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How do You Find the Original Source of an Image?

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What do you do when you have an awesome image that you downloaded long ago, but are unable to remember the website you found it on? Are there any easy ways to find the original website again?

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader temerariomalaga wants to know how to find the original website he downloaded an image from long ago:

I need to find the original source of a picture I downloaded some years ago. I want to know because I would like to visit the website I downloaded it from again. Is any way to find it? Thank you.

Is there a way for temerariomalaga to find the website in question again, or is he out of luck?

The Answer

SuperUser contributors private_meta and Ceiling Gecko have the answer for us. First up, private_meta:

One of the easiest ways to do this is using ‘reverse image search’. Google has a service in place for this. Go to their image search page at http://images.google.com/ and click on the camera button. Upload the image and see the search results for your image. You may need to browse through the search results depending on the number of results returned and likeness to the image you uploaded. Use of the search options might also be necessary.

Note from Akemi: You can also drag-and-drop the image in question onto the search blank on the Google image search page.

Followed by the answer from Ceiling Gecko:

While others have suggested using ‘Google Image Search’ for a reverse image search, I would also like to point out TinEye. More often than not, it will yield different results than those you might receive from Google. It is always good to have multiple options in case one of your options turns up dry.

As you can see, there are some quick and easy options that will not only help you find the original source of an image, but may also help you find a larger, better quality version while you are at it!


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/3/14