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How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

Simon Hill
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Most of us turn to Google to search for information and images, but sometimes you may want to look up an image you already have. Maybe you want to find out where it originated, expose it as a fake photo, or verify the claims of whoever posted it. Whatever your motivation, this is known as a reverse image search.

It’s easy to do a reverse image search on a Mac or PC, but what if you want to do it on your smartphone? You have a few different options, so we’ll show you how to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS using your browser, through a website, or by using third-party apps.

How to reverse search an image using Chrome

If you’re using Chrome on Android or iOS, it’s very easy to perform a reverse image search. Here’s how:

Reverse image search in Android using Chrome
Reverse image search in Android using Chrome
Reverse image search in Android using Chrome
  1. Navigate to the image in question in the Chrome browser.
  2. Tap and hold on the image until a menu of options pops up.
  3. Tap on Search Google for this image.
  4. Take a look at the results.

What if someone sent you the image or you already have it downloaded on your phone? Don’t worry, there’s a way to upload it to perform a reverse image search, it’s just a bit more hassle. This next method will work with any browser.

How to reverse search an image on an Android phone

To upload an image to perform the reverse image search on, you need to get to the desktop version of Google’s image search. Here’s how:

Reverse image search Google in Android
Reverse image search Google in Android
Reverse image search Google in Android
  1. Go to images.google.com in your browser.
  2. You want the desktop version, so you’ll need to request it. In Chrome, tap the three dots at the top right to open the More menu.
  3. Tick the Desktop site option.
  4. Tap on the small camera icon to get the option to upload an image.

How to reverse search an image on an iPhone

You can do the same thing in iOS, but the route is slightly different. Here’s how:

Reverse image search Google in iOS
Reverse image search Google in iOS
Reverse image search Google in iOS
  1. Go to images.google.com in your browser.
  2. You want the desktop version, so you’ll need to request it. In Safari, tap the Share icon, with the arrow pointing up, to open the share menu.
  3. Scroll along the bottom options until you find Request Desktop Site and tap it.
  4. Tap on the tiny camera icon to get the option to upload an image.

How to reverse image search using a website

You have a few more options if you want to perform a reverse image search, regardless of which mobile platform or web browser you’re using. Here is a website that will help you perform a reverse image search:

Reverse image search using Tineye.com
Reverse image search using Tineye.com
Reverse image search using Tineye.com
  1. In your web browser of choice, navigate to tineye.com.
  2. Tap the arrow icon to the left of the search box to upload a picture.
  3. You can choose to take a picture using your device’s camera, pick an image from your device’s photo gallery, or browse for another location. The options you’ll get are slightly different depending on your phone.
  4. Once your picture is uploaded, which can take a few seconds, you’ll see any matches found.

How to use an app to perform a reverse image search

There are lots of apps that will allow you to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS, all of which can spare you from having to open your browser every time you want to look up a picture. Here are a few of the best.

Photo Sherlock

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This app enables you to upload an image from your gallery or snap a photo and perform a quick reverse image search in Google and Yandex. It’s straightforward and easy to use — simply tap the gallery or camera icon at the bottom, crop if you want to, and perform the search to find out where the image came from.

Android iOS

Reversee

how to perform a reverse image search in android ios reversee 1
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how to perform a reverse image search in android ios reversee 2

Reversee is a decent option for iPhone owners that allows you to rotate and crop images before you search. It also works as an iOS extension, so you can use it within apps like Photos, Safari, and Chrome. The pro version comes with a host of additional features and no advertisements, allowing you to edit images, search multiple engines (Google, Bing, and Yandex), paste image URLs, and gather detailed info about the images that appear in your results.

iOS

Search By Image

how to perform a reverse image search in android ios by 1
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Like Reversee, the Search By Image app for Android lets you make simple edits to your images before using them for search purposes. It has every feature you would want in a reverse image search app, including support for Google, Yandex, and Tineye, as well as the ability to open shared images directly from Facebook or Twitter. You can get rid of the ads with a one-off payment.

Android