Google Quietly Removes Reverse Image Search In Chrome, Here’s How To Get It Back

It looks like Google has decided to retire the “Find this image on Google” context menu feature in Chrome in favor of a new option to “Find an image with Google Lens”, and by clicking on the option, the user is redirected to the Website “https://lens.google.com” where they can then decide to “Try again with Google Images”. at the bottom right of the results page.

So overall, this is yet another feature that has been changed to require additional steps, similar to how “reopen closed tab” was moved out of the tab’s context menu. No one knows why this is happening, and more people resent such changes.

google image search

Previously, one could restore reverse image search by disabling the Lens function by heading to chrome://flagsand setting #enable-lens-region-search to disabled but although the flag is still present, setting it to disabled does nothing, suggesting that the flag was left by accident when the switch was flipped to deploy the new Lens search option for everyone, presumably at from Chrome v99, as it only started showing up for me this morning.

This is where we will have to rely on a third-party extension to restore reverse image search again in one click. Go to the Chrome web store and install Search by Image by Armin Sebastian. The publisher revealed “it won’t collect or use your data”, which is good to know, Armin also commented on reddit helping people use the extension and its options, but for the most part , you are sorted . You will again have the option to search for the image in your context menu.

However, by default, the extension searches by URL (top left image), so if you try to search for an image that is on a private website that requires login, it will return the error message “The URL does not refer to an image or the image is not publicly available.”, so we need to change some options in the extension to make it work like Google’s reverse image search does.

  • Go to extension options
  • On the left, uncheck all search engines except one to use for image searches
  • On the right, change the context menu’s “Search Mode” option to “Select Image”
  • Finally, change “Search all engines” to “From context menu”

It is important to note that if you do the above and multiple search engines are checked, the above option will open a new tab for each search result on each selected search engine. Also, changing the options above means that you will upload the image to your chosen search engine(s), just like the old Google image search option worked.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to completely disable the “Find image with Google Lens” option, so you’ll be stuck seeing it in your context menu.


Did this guide help you or did you find an alternative? Let us know in the comments.

Michael C. Garrison