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How to reverse image search on Google to find information related to a specific photo

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/30/2021 insider@insider.com (Laura McCamy)
a person using a laptop: Reverse searching an image on Google can help you find content related to a specific photo. zeljkosantrac/Getty Images © zeljkosantrac/Getty Images Reverse searching an image on Google can help you find content related to a specific photo. zeljkosantrac/Getty Images
  • Google reverse image search allows you to search with an image rather than written keywords.
  • When you reverse image search, Google finds websites, images, and information related to your photo.
  • You can conduct a Google reverse image search on iPhone or Android with the Chrome mobile app, or on any computer.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Images is a great place to search for pictures and photos by typing in relevant keywords. But you can also search Google using an image - called a reverse image search - to find out more information about a specific photo or graphic.

Quick tip: Though Google Images is free and easy to use, you can also try other reverse image search tools with more advanced capabilities, like TinEye.

Here's why you might want to use it and how to Google reverse image search on a desktop web browser or the Google Chrome mobile app on your iPhone or Android.

What is a reverse image search?

When you do a reverse image search on Google, you place a photo, or a link to a photo, in the search bar instead of a text query. Google then finds websites featuring your image as well as related images.

Google Images also detects the subject of your photo and brings up other websites related to your image topic.

When to use Google reverse image search

It's most helpful to search with an image on Google in the following cases:

  • Find information about a photo. A reverse image search could bring up a website that includes a person's name or information about a product.
  • Uncover plagiarism. A reverse image search will bring up similar images. This can reveal whether an image was copied from someone else's work.
  • Find other similar images. If you want to find other photos connected to a specific image, a reverse search will also populate related pictures.

Google reverse image search on iPhone or Android

First, you'll need to download the Google Chrome mobile app to do a reverse image search on your mobile device.

Then, you can reverse image search on iPhone or Android using a photo from the internet or a photo from your camera roll. Here's how to do it.

To reverse search using an image from the internet

1. Open images.google.com on the Chrome app on your iPhone or Android.

2. Describe the image you want to search. For example, you could type "tuxedo cat." graphical user interface, application: Type what kind of image you're looking for in the search bar. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Type what kind of image you're looking for in the search bar. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

3. Tap the search icon. Chrome will give you images that match your search terms.

a screenshot of a cat: Google Images will display photos based on your query. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Google Images will display photos based on your query. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

4. Select an image from the search results by tapping it to enlarge it. Hold your finger on the image until a menu pops up.

5. Choose "Search Google for This Image" in the pop-up menu to find similar images and related pages.

a screen shot of a cat: Hold your finger down on the image and select "Search Google for This Image" in the pop-up. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Hold your finger down on the image and select "Search Google for This Image" in the pop-up. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

6. The search results will default to images only. Tap the categories above your search to see all sites, videos, or news related to your search term.

graphical user interface, text, application: The results page will show different kinds of content related to your image search. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider The results page will show different kinds of content related to your image search. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

To reverse search using an image from your files:

1. Open images.google.com on the Chrome app.


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2. Tap the icon of three horizontal dots in the bottom-right corner.

graphical user interface, text, application: Tap the icon in the bottom-right corner. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Tap the icon in the bottom-right corner. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

3. In the pop-up menu, scroll down and select "Request Desktop Site."

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message: Find the option to "Request Desktop Site" and select it. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Find the option to "Request Desktop Site" and select it. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

4. Now the Google Images page will look as it does on a desktop browser. In the Google search bar, tap the camera icon.

graphical user interface, application: Tap the camera icon. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Tap the camera icon. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

5. Select "Upload an image" and tap "Choose File." Alternatively, you can choose to "Paste image URL."

graphical user interface, application: Select the "Upload an image" tab and tap "Choose File." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Select the "Upload an image" tab and tap "Choose File." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

6. In the "Choose File" drop-down, you can select "Photo Library," "Take Photo or Video," or "Browse." Select "Photo Library" to choose an image from your camera roll.

graphical user interface, application: Select "Photo Library" in the pop-up menu. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Select "Photo Library" in the pop-up menu. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

7. Select an image from your camera roll and tap "Choose" in the bottom-right corner.

a screen shot of a cat: Select an image from your camera roll and hit "Choose." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Select an image from your camera roll and hit "Choose." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

8. You'll then be taken to a page containing similar images or information about the image.

graphical user interface: Google will show you content similar to the image you uploaded. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Google will show you content similar to the image you uploaded. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

Google reverse image search on a computer

You can do a more robust Google reverse image search on your computer by uploading a file from your computer or searching for an image you find on the web. Google Images works with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

To reverse search using an image from your files

1. Open images.google.com in a web browser - it doesn't have to be in Chrome.

2. Click the camera icon to start a reverse image search.

graphical user interface, application, Word: Click the camera icon to upload an image. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Click the camera icon to upload an image. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

3. Select the "Upload an image" tab, then select "Choose File" to browse your files and pick an image to search. Or drag and drop an image file into the browser window.

graphical user interface, text, application: On the "Upload an image" tab, select "Choose File." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider On the "Upload an image" tab, select "Choose File." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

4. Find an image from your files, click it, then select "Open."

graphical user interface, text: Find an image on your computer and hit "Open." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Find an image on your computer and hit "Open." Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

5. You'll then be taken to a page containing similar images or information about the image.

graphical user interface, text, application, email: Google will display results related to your image search. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Google will display results related to your image search. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

To reverse search using an image from the internet

1. Find the image you want in Google and right-click on it.

2. Choose "Copy image address" in the pop-up.

a cat that is looking at the camera: Right-click on the image and select "Copy image address" in the pop-up menu. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Right-click on the image and select "Copy image address" in the pop-up menu. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

3. Open images.google.com in a web browser.

4. Click the camera icon to start a reverse image search.

graphical user interface, application, Word: Click the camera icon to upload an image. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider Click the camera icon to upload an image. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

5. Select the "Paste image URL" tab and paste the URL.

graphical user interface, text, application: On the "Paste image URL" tab, paste your image link in the text box. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider © Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider On the "Paste image URL" tab, paste your image link in the text box. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider

6. Click on the "Search by image" button, and you'll be taken to a page of results related to your image.

It's also possible to Google reverse image search on your computer in two more ways.

You can use the "Upload an image" tab to drag and drop an image into the search box. Or, on the Google Images search results page, right-click on an image and choose "Search Google for image." This will open a new tab with the search results.

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