Reverse Image

How To: Perform A Reverse Image Search

Please note this tutorial has been revised on 29 January 2020. Please see the updated version of this tutorial here.

A “reverse image search” allows you to search the internet for previous versions of the same picture. This is crucial for determining if an old image is being “recycled” as new. Especially during emergencies, old pictures are often posted online, and go viral due to uncritical re-sharing through social networks (this happens regularly both during complex emergencies and natural disasters).

Further, a reverse image search can also allow you to track down the original uploader of an image.

There are two easy to use online sites that perform a reverse image search:

  1. Google Images
  2. TinEye

These two sites allow you to perform a search by image (instead of text) in different ways:

Search by URL or upload an image

Both Google Images and TinEye allow to search by either URL or by simply uploading an image.

TinEye, alternatively, also provides a reverse image search function:

Use a browser extension

The easiest way to perform a reverse image search is by just installing the browser extension from Google Images or TinEye and then right-clicking the image under investigation: