What Is A Reverse Image Search?

A reverse image search is a way to

  • Find similar images to the one you like
  • Find what the copyright is on that image
  • Who the copyright owner is and how to pay them or not for their use?
  • Reduce your risk of being sued.

Why Should you perform a reverse image search?

If you are creating products for sale with images, unless you created them from scratch, then your image is either under copyright or public domain.

The rules on when an image changes from copyright to public domain unfortunately vary from country to country. Please have a look at this website for more details.


If your image does not automatically fall into the public domain, it is on you to check to see if you can use it. So, if you download an image from say Pixabay.com, don’t take their word it is in the public domain. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people may have added any image onto the site, so user beware. It will be you who are sued, not them. Even if it not in the public domain, creators may have made it free to use so check.

How to do a reverse image search.

There are several websites that offer reverse image search, but I tend to use Google (it’s Free).

It is easy to use and below are two ways to use it.

Method 1 – Use before you have downloaded the image.

  1. In your web browser, go to the website with the image you want to check on.
  2. Find the image and copy the image URL by right clicking on the image and click on Copy Image Address.
  3. In the browser go to Google Images
  4. Then click on search by image and paste in the Image URL.
  5. Then paste the URL again in the text box.
  6. Click Search by image.

Method 2 – Use if you have downloaded the image.

  1. Open your web browser and go to Google Images
  2. Next click on Search by image which is the Camera Icon
  3. Then click on Upload an Image and Choose File or Browse.
  4. Find the image on your computer and click Open or Choose.

I hope you find this information useful and that it stops you from being sued.


October 15th, 2020