Most of us are familiar with image searches, the search engine feature that lets you uncover images directly related to your search terms.
But there’s another kind of image search, for when you already have the image and need to know its unknown source or origin or locate similar images. That’s called a reverse image search, and it’s now easy to accomplish on your iOS or Android device. We show you how to do it.
Reverse search an image using Chrome
If you’re using Chrome on Android or iOS, it’s very easy to perform a reverse image search. Here’s how to get started.
- Go to your selected image in the Chrome browser.
- Tap and hold on the image until a menu pops up.
- Tap on Search Google for This Image.
- See the results.
Reverse search an image with Google Lens
Your Android device may have shipped with Google Lens pre-installed, and the app is still available separately on the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store. You can use it for a reverse image search.
- Navigate to an image.
- Tap the Lens icon to start the image-recognition operation.
- The app identifies the image and gives you alternate, similar images.
Reverse search an image on an Android phone
If someone sent you an image or you already have it downloaded on your phone, you can upload it to perform a reverse image search. This method work with any Android browser. To upload an image to perform the reverse image search, you need the desktop version of Google’s image search. Here’s how to get started.
- Go to images.google.com in your browser.
- You want the desktop version, so you’ll need to request it. In Chrome, tap the three dots at the top right to open the More menu.
- Tick the Desktop site option.
- Tap on the small camera icon to get the option to upload an image.
Reverse search an image on an iPhone
You can reverse search an image in iOS, too. Here’s how to get started.
- Go to images.google.com in your browser.
- You want the desktop version, so you’ll need to request it. In Safari, tap the Share icon, with the arrow pointing up, to open the share menu. In Chrome, tap the three-dot More icon at the bottom-right of the screen.
- Scroll down the options until you find Request Desktop Site and tap it.
- Tap on the tiny camera icon to get the option to upload an image.
Reverse image search via a website
You have a few more options if you want to perform a reverse image search, regardless of which mobile platform or web browser you’re using. Here is a website that will help you perform a reverse image search:
- In your chosen web browser, go to tineye.com.
- Tap the arrow icon to the left of the search box to upload a picture.
- You can choose to take a new picture using your device’s camera, pick an image from your photo gallery, or browse for another location. The options you’ll get are slightly different depending on your phone.
- Once your picture is uploaded, you’ll see any matches found.
Use an app to perform a reverse image search
There are a number of specialty apps dedicated to performing reverse image searches in Android or iOS, all of which can spare you from having to open your browser every time you want to look up a picture. Here are a few of the best.
Photo Sherlock lets you upload an image from your gallery or snap a photo to easily perform a quick reverse image search in the Google and Yandex engines. Just tap the gallery or camera icon at the bottom of the window, crop if you wish, and perform the search to find out where the image comes from.
Within the Google Photos app is an image recognition technology initially released as a separate app called Google Lens. Between 2017 and today, Google Lens tech was integrated into the Google main search app, Google Photos, and Google Assistant for iOS and Android to conduct image and reverse image searches. The feature lets you perform reverse image searches on saved photos by selecting the desired photo, and then tapping the Google Lens icon.
Reversee is a great option for iO that lets you rotate and crop images before searching. It also works as an iOS extension, so you can use it within apps like Photos, Safari, and Chrome. The pro version drops the ads and comes with a host of additional features that allow you to edit images, search with multiple engines (Google, Bing, and Yandex), paste image URLs, and gather detailed info about the images that appear in your results.
Search By Image
Like Reversee, the Search By Image app for Android lets you make simple edits to your images before using them for search purposes. It has every feature you would want in a reverse image search app, including support for Google, Yandex, and Tineye, as well as the ability to open shared images directly from Facebook or Twitter. You can get rid of the ads with a one-off payment.
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