Copy Images From Files App and Paste it Elsewhere (Email, Google Docs, etc)

Ever wanted to copy an image from your Chromebook’s Files app and paste it into Gmail or Google Doc?

You are not alone.

You will see plenty of users asking for this feature in the official Chromebook forum. This is not something that you can do at the moment on a Chromebook.

This, however, might change soon.

Enable Copy Images from Files App

Files App – Chromebook

A flag that I spotted today talks about adding a new flag, “Enable Copy Images from Files App” which will bring this feature to Chromebooks.

Enable Copy Images from Files App: Enables the file manager to copy images selected to the system clipboard”

Here is what the code change comment says about this feature:

“Add a ChromeOS Feature Flag to Support Copying Images to the Clipboard.”

“This adds a ChromeOS feature flag disabled-by-default. This will allow users the capability to copy images to the clipboard as an experimental feature from the ChromeOS Files App. This will be enforced in the javascript chrome.fileManagerPrivate API.”

The feature request bug is available publicly:

“For image files in Files app, add a function to copy the image data directly to the clipboard so the image can be pasted elsewhere (ex. doc, email, etc.)”

Copy image to Gmail, Google Docs, and More

When this feature is ready, you will be able to copy images from your Chromebook file manager and paste them into different applications.

This saves those additional steps like clicking the attach icon and browsing through your files to upload the photo or screenshot.

Paste Screenshots?

This is a feature that I would love to have. Something that I hope the current feature develops into.

On Windows 10, you can take a screenshot and directly paste it into most applications. I could even share screenshots through the WhatsApp web app.

It will be really useful if I can do this on a Chromebook too. I take plenty of screenshots and upload them to articles here. Imagine how much time I can save by simply pasting the image into the editor?


As with all experimental features, this is a very early stage to make predictions. However, this will be a really useful feature when it becomes available.

Chrome OS has a Shared Clipboard project which could make this wonderful if integrated.

Let me know your thoughts on this feature in the comments section.

Source: Gerrit and

4 responses to “Copy Images From Files App and Paste it Elsewhere (Email, Google Docs, etc)”

  1. Copy Screenshots ? This already exists. When I do a screenshot in my chromebook I get a popup notification and at the bottom of that notify window is a link to “Copy to Clipboard”. After clicking that I can Paste the screenshot image. I use this frequently.

    1. Dinsan – Bangalore, India – Digital Minimalist & Content Developer. Drinks Tea and writes Stuff (mostly about Chromebooks). My views are mostly copied from others.

      Oh, I have seen this notification.
      Can you paste it on a website?

  2. I assume so. I’ve been able to paste it anywhere you can paste a PNG image file. If you need to extract the text from the image first, I’ve found Google Keep can do that.
    I usually paste the image into a email as I’m usually trying to show something to someone.

    Note: I’m using a chromebook, In comparison I don’t have a lot of recent experience with Chrome in Mac or Win.


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