No doubt you’ve used Google Image Search: You go to and type in a search phrase, such as “Tiananmen Square” and Google serves up matching images. But did you know you can do the reverse: feed an image to Google Image Search and it will let you know the where, the what, the who and/or the when of the photo.

Where was that photo taken? Is the nebula in this image the Lagoon or the Trifid? What’s that man doing standing in front of those tanks? Who’s the guy in the beret?


All these questions are easy to answer. Here’s how:

Go to Google Image Search and do one of these things:

  • Drag and drop an image from your computer or from the web into the search box, or click the ‘Upload an Image’ button and select an image on your computer to upload.

Drag and drop image

  • Type or paste a web address to an image into the search box. To do so, right-click the image and choose the option to copy the image URL/address, then paste that address into image search.

Search by URL


  • If you’re using Chrome or Firefox as your browser, install Google’s Search By Image extension. You’ll then be able to right-click any image and choose the  ‘Search Google with this image’ option to find out more about the image.

Chrome extension


Whichever method you use, the search results will include pages about the image, related images, and pages that include matching images.


In the search box you’ll see a thumbnail of the image you used (see the screenshot above). If you’d like to see nothing but matching images instead of the background information and related websites, delete that thumbnail by clicking the x at the right-hand side and you’ll see the regular image search results.

Lagoon Nebula