How To Reverse Image Search

Last Updated on August 30, 2021

To reverse image search you basically need to have the picture of the person you want to lookup and then choose one of the reverse image sites recommended here, upload the image, wait a few seconds and the site will show you results within a few seconds. Let’s review this process in depth below. 

hands holding a cell phone

Sometimes you come across problems locating the source of an image or looking for a possible copyright violation. If this isn’t the case, you may just have a picture of an old friend or relative and want to dig up some of their information in the hopes of finding them and catching up.

It may have been challenging to find a solution to this problem in the pre-internet age, but thankfully, it’s not a problem anymore. Today we have free people finder sites that offer people searches and more.

Finding information about someone, something or some place with only an image to go on, is easier today thanks to the rapid pace of technological developments. Using a anyone of these sites can help you find out information about an old friend, colleague, place or relative easier than you could, say, two decades ago.

This article will bring you up to speed with when and how to search by image. You’ll find out about the top websites that you can use.

When To Search by Image?

Looking up someone by their photo can be very useful in securing their personal information & verifying identities. You can also use it to find information about friends, relatives and acquaintances that you’re no longer in contact with.

Let’s say you have been in contact with a person on social media or have been dating someone online and want to verify whether the other person says who they are. With this type of search,  you can use their image to find out whether the account, image and location provided by them is real or fake. 

Likewise, if you are an artist, designer or model and suspect someone is infringing your work’s copyrights, claiming it as their own or modifying it without permission, knowing how to look it up online helps you track down any such illegal usage. Similarly, before promoting your work, you can verify its originality by checking if there is any other similar work online. SO you can  find out whether it’s violating copyrights to someone else’s work.

This search tactic may also be used for locating the original source of an image, because writers may need to credit the original images they’re using in their work. If your job involves writing articles, web copies, blogs or even graphic designing or other creative work, knowing how to search using an image may be essential to you.

Lastly, it can also be used to find out where an unknown or interesting image first appeared on the internet. 

How To Search Using an Image?

You can search by photo online using any search engines with this image search feature built into it. These search engines are specifically designed for carrying out such searches and require an image for searching.

The search method is generally the same – after you upload an image in the search bar, the search engine will find the same image as well as similar images available on internet along with the relevant information such as its source, origin and author.

The best thing about using reverse photo lookup is that you can do it from almost all devices whether you have an iPhone, Android, Mac OS or Windows PC. However, it is recommended that you do your search on desktop as it’s more intuitive and provides refined results, compared to its limited scope on mobile phones and tablets. 

Best Reverse Image Search Engines?

Although you can find a number of such  websites on internet, not all of them are very functional or reliable. Some may even have limited range when it comes to search depth.

It may become very cumbersome to find a suitable image search site if you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve created a list of 4 free reverse image search sites that you can safely use to perform your image search. They’re listed below in no particular order.

Google  Image Search

Google image search screenshot

Google’s Image based search option allows you different ways to conduct your lookup. You can either upload an image directly from your device or paste the URL of an image in the search box. Additionally, you can also you can drag and drop the image in the search box. 

It is completely free to use and there is no limit on the type of images you upload although you may be limited by size; furthermore, its database has largest number of indexed images which ensures the highest accuracy in your search results.

So here is an example of a search, say you know this person in the picture below and you only have this picture of her but now you want to know more 

So we upload the image on Google and hit the search button.

google image uploading

After hitting the search button, it will search similar images on the basis of shape, color, size and resolution of the image and produce results accordingly.

lisa johnson google results

If you click the link on Google it will take you to a page where you will find all the contact details of this person i.e. their physical address, telephone number and email address. P.S. You can do a free phone number lookup here


TinEye Image Search 


Another popular and widely used site, Tineye boasts approximately 13.9 billion indexed images in its database. It is the first website that uses image identification technology for getting the most reliable results. Simply upload an image or paste its link in the search bar. After clicking the search button, you will get a list of similar images. Learn more about Tineye reverse image search

While using this search engine, you will have to keep in mind that you can only upload images up to 20MB in size and only JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats. It is however, a very useful search engine with browser extensions from Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, widening its scope and availability.

If you are using the free version of TinEye, then you are entitled to do as many as 150 image searches per week but you can extend this search limit and enjoy advanced features by using its paid version, which starts from $200.

Bing Image Match

bing search by image

This website comes to you, courtesy Microsoft Corporation and was launched in 2014. To perform an image search here, you will either have to upload the picture or paste the link in the search box.

You should bear in mind that Bing Image Match has a less extensive database of indexed images as compared to TinEye or Google Image Search. Therefore, its results may not be as reliable.

Pinterest Visual Search Tool

Pinterest Visual Search Tool is one of the most frequently updated and advanced sites. It helps you search visually similar images. In contrast to other search engines on which you have to upload the entire image, this tool enables you customize your image search by focusing on particular feature of the image and then search. 

Simply drag the zoom tool over the part of the image you want to use for the search and press the search button to get instant search results. The results will be similar or related to the part of the image you focused on. This tool is especially helpful in circumstances when you come across an unidentifiable image and need to know more about it.

Besides the 4 websites mentioned above, many other options are available to you, such as Google Lens, Reversee, Photo Sherlock, etc. These are free apps which you can download on your mobile phone. 

See more on Free white pages.


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