How to Reverse Image Search with Google Chrome the Easy Way

May 5, 2019 - 14 Comments

How to reverse image search Google the easy way with Chrome

Reverse Image Search allows you to search the web for matches based upon a picture or photo. For example if you have a specific picture of a thing or person, you can use Reverse Image Search to search the web for other instances of that exact picture, or pictures like it. Reverse image search has many practical applications, from trying to determine the origin of a picture, to fact checking, to verifying the legitimacy of an image, and much more.

Using Reverse Image Search with Google is easy, we’ll show you an ultra quick way to use this powerful web tool within the Chrome web browser.

How to Reverse Image Search Quickly with Chrome

The Google Chrome browser makes performing reverse image searches as easy as right-clicking a picture and choosing a specific image search option, here’s how it works on Chrome for Mac, Windows, Linux:

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser (download here if needed)
  2. Find the picture you want to Reverse Image Search for and have it open in a web browser window
  3. How to perform reverse image search in Google Chrome the easy way

  4. Right-Click on the image (or two-finger click on a Mac trackpad)* and then choose “Search Google for Image”
  5. How to reverse image search with Google Chrome

  6. A new browser tab will open containing matches for the reverse image search, scroll through the results to find pages with matching images found from the reverse image lookup (if any are found)
  7. Browsing reverse image search match results with Google Chrome

In the example here, we are performing a reverse image search on a specific picture of a dog, and as you can see in the search results there are tons of matches for that image (it’s a free stock photo from Unsplash).

Sometimes, reverse image search will turn up nothing, usually this is the case with personal photos that have not been shared widely on the web. But with almost any photo you see in the news or shared on the web, you will often find hundreds if not thousands of results from the reverse image search.

Reverse Image Search is so easy within Google Chrome that even if you don’t use Chrome for other web browsing purposes, the quick access of reverse image search from Chrome makes the browser a worthwhile addition to any computer, whether it’s a Mac or PC. Google Chrome is free to download from here for any platform, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android.

You can also perform a reverse image search from any other web browser by going to images.google.com and pasting a link URL or uploading a picture to search by images for. The end result is the same.

* Right-clicking on the Mac can be accomplished in multiple ways; holding the Control key and clicking on something, tapping a trackpad with two fingers, using a literal right-click on a trackpad if configured, or if the mouse or pointing device has a physical right button by pressing on that. Almost all PC laptops have a physical right-click button for use with right-clicking in Windows and Linux.

Reverse Image Search can be a particularly powerful tool when trying to determine the legitimacy of an image, since you can aim to find the origin of a picture. This is especially helpful if you see something circulating around on social media with a preposterous claim attached (whether it’s fake news, propaganda, memes, political trash, bias reinforcing nonsense, or any of the other internet garbage that proliferates on social networks) and you want to fact check the picture or investigate it a bit more yourself, or perhaps even find the origin of the image, or discover if it has been altered or modified.

If you do find the original source image, sometimes you can even dig deeper into the images metadata to reveal information like geographic location and the precise time and date a photo was snapped. For many images on the web that’s a bit less common however, as many services strip metadata from their pictures, and most privacy conscious iPhone users disable geotagging GPS on the iPhone camera or other smartphone.

If you have any other helpful tips or tricks pertaining to using reverse image search to find the origin of a picture, for verification, or for fact checking purposes, or any other reason, share the tips with us in the comments below!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks

14 Comments

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  1. Anne says:

    I’ll have to try the Chrome technique.

    I do all my searching from my iPad.

    I currently use an App, Reversee, and an online service called Tineye.

    Tineye tends to find all the stock companies like Getty and Shutterstock.

    Unfortunately two of the huge sources of photos, Facebook and Instagram, are not searchable.

    Sometimes you’ll find clues, as there a bunch of programs that Instagram users can use to display their stuff. They tend to be useless as the search result uses a common tag like “autumn.” Good luck checking that.

  2. Tom Boyer says:

    I added a chrome extension and deleted it before I had used it. How do I recover a deleted extension?

  3. Tom Boyer says:

    I did a reverse image search from the 1940’s of a woman standing next to a car. The search returns were for vintage clothing. How can I change that to search for the car?

  4. Craig says:

    I tried this and found that one of my website images has been stolen and is being offered for sale on another website. Whom do I contact to get law enforcement involved?

    • Eddy says:

      Good luck with that, I know it’s frustrating to discover that but unfortunately the internet is full of rip-offs and that happens so often it’s a cost of doing business online.

      You can attempt to email the site to take it down, but there is basically no enforcement mechanism for this stuff on the internet. It’s the Wild West out there.

      • Cynthia says:

        I would try imagerights.com You pay for this service but this is exactly what they’re supposed to do, track down images that have been stolen and either enforce a take down or help you monetize it.

    • Cynthia says:

      Sorry I posted this under the wrong comment previously. Try imagerights.com This is a service you pay for but this is what they do, search for illegal use of your images and either enforce a take down or monetize them

  5. Richard Crane says:

    Doesn’t work for me: right click does not have the “Search Google ” option.

    Version info

    Google Chrome is up to date
    Version 74.0.3729.131 (Official Build) (64-bit)

    • Brandon says:

      I used to have that same exact problem. I googled it and it was a pretty simple fix. Sorry, I forgot the steps involved, but shouldn’t be too difficult to resolve! Good luck.

  6. Mark Bergman says:

    How do we reverse image search in iOS?

    • Eddy says:

      To reverse image search on iPhone or iPad, try this:

      – Copy the URL of the image you want to reverse image search

      – Go to images.google.com and click the Camera / search by Image button

      – Put the image URL to reverse search into there and do the reverse image search

      That works but it’s not as easy as it is on desktop.

      You can also use TinEye from iOS, which basically works the same

      https://www.tineye.com/

    • Anne says:

      I use Tineye all the time. I also use an app, Reversee, that appears to be similar to Google search.

      I often find that only one of the two will find anything.

      Note that TinEye results often have broken links.

      Also: this is not like text searching. There is no guarantee that any program will find anything. It’s strictly hit and miss.

    • Anne says:

      Don’t forget that Facebook has made its site unsearchable. Ditto with Instagram (owned by Facebook).

  7. Cynthia says:

    There is also src-img from Git Hub
    http://jarred.github.io/src-img/

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