If you’ve ever stumbled upon an image that you’d like to learn more about, you know all about the frustration of having to google your way to the source of the image.
That’s where you need to perform a reverse image search. It allows you to use pictures to look up things instead of words. Now, reverse image search engines come in the form of websites, browser extensions, and apps. Here are some of the best and most popular around.
Yes, it’s that obvious. As an all-mighty search engine, it would be quite ridiculous if Google didn’t possess the power to do reverse image searches. The immensely popular search engine has been capable of doing this since June 2011.
There are two ways to perform reverse image searches on Google Images. The first would be to paste the link of the image in question in the search bar and do the search. The more interesting way is to upload the photo right into the search engine. Drag and drop it and that’s it.
The cool thing about this is that the image could be something that you’ve just taken. With its algorithm, Google Images will analyze the uploaded photo and give you details about it.
The best thing about Google Images is that the search engine is free and it has no file size or type limit. Plus, as a subsidiary of the Google search engine, Google Images the biggest number of indexed images of all.
Unfortunately, the mobile version of the website isn’t reverse image search-capable.
Yandex is Russia’s biggest and most popular search engine – basically the Russian version of Google. This website is equipped with reverse image search capabilities. Like on Google, you can enter an image’s URL or upload it from your computer.
But the cool thing about this has to do with the Yandex browser. You can use this browser to perform a reverse image search on any image that you stumble upon. Just right-click the image and select Search for this image on Yandex. Yep, it’s that easy.
It’s interesting that this reverse image search feature came about when the company was trying to develop its search engine algorithm for tracking image duplicates. This feature is now used for reverse image searches and works impeccably.
TinEye is purportedly the first service to feature photo identification technology. This service isn’t a mere search engine with reverse image search capabilities. It is a website dedicated to reverse image searches.
The service works by having you upload an image or paste an image URL. The supported files are PNG, JPEG, and GIF. The upload size limit is 20MB. This isn’t the most helpful, but TinEye compensates for it with a whopping number of indexed images. 13.9 billion, to be exact.
Here’s the deal with TinEye. It doesn’t recognize objects or persons in an image. And that’s because TinEye recognizes an image as a whole, which means that you’re likely to get the most precise and matching results. This is a valuable tool in anyone’s reverse image search arsenal.
Bing Visual Search
Of course, Bing had to keep up and come up with a reverse image search tool of its own. Unfortunately, you may not be able to expect the best results. Although the principle is the same as the other reverse image search tools (upload image or paste image URL), Bing Visual Search often doesn’t work as well as its rivals.
However, there is one upshot with Bing Visual Search in that Bing introduced a reverse image search tool for iOS devices in 2016. It’s an app and it does an excellent job. Just take a picture using the app and you’ll get the search results.
Pinterest Visual Search Tool
The reverse image search tool for Pinterest is one of the most advanced around. Pinterest Visual Search Tool tool allows you to find images that are similar (as in pins). Best of all, with Pinterest’s reverse image search, you don’t have to look up the entire image. You can actually zoom in to an image and make an image search based on that.
As a service that’s most popular on smartphones and tablets, this visual search tool is also available on Android and iOS, apart from the original web version.
Search by Image
Search by Image is a Google Chrome extension makes performing reverse image searches very easy. Just right-click on an image and the tool will gather all the necessary information. After that, it will supply you with relevant images or a higher-resolution version of the same image.
Who Stole My Pictures?
Who Stole My Pictures? is a Firefox extension that brings together the capabilities of multiple reverse image search engines. Who stole my pictures? has access to TinEye, Yandex, and Google Images. Right-click an image and wait for the app to do its thing.
Google Lens is an Android app that makes it a breeze to perform reverse image searches on an Android device. The best thing about this service is that it works beautifully and that it comes with some awesome features and perks that make for an even smoother experience.
For instance, if you take a picture of a particular product, Google Lens will not only identify it but also provide you with the product details and useful links to where it can be purchased.
Reverse Image Search Tools
There are all sorts of tools for performing reverse image searches. Some come in forms of search engines, others are browser extensions, and yet others are mobile apps. The thing with reverse image searches is that you’re probably going to have to try out a few tools. Each comes with its benefits and downsides and may work better for certain images than others.
Explore these reverse image search engines, extensions, and apps, and you can become savvy at performing reverse image searches.