How to do a reverse image search from your smartphone or computer
Search engines are so commonplace that we’ve even made them into verbs. They’re easy to use – just open your web browser and type in one or more keywords.
But what if you want to find where an image comes from? Let’s say you’re putting together a news story and trying to find the original source information for a photo. Keyword searches don’t quite cut it. Well, drumroll, please. Here’s where reverse image search shines.
So how do you do a picture search? Here we’ll go over what reverse image search is, why it’s useful, and how to search by image on your phone or computer. Then we’ll leave you with some search engines and apps that make laptop and mobile image searches a breeze.
What is reverse image search?
Reverse image search, or reverse image lookup, is the process of using an image or a link to an image to search the internet for pictures that are either the same, similar, or related. A reverse image search is much like a regular keyword search. However, instead of a keyword search, you can upload or link to a photo and ask the search engine to search the web for your image.
Below, we’ll recommend some specific applications and search engines to help you get started.
What are some uses for reverse photo searches?
Before we dive into the “how,” let’s look at the advantages of performing reverse image searches on computers and mobile devices.
Reverse image searches enable you to:
- Find similar or related images
- Check for copyright violations
- Locate an image source
- Learn more about a photo
Let’s dig into each of these below.
Find similar or related images
Reverse image searches enable you to find images that are the same, similar, or related to the image you queried. You might want to do this for various reasons, but check out the following use case.
Let’s say you’re a web content manager tasked with developing your brand’s web presence. Image SEO is as important as text-based SEO, and you want to ensure you’re not using the same (or similar) images as your competitors. A reverse image search can help you avoid similar images to curate a unique visual identity for your brand.
Check for copyright violations
Reverse image search allows you to look up your own photo to see if your copyright has been violated or search for an image you’d like to use to check if it’s under copyright. This method is handy for photographers and graphic artists to protect their images. It’s also crucial for content creators to ensure they’re respecting copyright clauses.
Locate an image source
Let’s say you’re preparing content for publication on the web or elsewhere and want to make sure you credit the proper source for an image. A reverse image search is a great way to locate an image’s source.
Conversely, imagine you’re a journalist trying to track down a viral image. Reverse image search can help you narrow down and find the original photo or graphic.
Learn more about a photo
Finding a photo to learn more about it sounds pretty basic, right? It’s actually anything but. Reverse image lookup can reveal a photo’s metadata, its original dimensions, and other useful information.
How to reverse image search on a Mac or PC
Ready to learn how to perform a reverse image lookup on a computer? If you already know how to use a search engine to query with search terms, reverse image searches are pretty straightforward. Check out these websites to use image lookup functionalities:
- TinEye: Upload an image or search by an image’s URL to find related images.
- Yandex: Much like TinEye, drag and drop a graphic into the search box or insert an image URL to find images.
- SmallSEOTools: Reverse image search is easy with SmallSEOTools. Search for an image by entering an image URL, uploading an image, or searching with a keyword.
- Google: Use Google Images to reverse image search from your computer, as shown below.
How to reverse image search on iPhone or Android phones
Visual searches on iOS or Android are similar to searching by an image on your computer – with the added bonus that you’ve got more apps at your fingertips to make searching a breeze. In addition, you can search for both images online as well as images stored on your phone.
Here are some reverse image search tools for your mobile device:
- TinEye: This tool works on both desktop and mobile devices. Much like in the desktop version, simply upload an image or search by its URL in your mobile browser to find the same or related images.
- CamFind: This tool operates on both iOS and Android. It allows you to take a photo and immediately compare it to image search results online. This is great for locating a product.
- Search By Image: This Android reverse image search app allows you to manipulate an image before uploading it to search across various search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex to locate similar images.
- Reversee: This iOS app draws upon the Google Images database to search for related photos to your image.
- Google: Use Google to do a reverse image search on your phone, as shown below.
How to filter your search results to only include images
Let’s say you’ve performed a keyword query, but you really only want to find images that match your search. Check out Neeva, a user-first search engine that prioritizes giving users control over their sources while protecting their data privacy. Neeva also allows you to filter your search results to include only images.
When you use the Neeva search engine via the web plugin or our iOS app, simply type @images before your query. This search shortcut filters your search results to return only relevant images. For instance, if you want to search for images of Mt. Everest, type “@images Everest” into Neeva’s search bar.
As you can see, searching by images opens up many different ways to locate and use information. Superpower your content or boost your marketing strategies with image search, or find relevant products and information. The possibilities are endless.
Let’s get searching! In the meantime, if you’re looking for a different search engine or want more control over your browsing experience, give Neeva a try. Neeva is the world’s first user-first private search engine. We will never sell or share your data with anyone, especially advertisers. Try Neeva for free at neeva.com.