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A quick hack to using local images on Codepen

Handling files is a pro feature in Codepen. Free users can't add local files like images to use them in the editor.

In this quick 3 steps tutorial, we'll learn to host an image on Github Pages and use it in Codepen.

Step 1: Upload an image to a new repository.

creating a github repository

  • Click on the + button (top right) then New repository

choosing a github repository name

  • Add a repository name (I've called it hosted-assets). Then leave the other options to default and click on Create repository.

 click on upload an image

  • Click on uploading an existing file.

 upload an image

  • Either drag files from your PC or click on choose your files to upload. Then click on Commit changes.

Step 2: Host your repository with Github Pages.

 go to settings

As you can see, pink-kitty.jpg has been added to the github repository.

  • Click on Settings.

update github pages source

  • Scroll to Github Pages and change the source from none to main branch then click on the Save button.

get the link to github pages

The page will reload, and on scrolling back to the Github Pages section, you'll find the newly created link.

  • Click on the link to go to your Github Pages.

404 page

The page returns 404 not found because we haven't set a home page.

add filename to path

  • Add your file name at the end of that url. In this case pink-kitty.jpg

And your image should pop up.

Step 3: Use the uploaded image in codepen.

  • Copy the previous link and replace the local image src in your codepen. For example replace:

<img src="./pink-kitty.jpg" alt="pink kitty">


<img src="" alt="pink kitty">

And tada 🎉!!!



  • Be careful to use the Github Pages link and not the Github repository link.

  • The next time you upload an image, you can click on Add files in the home of your repository and Upload files.

  • There should now be an Environment section in the home of the repository with github pages. Click on it to view deployments and your live site.

  • To add a folder, either drag the folder into the upload window if you are on a PC or follow this stackoverflow solution to adding folders.


@pav1an on Twitter has suggested a quick hack to make github host images 🔥 (doesn't work for other file types).

Github issue hack

  • Go to the homepage of one of your repositories or create one.

  • Click on the Issues tab and Create an issue.

  • Instead of writing an issue report, drag an image to the issue box. Github will save the image as a png file and show a link in markdown format like this:


  • Copy the image link and use it as the src for your image in Codepen.

Thanks for reading 😀🙏 !!!

Top comments (6)

madeline_pc profile image

Great tip! I was actually just wondering how to add pictures into my pens without paying, so it's perfect timing for me. :)

ljcdev profile image

Awesome!! Thanks for reading. 😀

redeving profile image
Kelvin Thompson

Hey, congrats on your first article! Taught me something! Awesome, keep up the good work. Cheers!

ljcdev profile image

Thanks Kelvin!! 😊

abdulmalik_yahya profile image
Abdul Malik Yahya

Thanks you very much

raquelocasio profile image
Raquel Ocasio

Thanks for this! The Github pages didn't work for me, but the Issues tab hack worked perfectly.