It's as simple as it sounds. Pasting a PNG from Google images into GIMP turns the alpha channel to black.

PNG with alpha channel

I've kind of managed to get around this limitation by using Layer>Transparency>Color to Alpha and selecting black. The problem is that black edges also get turned transparent. How can I fix this?

BTW. Try to copy this image from this question with the mouse right click option Copy Image and paste it to GIMP or Photoshop to see does it happen in your web browser.

enter image description here

  • I can't replicate the problem. I googled a "santa hat render", copied the PNG in the browser, then pasted into GIMP. Here's the result. Seems to work just fine. Perhaps it has something to do with the PNG? Is it RGBa or Indexed? Not all PNGs have an alpha channel. Can you share the image URL? Can't promise anything but I'll take a look.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 27, 2021 at 16:15
  • The phenomenon is common.Using in a web browser right click option Copy Image often takes into the clipboard an image which has alpha=255 and the originally transparent background is filled with Black.. It may depend on the used browser and how the web page is constructed. In GDSE I see often images which are OK as downloaded but as copied and pasted to GIMP or Photoshop have black background. I use Opera. I Inserted one problematic image into the question. When pasted to Photoshop it gives the same as the questioner shows.
    – user82991
    Apr 27, 2021 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Alright, so here's the deal:

If you save it to your disk first, all channels are saved. HOWEVER: If you only copy it to your clipboard (ctrl+c, ctrl+v), some images will only be copied with the RGB channels properly, while the Alpha channel will no be copied. The alpha channel will exist, but it will be empty.

So if you ever have a black background instead of a transparent one: Save it to your hard drive first.

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