How to

How to Reverse Image Search?

It’s easy to search for anything on the internet, but what if you don’t want to type? What if you only have an image? This article will teach you how to use an image to search the internet and what you can achieve from doing so.

Search engines have revolutionized the world. They’ve made it easy to access an infinite amount of information in just a few clicks. You don’t even have to click! Because popular search engines have become so good at presenting relevant information that it’s frighteningly surprising how a search engine can sometimes show you results for not just what you search for but what you had only thought. It’s bewildering!

And it has all happened so fast that it makes one wonder what possibilities the near future holds. For example, will humans be able to “capture” a fragrance like they can record audio and visuals? I mean, there’s already a machine claimed to be a “camera for your smell memories.” Being able to store information or data has opened up arrays of possibilities that would be unimaginable in the past. The next step has become to make this data easily accessible to people all over the globe. That’s where search engines come in!

We’re readily adapting to storing information at such galactic proportions. Our planet is now dependent on this network that empowers us to communicate data almost as fast as the speed of light. We couldn’t have imagined what the powers of science would unleash upon the world, making it a global village. Today, we can’t imagine a world without the internet. We can store and search data. And use data itself to search for more data.

Image Search is when you search on the internet to find images related to what you type. All the popular search engines offer it. But sometimes, users want to use an image itself as input for a search query. They may do so for several reasons. For instance, finding details about the image like its origins or finding similar images. That’s when reverse image search comes in handy!

An Internet search is more often standardized. All you do is put in keywords to find results. But reverse image research allows you to use images instead of text as input, and it can open doors to new possibilities. So without letting the many technicalities to reverse image search bore you, let’s look at what you can achieve with it.

It’s easy to find out all you want to know about a specific dog breed, but what if you have a dog in front of you that you’re curious about and want to know more about, but you don’t know what to type to search the internet. You might try describing the dog, but there are a lot of strikingly similar breeds. You might want to know more about a product, and with reverse image search, you can get details about the product you’re looking at, compare prices and check out the best deals nearest to you. You might be watching a video on a screen and want to know more about it. You might go to visit a place, and you could point your camera at anything that piques your curiosity, like a building, an artwork, a plant you want to know more about, a barcode you’d like to scan. You might have an image but want it in better quality or look for more pictures similar to the one you have.

As a chef, you can use this feature to identify an ingredient that piques your curiosity. As a traveler, you can experience the places you go to, like never before. As a customer, you can make better and more informed choices. Finally, as a student, you can use this technology to identify and translate a foreign language or even scan your math problems and wait for the internet to give you solutions (hopefully, students won’t use this technology to cheat).

Advertisement

You can also use this technology to make it easier to find royalty-free images. It can make it tremendously helpful to designers and artists looking for ideas and inspiration. Or you might want to find out about the origins of a photo so you can give proper credit. But just because you’d think it wrong to use content without permission and without providing credits doesn’t mean people won’t do it to you.

Reverse image search can also help ensure compliance with copyright regulations. The internet is vast. And it’s easy to assume you can get away with stealing content. But you can protect your images and prevent people from stealing them. A thief might think it’d be easier just to steal, duplicate or plagiarize content without getting caught, but it’s even easier to track such thieves. And when you see people using your content without your permission, you can ask them to attribute credits, which can create opportunities for backlinks to your pages. Reverse image search can detect and debunk fake images that can spread like fire on the internet and cause significant stress and damage. In addition, it’s easier to detect fake accounts to avoid scams and catfishing by verifying what you’re dealing with through a simple reverse image search. In a nutshell, we have found a new way of satisfying our inquiries. And it only seems to be the beginning of what’s to unfold.

Usually, you open a search engine and type in a query in the search bar. Then, if you want to search for images, you can hover over and click on them in the results. We call this an image search. In Reverse image search, this process is reversed, and you can use an image file as an input query to search for more results. Search engines use the technology, and some websites like Reddit offer it in some capacity. There are different options to choose from where you can reverse image search. These options vary in technologies, methods, and results. So you can choose what suits you best depending on your motives and requirements.

How to reverse image search on PC

It’s all about ease now. Search engines know that they have to be efficient and easy to use for most people to beat their competition. What makes Google the best search engine because it’s efficient, easy, and yet free. To Google reverse image search on a PC/desktop computer:

  • Go to google.com
  • Click the camera icon
  • Enter image URL/ Upload image from drive/ Drag image from another window

If it’s an image you saw on the internet, you can copy and paste its URL. Or upload an image from storage. Finally, if you like to get things done fast, you can drag and drop the image in the search bar. This method works for any operating system on any computer. All you need to do is open the browser and follow these simple steps.

Free reverse image search

Like the usual image search, reverse image search is offered free by most popular search engines, including Google. However, keep reading if you want to get more out of your search than usual.

Extensions for reverse image search

Another option for PC users to make reverse image search more manageable is to choose from popular extensions for their browsers.

How to reverse image search on a smartphone

There is no camera icon on the mobile version of Google Images, but you can reverse image search on a smartphone phone the way you can do it on a computer. All you have to do is open the browser on your phone and request the desktop site, then upload an image from your storage. It works for both iOS and Android.

Google reverse image search

  • Open browser
  • Go to images.google.com
  • Request Desktop Site
  • Upload Image

Here’s how you can Request Desktop Site and reverse image search on your phone:

Google Reverse image search iPhone

Safari
  • Open browser
  • Go to images.google.com
  • Tap on the aA button at the top-left
  • Choose Request Desktop Website from the menu
  • Upload Image
Chrome
  • Open browser
  • Go to images.google.com
  • Tap the Share icon at the top-right of the screen
  • Choose Request Desktop Site in the list
  • Upload Image

Google reverse image search on Android

Chrome
  • Open browser
  • Go to images.google.com
  • Tap the three-dot menu button at the top-right
  • Check the Desktop site box
  • Upload Image

If you use Google Chrome and come across an image, you want to search, tap and hold until a pop-up appears and select “Search Google for This Image.” Unfortunately, this works on Google Chrome only.

Apps for Reverse Image Search

You don’t have to open the browser every time you want to search with an image. Instead, you can choose an iOS or Android device app to reverse image search. Check out some of the options below.

Google Lens

(Free for Android and iOS)

With everything Google is already offering when reverse image searches, it only makes sense for Google to try and dominate the app market. It does so with Google Lens, which allows you to use the camera on your device to search. It also allows real-time searches, which can be pretty handy!

While it’s readily available on Google Play Store, there is no dedicated app for iOS users. To use Google Lens on an iPhone or iPad, you have to either use the Google app or Google Photos app, depending on how you want to use Google Lens and on what device. TechRadar hailed Google Lens as one of the “most useful augmented reality apps around.” So it’s no surprise that Apple is planning to launch apps and features to rival Google when searching the world in real-time.

Check out this TechRadar article on how you can master Google’s super-useful AI camera app.

CamFind

(Free for Android and iOS)

Hailed as the world’s first successful mobile visual search engine, CamFind is a tool that lets you search the internet using pictures you take with your smartphone camera. You can point at anything you’re curious about, take a photo using CamFind, and wait for the results.

Search By Image

(Free for Android)

Search By Image allows you to edit an image before using it to reverse image search. It also allows you to get results from various search engines, including Google, Bing, TinEye, and Yandex. It’s loved by Android users who think this is one of the best apps out there.

Reversee

(Free for iOS)

You can download Reversee for free on iOS. The app offers in-app purchases if you want to get results from search engines besides Google. An upgrade to the pro version would cost you $3.99 to include results from Bing and Yandex.

Reverse Image Search Extension

($0.99 for iOS)

This extension allows you to do more than just save, copy or share images when you come across them on your phone using the browser, Photos, Facebook, Instagram, or other apps. With this extension, you can directly use an image you came across to search for results from Google, TinEye, and Yandex.

Search Engines

Google reverse image search

In July 2001, Google introduced its image search. Since then, millions of people have relied on Google to search for images on the internet by typing in keywords. Today, however, text no longer remains the only input users want to provide. Understanding this, Google, as a pioneer in internet search, prepared for the wave of inevitable change by enabling its users to use other forms of data as input, such as voice and images.

Google is a tech giant and firmly holds the reputation of the most popular search engine globally. Ever ready to innovate while combining technology and data. Google reverse image search, simply known as Google Search by Images, was launched in 2011. Since then, it has taken the world by storm.

The process is simple. You upload an image or provide a link to an image available online. Then, Google searches its databases to find results based on this image. The results would typically include copies of the uploaded image, similar and related photos, details, information about the image, or information relevant to the picture.

Google explains how an image used for reverse search is analyzed based on colors, textures, lines, and distinctive points and patterns. Then, the query generated from the analysis is compared with all the data accessible by Google. The result is all the relevant data and information.

Bing

Bing from Microsoft might not be the preferred option for most people, but it’s a good attempt by another tech giant to challenge another. So it does reverse image search as well. It’s called “visual search.”

Like Google reverse image search, you have to click or tap on Bing’s camera icon in the Bing app or on a mobile browser. A pop-up will appear. To search with an image, you’ll need to give Bing access to your camera and storage.

Then, tap the Browse button appearing on the bottom left of the screen. A pop-up menu will let you capture a photo or upload an image from the device storage or third-party services like Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and Dropbox.

The updated version of the Bing app (for both Android and iOS) lets you take a photo and use it to search the internet immediately.

TinEye

TinEye was the first search engine on the internet to introduce the technology that used image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata, and watermarks. So far, it has scanned over 46 billion images. Like most popular search engines, TinEye allows users to search using an image by providing its URL, uploading a photo from storage, or dragging and dropping an image as an input query. On a smartphone, click the upload icon (up arrow) to access options that allow you to take a photo, upload one from device storage or third-party services.

Yandex

Yandex is popularly known as Russia’s Google. The search engine has a distinctive image search that works straight from the browser on smartphones. Follow these steps to reverse image search using Yandex:

  • Click Images,
  • tap the camera icon in the search bar,
  • take a photo, upload a photo

Baidu

The Baidu image search engine is used in China primarily. Baidu image finder uses a more straightforward, quicker, and more precise search interface to help its users explore a variety of images. It is the dominant search engine in China. Its features and services resemble Google’s, but it focuses on China, controlling most of the search market while censoring search results and content to comply with the Chinese regulations.

Berify & Pixsy

If you are a creative trying to ensure somebody on the internet hasn’t stolen your work, check out Berify & Pixsy. These are search engines that are geared towards creative professionals. Hence, they might cost you. But you get good value for the money you spent as these search engines track any stolen images even when you’re offline. Moreover, they’ll automatically alert you if somebody uses your image without permission. That’s what makes them worth the money.

Advertisement

However, you can do more than just wait for your images to get stolen by choosing the formats and methods that make it difficult to steal your work.

Services

There are also online services that allow you to reverse image search. These services simplify it by searching the internet using an image and providing results from major search engines. Check out some of the options below.

SmallSEOTools

Similar Photo Finder is an image search and photo recognition tool by SmallSEOTools. They are experts in computer vision, pattern recognition, and photo lookup. The Image Search tool is reliable and easy to use. You can use an image to search the internet. A sophisticated algorithm will instantly give you the best-matching pictures and detailed information based on the image used (as an input query). It draws results from databases of Google, Bing, and Yandex.

Duplichecker

Dupli checker is another online tool that can be used for convenience when using an image to search on the internet. The procedure is similar to most popular search engines. And it also allows you to use keywords to search pictures if you want to.

Conclusion

The technology used to reverse image search is relatively new. Yet, in only a few decades, it has improved drastically. And It doesn’t stop here. Imagine the possibilities of using images as input. Over time Artificial Intelligence and algorithms will adapt to get even better at what they do. Imagine smart glasses and lenses that bring science fiction to life where everybody walks around while analyzing what they see with the help of relevant data accessible to them in real-time. It could usher in a new era in medical science where reverse image searches would facilitate diagnosis. Of course, we already see this technology used in human profiling on our favorite shows. But that just scratches the surface of the number of ways we can use it to benefit in various fields of life.

For now, like every other technology, reverse image searches have limitations. For example, some formats might not be as easy to use for a reverse image search. Also, you might have difficulty using images with dimensions exceeding 8000 x 6000 pixels. Moreover, the images you use to make an internet search need to be indexed. And not all of them are. So you might find yourself not getting results as accurate as you’d expect. But with the tech forces taking an interest in the phenomenon and understanding its potential to impact how we live our lives, things are likely to get better.