I've tried to find other questions covering this, but (surprisingly) I did not find any.

When I want to add a screenshot to a post, as far I know the only way to do it is to save it as a file and then upload the file, using Stack Overflow's image hosting. OK, much better than finding a hosting site yourself, but sometimes I wish I could just paste the image from the clipboard.

It's not as straightforward as it may seem, I know. JIRA has this feature, and it needs a Java applet to get it done.

  • 10
    Yep - it requires a client program that can read the clipboard and send that to the server. This would probably not be acceptable to a large proportion of users.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 12:36
  • 1
    There are programs (some free, some not) that can assign hotkey to take screenshot and upload to some server all in one step - those who want can install such program and use it. Otherwise, we are restricted by the browsers that won't allow access to the clipboard data. Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 12:47
  • Didn't check it in depth but this might also help: Web Clipboard Extension for Google Chrome Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 12:49
  • @ShaDowWizArd The extension is about text and html content. Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 12:53
  • @ChrisF do you think it would be acceptable to have this as an optional feature? Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 13:14
  • Possibly - but I suspect that it won't be a priority as I'm sure the development team have more important things to be looking at.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 13:16
  • @ChrisF OK, I can image that. I wouldn't mind accepting this as an answer. Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 13:24
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    Because what we need is to give websites the ability to read from users' clipboards. There's no way it would be abused, right?
    – user1228
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 15:52
  • @ShaDowWizArd, you're right about the one-step-upload-software, but that probably won't allow uploads to the SE-provided imgur account? (Which, if all is well, does not expire any of the uploaded images.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:51
  • @Arjan it will upload to some other host and give URL to paste - that's the maximum we can "hope" for. :) Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:59
  • @Gert Arnold - Check out http://imgur.com
    – user66001
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 10:40
  • A new upload dialog, adding support for paste and drag-and-drop in that dialog, is being tested on Meta.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 18:26
  • @ChrisF why did you mark this as status-complete? This is not possible AFAIK?
    – Stijn
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Stijn - It was over a year ago. I can't remember. It's perfectly possible that something has stopped it working. I'm no longer a mod here so can't remove the tag. If you flag it for moderator attention someone with a diamond will look at it.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:46
  • @ChrisF in chat Bart said that it was an experimental feature for Chrome. I'll start a bounty.
    – Stijn
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:47

4 Answers 4


There is currently a bounty on this question saying

Can this be implemented for all browsers? This is possible on imgur.com with at least Chrome 38, Firefox 33 and IE 11. According to http://caniuse.com/#feat=clipboard all major browsers except Opera Mini have at least partial support, and Firefox has full support.

We have implemented image pasting according to the current W3C draft (the closest thing to what you could, and caniuse.com does, consider a spec), and it should work in all browsers that support this. This currently means Chrome and Opera, as far as I can tell. In particular, the claim that Firefox has full support is blatantly wrong. Both Firefox and IE need extremely ugly browser-specific hacks to add this support.

This does not necessarily mean that we'll never add these hacks, but it's hard to go much lower than this on a priority scale.

  • Is there any point starting new feature request asking to support image pasting in IE and Firefox? Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 11:41

Completely possible - There were several websites, that even when the currently accepted answer was provided, were able to allow pasting into the UI. Gmail for one. I use imgur.com for this functionality when adding pics to SE answers

After a quick search, came up with this for Chrome/Firefox; and this for IE; Sure there are others ideas out there for other browsers these days.

I was about to start a new question, and would still like to do this given how wordy this question and answers have become. Think this functionality (provided on browsers/versions that there is a way to provide it) would be a fantastic addition to the SE rich feature set!

  • The imgur option gets close enough for me. Thanks. Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 11:37
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    Despite the imgur.com website maybe making it easier to paste images, please use the Stack Exchange provided upload functionality instead, to ensure the images are put into the SE account, which keeps images forever. (That said, it would be nice if SE added the same upload options that Imgur provides.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 11:53
  • @Arjan Understood! Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 12:45
  • @Arjan - Thanks, will weigh this good point, with time I have available to me during the day. If you have any sway in what functionality gets added here @ SO, I implore you to get this implemented to have the best of both worlds :)
    – user66001
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 18:49
  • @Arjan - On second thought, and confirming, not sure I understand - Doesn't SE use imgur already, or do you mean that even though I have an account with imgur.com they delete old images, whereas SE doesn't / won't?
    – user66001
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 20:47
  • Indeed, when uploading to your own free account, or an anonymous account, images might expire. Also, SE is not backing up your account.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 20:53
  • A new upload dialog, adding support for paste and drag-and-drop in that dialog, is being tested on Meta.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 18:27
  • Thanks for letting us know @Arjan - Almost there, now to just make it function on the edit / ask question pages directly ;)
    – user66001
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:01
  • I know this is kind of off topic, but does anyone have any idea how this actually works? It seems to use Javascript to read DIB format from the clipboard as transparency-capable format (it's technically 32bpp RGB, but abused as 32bpp ARGB) , and I just wonder how they actually make a usable png image out of that...
    – Nyerguds
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 14:15

This would require a client program that can read the clipboard and send that to the server. Normally browsers and JavaScript can't access this.

This would probably not be acceptable to a large proportion of users.

As this would have be an optional feature I can't see it being a priority for the development team who will be working on features that have a known benefit.


This is , at least for Chrome. The other answers only discuss the feasibility of the feature, so I am explaining how it can be used. (It's not something you're likely to discover on your own.)

  1. Get the image in your clipboard.
    • You can even copy images from webpages (which helps resolve certain glitches)
  2. Click the image button (or use the shortcut, Ctrl/ + G)
  3. Paste with Ctrl/ + V

It's easy now that you know how!

  • You missed one answer, which happens to be the official answer. And it's up to date, I just checked and Firefox does not support pasting image directly from the clipboard. As balpha said, it's done only for certain browsers. (Chrome, Opera.) Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:19
  • Sorry but even after the edit, I don't see any real value in this answer. balpha already said it's enabled for Chrome, and pasting is common enough action, no need to explain to people how to paste. (And as you can see, the question itself is indeed already marked status-completed) Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:29
  • @ShadowWizard There are 65+ people who disagree.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:31
  • I agree the feature itself isn't trivial, I am talking about the action of pasting. All in all, as I see it, this answer only repeats what balpha already said nearly two years ago. You can suggest an edit there with the steps to paste if you think it's needed, it might be approved. (or not, but I don't think it justifies a new answer.) Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:34
  • This has been implemented as per Editor improvements for images and links.
    – kenorb
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 15:33

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