I have searched for a solution to this problem and I have found many answers, all of which tell me that this is not an issue with Photoshop, but an issue with Windows. They will tell me: "The Windows clipboard does not preserve transparency of a PNG image".

The only problem is, when I paste such an image into the free, open-sourced image editing program Paint.Net, there are no issues at all and the transparency is retained just fine. This would imply to me that the Windows clipboard is preserving the transparency, and Photoshop is somehow turning it black.

Does anyone know if there are some settings in PS keeping me from pasting transparent PNG images?

  • 2
    Hi. Welcome to GDSE. I have also read that some say that Windows clipboard is the problem, but it appears to be bug in the Windows version Photohsop that Adobe has never fixed, because it works just fine in other software such as GIMP and Inkscape. I'm voting to close this question because it's an issue Adobe would need to fix, and tech support is generally off-topic here. Sorry about that.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 13, 2021 at 11:37
  • 2
    A workaround is to save the image from your browser, and then place the PNG in Photoshop.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 13, 2021 at 11:41
  • kinda weird to have such a glaring issue on the best software money can buy. Sep 13, 2021 at 17:20
  • All software can have bugs. Doesn't matter how much it costs. I doubt there is such a thing as totally perfect software with no bugs.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 13, 2021 at 17:30
  • Best software, five me a break. Well, yes the windows clipboard does not include alpha. Sortof, this is true. Windows clipboard works by client application registering a number of things they can pass, and then a lowest denominator widows api item. The lowest denominator item can not pass alpha. But offcourse the aplication you cut from can include anything it wants and hope the other application understands this. So if you include the pbg thats fine but only some applications will understand this, and only some can pass it. Theres no general rule that says this is true.
    – joojaa
    Sep 15, 2021 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


Here's an old solution I found that might work: Right click on the image and select "Copy image link". Then in Photoshop, while a document is open, go to File-Place Embedded. When the dialog box opens place the link in the file name and click on Place. The image should open as a smart object. Here's the workspace on a png I just copied:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.