Why do so many image URL's have no clear file path these days?

When I use sites like Facebook on my PC, I often want to post an image from the Internet. Instead of downloading the image, it's much more convenient to be able to just right click the image and select "Copy image address." Then when I use a file picker dialogue like the one in Facebook, I can just paste in the URL and it will reupload the file automatically the same as if it was a path on my local drive.

Unfortunately, it's increasingly often that I find the URL is some long encoded thing that isn't recognized as an image, perhaps because there's no file extension and maybe not even a file name. Here's an example I was easily able to find randomly in a quick Google search: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/zonAUYRq0164wHlEMjd8tZEhriCOBg1104qnQ26OSRXegbdY8vFlg2Oe_xEevmGvkGU59RaaGw=w640-h400-e365

The URL's I can use more conveniently look like this: https://www.microsystools.com/help/a1/download-website-convert-links.png

Is there anything I can do to mitigate this problem? Is there some way the "bad" URL's can still be used as normal images in a file picker dialogue?

EDIT: My apologies for being unclear. I hadn't gone through as much testing and rigor as I should have. It turns out the problem is not with file picker dialogues in general. For some reason, the problem is specific to Facebook's photo-comment functionality. When I put a photo in my own post the bad URL works just fine. But when I try to make a photo comment it looks like this:
enter image description here
Instead of this:
enter image description here

And then the upload fails of course. When I try to post I just get an error.

This is clearly a Facebook problem, which I hadn't realized. At first I thought this problem was wider-reaching. So maybe I'm asking this in the wrong place, but I'm still curious to know if anyone has any workarounds. I frequently grab photos from Google searches to use as photo comments, but the URL problem is really screwing me up. I don't want to have to download a picture and then navigate to the download location in order to post it every time.

  • I don't quite understand. When I make a new post (facebook on Chrome on PC) - I click on Photo/Video Album - you get the windows file picker - put that encoded URL - and that works too. So I'm not sure what your issue is...? – Darius Jul 2 '18 at 2:38

Why do so many image URL's have no clear file path these days?

Several possible reasons:

  1. They are using a Content Distribution Network (CDN) and the CDN software (Something like Apache Traffic Server--not Apache Web Server, an almost completely different thing) does't use a filesystem path.

  2. Similar to 1, the images are in a specialized image server, probably using some sort of database back-end an you're being given a hash to that image.

  3. The image provider is deliberately obscuring the path so you can't find. it.

Is there anything I can do to mitigate this problem?

There probably is, but since you're not clear on what you're trying to accomplish, it's hard to make a recommendation.

Is there some way the "bad" URL's can still be used as normal images in a file picker dialogue?

From context I cannot determine what this is. If you mean the interface on some web-forum software, anything that can handle HTTP or HTTPS can request the image. The problem is if the programmer expects the extension (.png/.jpg) to announce what sort of image it is rather than using the first couple bits (ala the Unix command "file" and the /usr/share/magic (or /usr/share/file/magic, /etc/magic, YDMV). man file.

If you're talking about something that is part of Google Chrome--I've never seen it.


There is a way to get the image url but its a long run, lets say I search for pizza picture on google..

I want that pizza.. (let's pretend you can't right click the pizza picture on the site you are trying to get it)

Pizza Is hosted by Wikipedia

It helps knowing the picture comes from wikipedia. When we open the console (F12), it will be easier to find.


Step 1: Press F12 on keyboard, it will open the console.

Step 2: Click the sources tab.

Step 3: Search the domain that seems the picture could come from (in our case wikipedia)

Step 4: Get Url or Download

enter image description here

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