How to Search for Matching Photos

By David Weedmark

If you want to find an image online that matches, or is similar to, one you already found, you can usually get better results if you use that image for your search rather than typing keywords that try to describe it. Google has offered an image-based search since 2011 that works on a drag and drop basis. In 2014, Bing began offering a similar service that offers matching images at different resolutions; there are a few smaller websites that also offer image matching.

Using Google Image Search

Step 1

Locate an image on your computer or on a website. If the image is on a website, right-click it and select "Open image in new tab," or a similarly phrased option in your Web browser.

Step 2

Go to Google Images by typing "images.google.com" in a new Web browser tab.

Step 3

Drag the image you want to match into the Search field. Google searches for similar images and displays them as thumbnails on the page. Select any image you want by clicking it.

Using Bing Image Match

Step 1

Go to Bing.com and type a word or phrase describing the image you want. Click the "Search" button or press the "Enter" key.

Step 2

Click the "Images" link at the top of the Bing search results. Scroll through the thumbnails and click on any picture you like. A larger version of the image appears on the page.

Step 3

Click the "Image Match" link. A large, medium and small version of the same image appear at the top of the page. Thumbnails of identical images appear on the page, with the resolution of each version listed on the side. Select the size you want by clicking it, or look for more sizes by clicking the "View All Sizes" link near the top of the page.

Using Other Image Search Sites

Step 1

Find an image you want to match on your computer or a website. For website images, right-click the image and select the "Copy Image URL" option to save its Web address to your computer's clipboard.

Step 2

Go to an image search website like TinyEye.com, ImageRaider.com or Saucenao.com. Using these websites, you can upload an image from your computer, paste the URL of an image into the Search field or both, depending on which website you choose.

Step 3

Paste the image URL you copied earlier into the Search field, or click the "Choose File" option to upload an image from your computer to the website. The page refreshes, offering similar images.

Tips & Warnings

  • The software behind image matching services does not always give you images you might expect. For example, if you are looking for images of a specific person, you will seldom find them using this method. Instead, you will usually get photos of different people in similar poses with similar backgrounds. Similarly, if you are looking for a specific flower, you may get different types of flowers with similar shapes or colors.