Best Reverse Image Search Tool: Google, Bing, Pixsy, Tineye
fake news to fake profiles, it’s important to know where the images you’re looking at online come from, and there are several different tools to do this. Whether you want to know where a particular place in the world is, who created a certain piece of digital art, or if the dating profile you’re viewing shows a real, real person, here’s how to do it.
Perhaps the image search source – it must be the brand’s global recognition for its primary search engine that does –Google Images can run searches based on an image downloaded from your computer or hosted somewhere on the web. To run a reverse image search, you need to click on the camera icon on the right side of the search box.
You can then click Paste Image URL (if the image you want to find is somewhere on the web), click Upload an image (to select an image somewhere on your hard drive), or drag an image from File Explorer or Finder into the browser tab. Whichever option you choose, you’ll see a host of results appear on screen, including visually similar images.
The top result might just be the original source of the image, if Google did their job. Otherwise, the section of the results to check next is Pages with matching imageswhich should give you an idea of where the image came from and where it is currently being used. The original source should appear relatively high in the results list.
Bing Visual Search
Whatever you think of Microsoft’s main search engine, the Bing Visual Search some are worth studying to identify the images. You can drag an image into your browser, upload one from your computer, or even take a photo with your device. The search engine will then scour the web for matching images, including (hopefully) the original version.
It’s the Pages with this image on the main results screen which should take you to copies of the image you submitted to Bing Visual Search: Click on one of the links to view the page in your browser. If you are using the image of a person, you may also see a Looks like tab, which identifies who it is, and which can be useful in certain situations.
Another panel that sometimes appears, depending on the source image and the results, is Related content-this is where you can view similar images and related image searches. Microsoft also doesn’t miss the opportunity to try and sell you stuff, and you can use the same search engine to find chairs, t-shirts, or whatever else you need.
pixie is a bit different from the other entries on this list in that it was specifically created to combat image theft. You need to create an account before you can use it, but getting started is free and complete: images can be imported from cloud storage accounts, local hard drives, and even social media accounts synced with Pixsy.
Once you import your photos into Pixsy, it shows you matches currently on the web, along with a host of options to filter them and find other similar matches that exist. Matches are ordered by accuracy, and you can quickly jump to the oldest in the group to make it easier to identify the origin of a certain image.
For this guide, we’re only interested in originals, but for an additional fee, you can get help with takedown notices and protecting your work. Plans start at $19 per month and are probably worth the investment if you have photographs or artwork to protect: for that fee, you can get results faster and keep tabs on up to 2,000 your own pictures.
TinEye has earned a reputation as one of the best reverse image search tools in the business, and it’s not hard to see why: it’s fast, simple, and smart. You can upload a locally stored image or point TinEye to an image stored somewhere on the web via a URL, and once you’ve provided a source image, you’ll see matches to it from all over the web.
You can filter the results to show the most important matches, or the most recently published matches on the web, or the oldest version of the image online, and in various other ways as well. At the top of the list it is possible to narrow down your results to view a particular website, which can be helpful. Click on any result to see the corresponding page.
It’s a comprehensive service and perhaps the most likely to deliver accurate results from your photos. Another reason we love TinEye is that it provides browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera, which makes finding images on the web even easier, as you can simply right-click on them in an actual webpage to start a search.