Why can't I move photos onto my desktop?
August 29, 2009 5:58 AM   Subscribe

As of yesterday, my IMac will not move photos from sites I go to onto my desktop.

I had for years been moving pictures onto the desktop, then putting them on my server and giving link from which they were taken. Now, suddenly, no matter which sites I go to, photos do not move away from original place. I am able to get properties of the photos, but I do not want to hotlink.

I have no tech background so I can not begin to imagine why this is happening.
posted by Postroad to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
try making sure you know what the exact file name is of the photo on the site. move it as usual, if you can't see it, do a search for that file name... it could be, for some reason, ending up in a buried folder...
posted by HuronBob at 6:29 AM on August 29, 2009

Response by poster: WOW! I DID THE ONE THING THAT I WAS TOLD YEARS AGO TO DO WITH COMPUTER PROBLEMS. SHUT DOWN MACHINE AND REBOOTED. NOW IT WORKS. Thanks to all who read and are tyring to help this dummy.
posted by Postroad at 6:52 AM on August 29, 2009

Just this week I saw a photo at Flickr I wanted to drag onto my desktop (Mac OS X 10.5 and now 10.6, Safari 4) and instead of the image and found instead of the image being dragged across "spaceball.gif" (an invisible file) gets copied over instead (and you don't see a little thumbnail as you drag the image across). This only happens with people who list their photos as copyright. Creative Commons photos work like they have in the past.

There are a few other sites on the web I've run across that won't let you copy their files to your desktop (or save as...). There's not a lot you can do about these. I tried turning off javascript and copying a copyright photo from Flickr and it still wouldn't let me copy it. In FireFox there might be something to circumvent this behavior but I use Safari almost exclusively.

If there's an image that I want to share with someone I will always send the person to the page with the link.

For the sites tat don't employ this, the behavior should not have changed. For example, you should be able to drag the 'AskMetaFilter" image in the upper left corner to your desktop without a problem.
posted by birdherder at 6:53 AM on August 29, 2009

In Safari, to circumvent Flickr's dumb "spaceball.gif" trick, just choose Window > Activity, find the file you want, and double-click it while holding down Option.

posted by Mwongozi at 7:42 AM on August 29, 2009

Thanks Mwongozi!
posted by birdherder at 8:30 AM on August 29, 2009

In any browser (or out of the browser, for that matter), you can use cmd+shift+3 to screenshot the entire page or cmd+shift+4 which will allow you to drag around the image and automatically save it to your Desktop (or whatever other setting you've chosen). Mac only.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:29 AM on August 29, 2009

I don't want to derail this too much, but you can always just ask the photographer. It's polite, and it's also not legal to use copyrighted material without permission, credit or not. A lot of Flickr photographers would probably be happy to let you use their image on a blog or something with a credit, but please, please ask first.
posted by Magnakai at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

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