Changes in intra- and extracellular potassium ion (K+) concentrations control many important cellular processes and related biological functions. However, our current understanding of the spatiotemporal patterns of physiological and pathological K+ changes is severely limited by the lack of practicable detection methods. We developed K+-sensitive genetically encoded, Förster resonance energy transfer-(FRET) based probes, called GEPIIs, which enable quantitative real-time imaging of K+ dynamics. GEPIIs as purified biosensors are suitable to directly and precisely quantify K+ levels in different body fluids and cell growth media. GEPIIs expressed in cells enable time-lapse and real-time recordings of global and local intracellular K+ signals. Hitherto unknown Ca2+-triggered, organelle-specific K+ changes were detected in pancreatic beta cells. Recombinant GEPIIs also enabled visualization of extracellular K+ fluctuations in vivo with 2-photon microscopy. Therefore, GEPIIs are relevant for diverse K+ assays and open new avenues for live-cell K+ imaging.