How to Get Around Facebook’s New Photo Viewer

If you’re like many avid Facebook users, you may have noticed that in the past few weeks the site rolled out a new photo viewer.  While I appreciate the fact that I can click on a photo in my feed and have it pop over the content, and then close it and go back to my feed without losing my place, I do not like the fact that I can no longer right click on the image to grab its URL or do a “save as”.  Fortunately, there are ways around the new image viewer that will allow you to still grab the URLs or save images, or even bypass the new viewer completely and view photos like you used to be able to.

F5 to Reload the Page

A simple way to kill the new photo viewer is once you’ve clicked on an image and have the new viewer up, click the F5 button on your keyboard.  This will reload the page and close out the viewer. What you’ll now get is the “old” way of viewing photos on Facebook. Yay!

CTRL + Clicking

Instead of just clicking on an image to view it, instead, hold down your CTRL button as you click.  This will open the image in a new tab in your browser, minus the ugly photo viewer.

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Facebook Image Link for Google’s Chrome Browser

Chrome users can download a new plug-in that will add additional context menu options when you right-click on an image posted on Facebook.  The new photo viewer was introduced a little over a week ago, and amongst the most common complaints about it is that right-clicking a photo no longer gives you the option to copy the photo’s web address.  That makes it a lot more difficult to display images individually or to save them to the local computer system.

With Facebook Image Link installed, the options added to the context menu include:

  • Open image URL
  • Show image URL
  • Show high res image URL

You can download the Google Chrome extension for installation at the Google Chrome Extentions gallery.

Facebook Photo Theater Killer

Userscripts like the Facebook Photo Theater Killer create another way to circumvent the Facebook photo theater.  This Greasemonkey script will essentially replace the new photo viewer with the older viewer that is still accessible.  However, it’s not known if or how long Facebook will keep the old viewer up and running, so if Facebook disables the old viewer, this userscript will break.  But for now, it’s a good work-around and is the only option at the moment that will automatically prevent the opening of photos in their new photo viewer.

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If you have any other solutions you’ve come across, please share them in the comments.  I’d love to hear them, and I’m sure our readers would as well.

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