickr

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Hacks, Homepage, Nerdy
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever been on Flickr and you found an awesome image that you wanted to save but you couldn’t? Well Flickr has made an epic code so a “regular” person can’t save the image directly from the website. To be able to do this process you will need a bit of knowledge of HTML, but I will try to make it so you won’t have to. When you come across an image where you can’t save, all you have to do is look at the source code. I don’t know how all browsers let you look at the source code but if you have Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera then I will be able to tell you exactly how to save protected images from Flickr. Unless you wanted to go to a website that has many photos you can choose from that you can download with a click.

First You Must
Be on the page where the picture is(not the gallery.) Either click the title of the picture or the picture itself. If you are on the correct page you will be able to see a magnifying glass icon. Click the magnifying glass icon. If a dark screen with the picture shows click “Vew all sizes” button.

Click the magnifying glass iconclick Vew all sizes

Once you are on the page with options to choose the pictures size, choose the size you would like to save. Now continue to the next step.

Choose the size

For Firefox:
Right click the webpage and click “View Page Info” then click “Media” OR At the very top toolbar click Tools -> Page Info -> Media – Click the first address in the list and press the down arrow on your keyboard until you see the desired Flickr image in the Media Preview Window. Click the “Save As…” button.

In Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari or Firefox:
Right click the Flickr web page and chose “View HTML source” OR “View page source” – In the toolbar at the very top click “Edit” and then click “Find” in the list. Type“spaceball”  id=”allsizes-photo” in the box at the bottom. You’ll find the full location of the protected image enclosed in the img tag after the line that “spaceball” is on. Copy and paste the URL into your address bar and hit enter. Right click and “Save Image As…”

view page source


If you can’t get your images that you want then you can try which allows downloaded images. I have seen Photobucket many years ago and the website has come a long way with their design.


Update 7 OCT 2012: Image updated because spaceball doesn’t exist anymore. They changed their code to just the tag. You must search for id=”allsizes-photo” like how the image is with <div id=”allsizes-photo”>.

  1. serdar says:

    hello Nerd10101,
    thanks a lot.
    it was a big problem fro me to sve pictures from flickr.
    I know html but I did not thought that flickr wolud allow such a way.
    you resolved my problem.
    keep well

  2. Merce says:

    Wow, Great ! Thank you very much, this really helped me. Really works, easy and simple. I have saved the image that I covet. thanks a lot Nerd

  3. nara says:

    Many thanks, have to try it, but not sure if it works, anyway thanks, take care….

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    it seems there’s also another way: just try blocking the spaceball.gif image on your computer (ff+adblock do that just fine for me) and then happily right click the original images)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Uhm… you could also just right click and hit block images from i.ymg yahoo or something or other and it removes the spaceball crap. ;D

    It also makes some icons and options dissappear – they are still there though, you just cant see them, and (if in firefox) its easy to go to the options and re enable those images again.

  8. Mphumsiey says:

    hey! Thanks for the trick! Um, but I couldn’t do that so I did something different. Right click, view page source, CTRL+F and “_m.jpg” Copy the link and remove “_m” Voila! Right click and save image!

  9. Rob says:

    Nice i got it Thank you nerd10101

  10. MR president says:

    that was great but actually i didnt get it

  11. nandya says:

    it was really helpful, thank you so much 🙂

  12. Bayu says:

    It’s work, but only to find smaller image. Anyone know how to find bigger image?

  13. MisterYou says:

    # Right click on image and select bigger size
    # Select the image
    # Right click and select ‘View selection source’
    # On that window, click the image url
    # Now you can see the full size image
    # press ‘Ctrl + S’
    # (right click and save as will not work)
    # that all.

  14. Alonzo The Great says:

    Just wanted to say, YES IT WORKS although for me searching for the phrase “?v=0″ did not work. Yes, I did it without the quotes. But looking at the Source of the page you could see many references to .jpg’s, and trying a few of those as suggested above did work and I was able to save the non-copyrighted image of one of my favorite places. It’s not like I’m using the pictures for commercial purposes so technically it is NOT illegal. Thanks again.

  15. Renfield says:

    For Firefox: Goto Tools -> Page Info -> Media – Scroll down until you see that Flickr image in the Media Preview Window. Click the Save As button.

  16. Elijah says:

    Can somebody please tell me how I get the Original size (not the large size) from the following image on Flickr?


    It doesn’t work with Firefox: Goto Tools -> Page Info -> Media – Scroll

    • nerd10101 says:

      I updated the blog post. I even used your image url as the example. Hope it helps.

    • Mike P. says:

      Elijah, you can’t. Because of sites like this and people who have decided it is somehow OK to save my work, and in many cases try and sell it or pass it off as their own, I no longer upload files that above the current size you see there.

      I have no problem with people saving a url or photo for their own personal use because they enjoy the image, but all too often I find my images end up being sold on stock photography sites or for print.

      As a professional photographer, these photos are how I pay my bills and make a living, I spend a lot of time and effort on each and every photo filling a special niche that you won’t find anywhere else on the internet. And yet, some people seem to think it’s ok to just right click and save-as and then make a profit off of my time, skill, art and effort.

      I post these photos as a courtesy to gamers, modelers, and people interest in the Police and Fire services in my area, but with having to file DMCA notices, the legal battles against sites that attempt to sell my work, and those who modify it and claim it as their own, I sometimes wonder why I even bother.

  17. Elijah says:

    Mike, I understand that as a professional photographer, these photos are how you pay your bills. Thats’s why I have offer you (trough Flickr) to pay for your photo’s. But I haven’t receive any reaction from you.

  18. john jackson says:

    does this still work because i cant find “spaceball” in the source?

  19. Aleciarachel says:

    thank you thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Peter says:

    Nice one – thank you! I only want an image for the “your music album” game – and this has helped me get it. You’re a genius!

  21. cp says:

    thank you thank you soo much fort this ! i love you !

  22. Anonymous says:

    genius! Thankyou!!

  23. xbox says:

    when i do this it shows the image small and not the orignial size.
    Does anyone knows how i can make it bigger?

  24. aliza says:

    you’re a genius! Thank you!

  25. nik says:

    Tried this earlier. The steps above worked, but why is it when I copy the image URL and paste in on the address bar, the picture looks smaller than the original one? Anyone? Thanks for this though!

  26. Anonymous says:

    thanks for this! worked very well

  27. May says:

    Thanks x

  28. Chris says:

    That is so useful. Many thanks

  29. rohit jain says:

    thnxx alot..ur a genius..:)

  30. Anonymous says:

    easiest way:
    in opera switch author mode to user mode (one of the buttons in site view category, very useful also when reading badly designed sites, so i recommend putting it on a main bar if you haven’t got it there already)

    tadaaaah done

  31. Anonymous says:

    Awesome post! Thanks a lot 🙂

  32. Das says:

    thank yooou sir!

  33. Anonymous says:

    thanks mate, it works well

  34. Thanks so much for the help.

  35. Truthe says:

    You fucking rule. Thank you. Sending positive vibrations.

  36. Anonymous says:

    perfecty! this worked- thanks 4 the helpful info! props 2 u.

  37. Sahibzada Qamar says:

    easy way- when u view the image u want to save press “print screen” ( prt sc)button alone or with “fn” button on some laptops, it will copy whatever ur screen is showing at that time including the image, now go to paint, click edit, then paste, then modify the image according to ur need and save

  38. Ripped Off Photographer says:

    Say folks, did it ever occur to you that people copy protect their images for a reason? That reason being that, just maybe, THEY DON’T WANT OTHER PEOPLE COPYING THEIR IMAGES??? And that copying images without the owner’s permission is BREAKING THE LAW!? You know…copyright law? The law that’s supposed to protect the creator of the image from being ripped off. So I suggest a novel idea: that instead of circumventing a person’s wishes that their images not be copied, you RESPECT THEIR WISHES AND NOT COPY THEIR IMAGES.

  39. edzheadz says:

    Dudes…a copyright should be respected…these images are typically the result of somebody’s hard work and talent…if you’ve ever created something you’ve been proud of (and epic movements do not imply) I doubt if you’d like it stolen so easily…just saying

    • nerd10101 says:

      If someone would like to print out my photographs and display it in their life somewhere and not just sell it in mass or displayed on a website without accrediting me then I would be perfectly content.

  40. Anonymous says:

    thank you.. it’s a big help..

  41. I Vouch for this guy, working with firefox well and good.

  42. kinjal says:

    wow!!!!..thanks a ton for the great help!!! am so relieved that i can get my favourites so easily!

  43. mary anderson says:

    Thank you. I have wanted to do that for so long, and you made it so easy. You are wonderful!!!

  44. SVEN says:

    Thanks r awesome bro

  45. Taj Khan says:

    Thank YOU sir for giving this technique. Your blog is awesome.

  46. Wonderful site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks to your sweat!


  48. gadfkbkjdfkdJB says:

    Why is there no instructions for CROME!!!!>>> who even uses the ones you listen anymore.

  49. Elias says:

    Thanks, its really helpful

  50. Extreme bundle of thanks 😀

  51. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much!! This was super helpful!! (^__^)v

  52. Amos says:

    Thanks a million, you just made my day. It feels nice to beat the system!!! Have a great one,


  53. David says:

    Just tried this and it works! Flickr has changed making simple things almost impossible to achieve. Like yesterday I wanted to download my friend’s photos. I couldn’t find a simple download link, anywhere. Found a guide here – Hope this helps others too.

    It feels good to beat the system. But they slowly realize the bug and fix it.

  54. Bryan Short says:

    thanks man for the handy tip, I appreciate it

  55. Cale Dt says:

    Oh man that is Sooooo good ! Thanks you Soooo much !! 😀
    This is F…king epic !

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