For those who do not know what reverse image search is, here is a quick description of it. Let’s say that you have an image and you want to find out where else is that image located on the internet. Reverse image search is the way to find out that. Not just that, you can also find out if different versions of that image (i.e. similar images) are available on the internet too.
Google and Bing search engines offer this reverse image search tool. Using it is very easy on a Desktop computer. You just need to go to the http://www.images.google.com site and there you will see the camera icon in the search bar. You can either drag and drop the image you want to reverse search in this search bar or click on the camera icon and choose to paste the image URL or upload an image from your computer.
Using Google through a browser
From your smartphone, if you go to the http://www.images.google.com website, you will not be able to see the camera icon in the search bar. You need to switch to the desktop version of the site. To switch to the desktop version of the http://www.images.google.com site, you need to first go to the menu of your browser and tap on the ‘request desktop site’ option. For example, if you are using Google chrome browser, you need to go to the three dots option and tap on the option saying ‘request desktop site’. This will open the desktop version of the site. When the desktop version of the site loads, you will be able to see the camera icon in the search bar of the site. Now you can tap on this camera icon and choose either to paste the URL of the image that you want to reverse search or upload an image directly from your smartphone.
Using Bing through a browser
If you want to use the Bing search engine instead of Google search engine for reverse image search, you need to go to the http://www.bing.com/images website from a browser. Then tap on the camera icon which you can see in the search bar on the site. It will ask you to allow access to your device camera. Just allow access and you can then take an image through the camera to do a reverse image search. Also, there is an option to directly upload an image from your device to do a reverse image search. If you want you can do that too. Bing calls this reverse image search as visual search. They both mean the same.
Using a Google Chrome workaround option
There is an option in Google chrome through which you can directly reverse search for an image that you come across on any website. To use this option, just do a long tap on the image until you see a pop-up menu. From the pop-up menu, you need to tap on the ‘search Google for this image’ option. This will automatically do a reverse image search and open a new tab on the browser to display the results. However, you must note that this option works only on the google chrome browser and in some smartphones only.
Using an app
There are some apps too that allow reverse image search. Some of these apps are Google Lens, Search By Image and Reversee. Google Lens app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Search By Image app is available for Android devices. Reversee app is available for iPhones.
Let’s take the example of the Search By Image app. If for some reason, you do not want to or can’t use the Google or Bing search engines directly to perform a reverse image search, then you can use the Search By Image app. This app shows you reverse image search results from Google, Bing, Tineye and Yandex search engines. When you open the app, you have the option to do a reverse image search on an image stored in your device or you can use a captured photo from your camera. Before searching, you can also use the built-in image editor (can be used to rotate, crop or flip the image) to edit the image if you want. So, you can use this app to find look-alike images on the internet or find the originality or fakeness of an image.