This is similar to this question, but that question and answers are 2 years old. Also, the answers aren't succinct. (That question was phrased as "what will support png's).

What reasonable popular (>.5% market share) do not support PNG files? (It's OK if 1% of our customers don't have the transparency work correctly, as long as they can at least see the photo).

  • 3
    There are two separate possible questions in your last paragraph. Are you asking about baseline PNG support, or about alpha support in (24bit) PNGs? For example, even IE6 will display a 24bit PNG fine, as long as there's no transparency.
    – Su'
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 3:06
  • If you need to make a judgment call if to use png's with transparencys then i would say yes, the only time i would think twice is if you where making a website for say the local / national goverment where it had to be viewed by all sorts of people. But 99.999% of the time i wouldn't even think twice about using transparent pngs
    – sam
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 11:21

3 Answers 3


Here's StatCounter's public data on browser usage. It should be rounder than W3Schools', which is based on their own logs. The people who go to W3Schools, read: developers, are generally not the best cross-section for basing this kind of thing on. You can also break down the StatCounter data by geographical area, if that's any sort of consideration.

Set the "Stat" selector to "browser version." Worldwide, IE6(generally the main consideration) isn't even on the graph anymore. IE7 does support alpha, which a few relatively minor glitches, like a weird flash if you use Javascript to fade those images in and out sometimes.

The Wikipedia article on browser usage has links to a bunch of other similar large reports you might also check out for general comparison. There's summaries at that URL, but the Source column links out to detailed information for each.

There's also a great page on Wikipedia showing which browsers support PNG.

Ultimately, though, you need to temper anything you see at from these sources with what's actually happening on your site. If a large percentage of your audience is within certain business sectors, for example, IE6 will still be a significant problem.

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    +1 It's really important to look at your actual users, not statistics from the entire internet. Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 12:00

According to W3Schools' Browser Stats, about 98.2% of browsers are IE 7+, FF, Chrome or Opera, which all support PNG format with transparency. So, not quite 99.9%, but pretty close.

The stats say about 0.6% of uses have IE6, which suppports PNG without transparency (transparent PNGs in IE6 just have a solid white background).

  • 3
    IE prior to IE7 did support PNG with transparency, but only with binary transparency, not alpha transparency.
    – choster
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 4:31
  • 5
    Sigh, I wish we could ban all links to w3schools... Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 17:11
  • Mmmm... okay. I didn't realise :)
    – Emmanuel
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 2:19
  • 3
    if you are wondering why there's all this animosity towards w3schools then you should give this a read: w3fools.com
    – Jimmery
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 13:51

All browsers, including IE4, IE5 and IE6, display PNG with GIF-like transparency correctly:


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