In today’s world where millions of images are available online, finding the origin of each image is akin to a needle in a haystack. Do you want to know the origin of a line in a movie or book? Any search engine will quickly help you uncover the answer. The origin of a photo? That’s a little more complicated. However, thanks to reverse image searches, every image search to help find the original source becomes less and less complicated. Here we show you how to perform a reverse image search from your iPhone or iPad.
Using the Google Chrome App
The best and easiest way to do a reverse image search on the iPhone or iPad is to use the Google Chrome app. Once you have the app downloaded, performing a reverse image search is incredibly easy.
1. Locate the image you want to reverse search and make sure you have it saved in your Photos app. If it’s currently on a website or in your email inbox, make sure to save it to the Photos app.
2. When the image is saved in your Photos app, select the image in the app, press on the “Share icon” and select “Copy Photo” from the Share menu.
3. Open the Chrome app and double-tap on the search bar. A pop-up will quickly open that says “Search for Copied Image.” Tap on it.
4. Wait a few seconds as results start to populate from your search. The most likely or closest matches will be shown first. Google will continue to source other possible image options further down in the search result window.
Searching Google Directly from the Browser
You can also perform a reverse image search from a different browser. Safari works great with these steps, but it’s certainly not limited to Safari. Third party browsers like Firefox, Edge and Brave work just as well.
1. Open images.google.com in your mobile browser.
2. Once you have that url open in Safari, you will want to request the desktop version. From inside Safari, tap on “aA” at the very top left of the window or the far left of the address bar. When the drop-down menu appears, tap on “Request Desktop Website.” The site will instantly adjust and look like its desktop counterpart.
3. Tap on the camera icon located at the right side of the Safari search bar. When the next window opens, tap on “Upload an image.”
4. Next, tap on “Choose File” and wait for the next drop-down menu to appear. The likelihood is that the photo you want to search is already in your Photo Library, so just tap on that. You can also choose to take a photo and upload that instantly or select “Browse” and choose a photo from the “Files” app.
5. When a photo is selected, perform the search and wait for the results. As the search results appear, the most relevant results will surface first with the next closest results populating after.
Using Tineye or Yandex
Even as most people think of Google as their first stop for a reverse image search, it’s not the only option. Alternatives like Tinyeye or Yandex both offer similar functionality.
1. Start by pulling up Tinyeye, a dedicated reverse image search tool that makes it incredibly easy to perform your own search.
2. On Tinyeye, immediately upon pulling up the site, tap on “Upload,” then locate a photo on your iOS device by choosing either “Photo Library,” “Take Photo or Video” or “Browse.” The latter enables you to go through your Files folder for images, while “Photo Library” brings up your Albums.
3. Once you have selected your photo (JPG, GIF or PNG), Tineye begins an immediate search for results. Utilizing its own technology, Tineye will generate a set of results. Each result offers a date for when the image was first located as well as the relevant size of the image. Clicking on any of the results will take you to that page, and you can download or look for the image.
4. As a search engine, Yandex and its reverse image search tool is located by tapping on the “Images” icon underneath the search bar. When the next screen appears, locate the camera icon at the far right of the search bar and tap on it.
5. Similar to Tineye, you can choose to upload an image using your Photo Library, taking a new photo or browsing Files for an image you have already downloaded.
6. Once you have selected the image and begun your search, Yandex will show its own results. Between Google, Tinyeye and Yandex, the latter provides the most detail about the image as well as similar images and a description of the image, if available. You can also locate other sizes, and scroll down to see your search results.
Using Third-Party Apps
If Google Chrome and Safari are not hitting your reverse image search needs, third-party applications are here to help fill the gap. One of the most popular, Reversee, is intuitive and free, which makes it a strongly-recommended third option.
1. Download and install the Reversee app on either your iPhone or iPad and then open the app.
2. As the app opens, you have a few options to work with. The fastest method for a reverse image search is to tap on “Choose a Picture.”
3. Once you have chosen a picture, Reversee adds an extra option that is not seen in either of the Google-specific methods. Toward the bottom of the app screen is an option to rotate the image, select a different size, etc. Should you opt for the $3.99 one-time in-app purchase, you will also have the option of cropping a photo.
4. When you have finished editing your photo or choose to make no edits, tap on “Search” at the top right of the screen. Results will start populating in a familiar Google format, but inside the app so you don’t ever need to leave the screen. Another big argument for using Reversee is that it not only functions as an app, but functions as an iOS extension. That allows you to use it directly in Photos, Safari, Chrome and other photo or browser apps.
Other apps like Photo Sherlock provide similar, if slightly less, functionality than Reversee without the iOS extension. Reverse searching images begins by selecting an image from your photo gallery and then tapping on “Use this picture.” As the results start to appear, you’ll have the option of Google or Yandex results as well as an “Other” section that will help identify any faces in the image you are reverse searching.
Reverse image search has provided millions with the ability to properly discover the origin source of an image. That’s an invaluable tool for many reasons. Now that you know how to perform a reverse image search on your iPhone, you can do the same on your Android phone or explore these tips to utilize the visual search engine to find the images you want.