Is it possible to "pause" an animated gif file in Google Chrome? If so, how do I do it?

I've tried Esc without luck. I'm aware that other browsers can do this using the Esc key

I thought I saw a similar question on here before but couldn't find it - close as dupe if you can find it

8 Answers 8


Nope, not yet. There is a feature request to add it to Webkit (which is what Chrome is based off of).


There's a great extension for this: Gif Scrubber!

Allows stepping, exploding to see all individual frames (so frame download), with simple shortcuts.

from the extension page

(not in any way affiliated, just stoked it works so well)

  • 1
    But this doesn't help for gifs already on the page. It only works by opening up a new page : /
    – B T
    Mar 15, 2019 at 0:42
  • 2
    I recommend coworkers use this when watching animated GIF screen captures of GUI actions (instead of typing out written instructions). Mouse-drags/pauses/plays forward/backward at various speed multipliers/divisors, all with mouse or keyboard.
    – user38983
    Jul 19, 2019 at 8:50

you can "grab" the image with your cursor and "hold" a stop-frame of it but once you let go it will begin again

  • Very nice, it work! Oct 9, 2015 at 21:03
  • 1
    How? You mean mouse cursor and left mouse button click and hold? This does not work on Chrome 102 on Windows 10. Also moving the cursor while keeping the button pressed does not affect the animation. Jun 15 at 13:41

Stop animated .gif images in Google Chrome

As we all know, the Escape [Esc] key doesn’t work in the Google Chrome web browser. The Esc key should stop animated gifs dead in their tracks, but it doesn’t. Nor is there a trusty Web Developer toolbar available to do away with them once and for all.


  1. Have another tab open in your browser while you’re surfing, (if you don’t already).

  2. Click the other tab with your mouse, then click back to your original tab that had the animated gif.


a. This only stops the gif animation so that you can read without distraction. When you scroll your browser or click the page, the gif will start animating again. This is a temporary hack, until Google adds this functionality or a plugin is written.

b. You must use your mouse to click another tab and then click back on the tab you are trying to stop gif animation in. You can’t use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[Tab].


note: the article is dated from Dec 2008, i don't know whether this trick works with current versions of Chrome, it doesn't work for me with SRWare Iron Portable 3.x

  • Not working on the latest version of Chrome.
    – Patrick
    Oct 19 at 3:05

No, you can't do this. Firefox and Internet Explorer have the functionality you describe, but Chrome doesn't.


I have just found that clicking the snipping tool "appears" to work. As soon as you cancel the snipping tool, you bounce back to the animation (that has been moving forward while you snipped).


Exactly what I was looking for: https://github.com/shachaf/jsgif
Check how it works: https://slbkbs.org/jsgif/
Simple and minimal!


Right click. Select IE Tab Options| Open in IE Tab.


  • 2
    The question was asked about Google Chrome, in addition, this doesn't answer the OP
    – Dave
    Jan 21, 2021 at 17:34
  • If IE tab is installed in Chrome. It works. <chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ie-tab/…> Jan 21, 2021 at 17:42
  • Explain that this is using a chrome extension.
    – Dave
    Jan 21, 2021 at 18:02

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