How to Search an Image on Google

Find an image by web or phone

An image of Google Image Search on a laptop screen.
Google Image Search on a laptop screen.

Medina_Z/Pixabay

Google Search lists web pages in search results by default, but you can also search for images. Here's how to search an image on Google in just a few simple steps so you get a plethora of image results.

Search an Image on Google via the Web

There are two main ways you can search for an image on Google:

  • Google.com
  • Images.Google.com

How to Search an Image via Google.com

This way shows you how to search via Google's main page.

  1. Navigate to google.com in your preferred desktop web browser. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Explorer, etc; they all work.

  2. Type a keyword or phrase into the search field.

  3. Press the Enter key or select the Google Search button or the magnifying glass icon to perform a regular search.

    You can also use Google Voice by selecting the microphone icon.

  4. Select Images in the horizontal menu beneath the search field. If you searched for a term that's very visual by nature, Google might show a preview grid of image results at the top of your results.

    A screenshot of Google.com.

How to Search an Image via Images.Google.com

This way shows you how to search from a separate image-specific page on Google.

  1. Navigate to images.google.com in a web browser.

  2. Type a keyword or phrase into the search field.

  3. Press the Enter key or select the Google Search button, the magnifying glass icon, or the microphone icon to search.

    A screenshot of Google.com.

Regardless of which one you choose for your image search, you'll see a grid of image thumbnails that are most relevant to your search. From here, you can:

  • Move your cursor over any image thumbnail to see the image size and source;
  • Select any of the related terms listed in bubbles at the top to filter your results; or
  • Select Tools at the top to search images by Size, Color, Usage rights, Type, and Time

Search an Image on Google via a Mobile Device

If you want to Google search an image from a mobile device, you have a couple of different options. First, you should know you don't necessarily need any specific apps if you already have a mobile web browser app installed on your device.

How to Use Your Mobile Web Browser to Do a Google Image Search

Here's how to access google.com or images.google.com from your smartphone or tablet.

  1. Open your preferred mobile web browser app.

  2. Navigate to google.com or images.google.com.

    If you're using Google Chrome, you might open the app only to arrive at Google.com by default.

  3. Type a keyword or phrase into the search field.

  4. Tap the magnifying glass icon to perform your search.

  5. If you used google.com, tap Images in the horizontal menu to only see image results.

  6. Just like performing an image search from a desktop web browser, you can select related terms in bubbles at the top or refine your results by popular filters like Latest, GIF, HD, Product, Color, Labelled for reuse, and Clip Art.

    A screenshot of Google.com.
A screenshot of Google.com.

How to Use the Google Mobile App

If you're using an Android device, you probably have the Google Android app installed on your device already. If you're using an iOS device, however, you might need to download the Google iOS app.

  1. Open the Google app on your Android or iOS device.

  2. Type a keyword or phrase into the search field.

  3. Tap the magnifying glass icon to perform your search. Alternatively, tap the microphone icon to search by voice.

  4. You'll see a much more simplified grid of image results on the app; a greater emphasis is placed on the visual stuff compared to the image search results you'll get on a mobile web browser. For instance, you won't see a horizontal menu at the top with related terms and other search filters.

    A screenshot of the Google app for iOS.
A screenshot of the Google app for iOS.

Reverse Search an Image on Google

If you already have an image but want to find other sources or similar images, you can use the power of Google to scour the web for what you're looking for. Simply take the image URL or file and use it to perform a reverse picture search using Google Images.

Do you use Google Photos? You can now search your photos by the text that appears in them, if there happens to be any. As an example, let's say you took a photo of a restaurant menu. To find that photo, you could search any word that appeared in that photo, like "burger" or "pasta," and Google Photos would pull it up in your search results.