How to See If Your Photos Are Being Used On Another Site

How To Do a Reverse Image Search

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I’ve got a super quick and easy tutorial for you today. This is a cool trick I’ve been using a lot lately, and I thought I’d pass on this neat tool to you just in case you’ve ever wondered how to do this. Did you know there’s a really simple way to see if photos have been taken from your blog and uploaded to another site? This trick will allow you to do a “Reverse Image Search” for any photo from your blog, or any photo you’ve uploaded on the internet, to see a list of all the other sites where this photo appears.

Why would you to do a reverse image search?

  • To see if your uploaded photos are being used on another site without your permission.
  • To find the original source of a popular Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook photo.
  • If you have a photo on your computer and you can’t remember where it came from.

*This trick can also be useful if you if have a photo on your computer, and you can’t remember where it came from. You’ll first have to upload it to the internet so you can grab its URL.

Once you’ve done that, here’s how you do a Reverse Image Search.

Find the image on your blog, right click, and select Copy Image Location (Firefox) or Copy Image Address (Safari).

IE Users: Right click on the image, select Properties, and highlight the Address (URL) and click CTRL-C to copy.

How To Do a Reverse Image Search

Paste the URL into Google.

How To Do a Reverse Image Search

On the result page, click Search by Image.

How To Do a Reverse Image Search

And this is what will pop up next. You’ll first see a collage of Visually Similar Images. This is pretty interesting to browse through. Not all of these images may be your images, but they will all look a lot like your image. It’s kinda neat.

How To Do a Reverse Image Search

Keep scrolling down, and now these results will all be for the image you searched for. You can click on these results and see all the sites where your photo is posted.

And that’s all you do! You’ll probably see a lot of sites like Pinterest, and you may discover new sites that have written about your blog and shared a photo or two. Try doing a reverse image search on photos from your most popular post, and see what comes up.

Hope you find this useful!

Follow Kevin and Amanda on Pinterest.

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171 Comments

You always post such useful tips Amanda, thank you so much :o)
A quick question though – will this work if the person, who has downloaded your photo and “recycled” it for their own use, has renamed the photo? Or will it only work if they re-post the photo with exactly the same name/URL that it originally came with when you posted it – I hope that makes sense?

Great question Candice! Yes, it will definitely work if the photo has been renamed — It will even work if the photo has been cropped, resized or even had minor changes made to it like lightened or darkened as well.

You can actually just click the photo whether its on a web page or on your desktop and drag it to the Google search box to do the same thing. I just learned this trick a few months ago and its amazing

AWESOME tip! Thanks Cynthia – and Amanda! The drag and drop feature is way better than all that cutting and pasting.

Hmm I don’t know why its not working. This is the only way I look up images and have never had an issue. I do use Google Chrome mostly and never on a MAC. But I think I have gotten to work on IE and FireFox. I will try to figure it out for ya.

Thanks Amanda! It’s always fun learning something new, geeky, and simple! To think, this has been here all along. You’re so clever. :)

Hi Amanda. FYI, there is a pinterest post out there (wish I had marked it but I didn’t) that uses your before and after weight loss pics and when you click on it it goes to some weight loss site. Didn’t look like anything I have seen you mention, so you might want to search pinterest if you can.

Thanks so much for letting me know, Anne! That is exactly what I’ve been using this tutorial for. I end up spending a couple hours every night combing through search results and Pinterest posts finding the stolen photos and reporting them to Pinterest. I usually report about 150 pins per night! Crazy, isn’t it?? If you ever see one, just send me the URL and I will report it. :)

If you don’t have a blog and can’t use the tutorial above (which shows you how to get the URL from a photo on your blog), you can use a site like Photobucket.com to upload a photo and get the URL.

We randomly discoverred someone “grabbed” my facebook background photo I had taken on my Alaskan cruise from my balcony and posted and then put on his facebook as his background! I guess he thought it was lovely!!! I do not re-post anything unless it has a “pin it” button on it as I believe that these belong to the person who posts it unless they have given permission by the “pin it” button.

Thanks for the tip. I just did a search on one photo and unfortunately saw that it was misused on multiple sites. One site is in another language and they’ve watermarked it as their own! Very bummed. Have’nt even checked other photos. Any advice? I think I have to go back and start watermarking.

just because she’s beettr than you and smarter than you and beettr looking than you doesnt mean you need to run your mouths like the morons we all know you are. anybody that wants to learn how to play guitar can learn something from her.

Thanks so much for this valuable advice, Amanda. I’ve been seeing lots of bloggers write about pirating of content and photos lately. Even though I am a little blog I know I need to at least watermark my photos. I haven’t found a “painless” way to do it without uploading/downloading each photo to a photo editing site.

Thank you Amanda! I fell in love with your site a long time ago because of post like this, recipes, and your fonts, not because you became popular and have been sent traveling all over the world and post about trips and pushing products on your readers. It is very refreshing to have some tutorials and fonts back from you so I am motivated to keep reading! This was a very helpful tutorial as well.

Thank you for this!!! I just found a photo of mine on a magazine website that was posted back in December of 2010. They pulled the photo off of one of my Tasty Kitchen recipes. What do I do now? Demand they remove it? Ask for payment? Not sure how to go about this. Thanks!

I never worry too much about this because I just have found it’s not really worth my time, however, you make it look so much easier than any other route I’ve tried. Smart! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks so much for this info, Amanda! I am almost afraid to do a search as I know many people take and use my photos without permission. It is sad that others feel the need to pass off other’s work as their own. :( I hate watermarking my photos so I guess that is part of the problem. This tip will help me weed out the worst photo stealing offenders.

That is cool to know! I swear…I learn something new every single day. Your site has been so entertaining and informative. Thanks so much, Amanda!!!

Thank you! I tried it on a number of shots and it was fascinating to see how far they have traveled. On the few I checked it was all above board, but will be interesting to keep tabs on things.

Thank you for sharing this useful tip! I checked just one photo from my blog to discover several people who had stolen a whole tutorial from my site… with no link backs or credit given. It was a little discouraging and at the same time very empowering!

Amanda, thanks for the help with Chrome. I discovered that if a blogger has a blog roll with your blog listed in their sidebar that shows an image along with a link, you’ll find it when you search as suggested.
Sam

Thanks for the reminder on this — I haven’t done it in a while and so spent some time with it this morning. Most of what I discovered for one popular photo from the archives is not linked to my site in any way. Figures.

Great tutorial as always!

very cool, i never knew about this. it helps so much, esp as we just bought our very first professional camera and we will be trying to post only our own photos now. thanks!

This is a great tutorial! Thanks so much! I’ve been wondering how to do something like this, with all of the stolen post drama I’ve been hearing about. Thanks again!

You always have the best tricks and tips! Thanks!! Sadly, I couldn’t find any of my pictures anywhere else… I guess that’s a good thing, though perhaps it just means I’m unpopular? HA! :)

Hey Amanda, thanks for the tutorial! I have found a huge number of tumblr pages that have copied my photos/recipe post word for word with no source and have sent an “ask me anything” message many times to remove/source the work, but to no avail! Any tips for tumblr photo stealing??
Many thanks :)

Hey Amanda! I saw your before an after pictures on pinterest supporting a weightloss program. I clicked on it because I thought it was something from your site. I reported it, but you might want to keep your eyes out for it!!

Thanks so much for letting me know, Beth! That is exactly what I’ve been using this tutorial for. I end up spending a couple hours every night combing through search results and Pinterest posts finding the stolen photos and reporting them. I usually report about 150 pins per night! Crazy, isn’t it?? If you ever see one, just send me the URL and I will report it. :)

Thanks for the great article, so glad my friend RT’d you on Twitter! I’ve got a few images that sometimes pop up in my google analytics traffic results, and I’d been thinking I should check around to make sure they’re not being used anywhere else. Thanks so much!

Hi Amanda! Thanks for the helpful hint. I tried it on several of my photos but got this message in Google: The image is too big, or the network connection is too slow to download it.

Any ideas?

Who knew? Thanks for this informative post.

I hate the idea of watermarking photos, but I wonder if that’s what everyone should be doing (in tiny print)–with link to original website? What do you think?

OMG!! I didn’t even know this could be done!! Thanx so much for posting this!
I just reverse-searched a pic from my most popular post and found it LOTS of places… including a news channel in Fayetteville Arkansas where they broadcasted it on their morning news, hahaha!
Thanx again… new follower here!

Hmmm I think I may be completely computer dumb. I did what you said for safari users, “Safari users, right click on the image and select Copy Image Address.” And still no such luck… it’s not providing me with an appropriate image link.

Any suggestions?

Interesting blog post on the reverse image search. So, here’s a one that’s stumped me: I’ve put pretty strict restrictions on my online photos (no right clicking to copy on my blog, Flickr and Facebook). However, that doesn’t stop someone from using my imaging (screen shots circumvent that pretty easily, that’s why I’ve started watermarking my images). Anyway, I wonder if there’s a way to search images whose URLs are unsearchable???

This is awesome. I have my blog right click disabled since someone stole images of my kids & used them for her fake life on FB. This would have come in handy before that happened to me. Since I couldn’t try it on my blog- I tried it here to see it in action- only I didn’t have to copy the image & upload. When I right clicked- it gave me the option in the drop down to just search image in Google. Which then gave me the same page you showed with the results. I will try to use that other tip someone left about dragging the image to the search bar to test it that way. Although I also disabled left click on my images so I may have to go to my web albums to try this out.

Super helpful tutorial! I just found one if your pics on pinterest too, and came over to send it to you, but I don’t see any contact info for you – help! Do I just need better glasses?? :)

THANK YOU Amanda for posting this tutorial! After following it I found two of my images posted on two different sites. :( One cropped it and posted it as a free wallpaper download. I can’t find an owner to the website, so I have no one to email :( I tried posting in the comments section but it’s still “awaiting moderation” GRRR!!! The other one I found an email for and sent them a message to remove my image. We’ll see how that goes…

Every time I see something that I know is from your site (which I seem to have memorized because I’ve been a regular reader for so long) or other blogs I frequent on Pinterest or anywhere else, I make sure to “comment” who should get the credit. : )

Lately I’ve been seeing your t-shirt scarf pop up a lot.

You could also drag the image from your blog , pc, mac drag and drop the image in Google Images search and it will do the very same thing. You’ll get the same results. :-)

I tried this with a photo I know for a fact was taken and put as someone’s Facebook profile photo. It only showed the link to my blog, not to the Facebook page.

Ack. I can’t BELIEVE how many people have stolen my photos. I see above that someone has given an even easier way to track down thieves. Anyone know of a program that alerts you if an image is republished?

my question is what do you do when someone is stealing your photos/posts? Especially the foreign ones– I don’t really know how to stop them.

I just found this through Pinterest – THANK YOU! I had the experience of several of my photos (pinned from my blog) ending up on Pinterest weight lost “spam” sites – and at least one(which was not related at all to porn) on a board I would characterize as soft porn with a weight loss message. Disgusting! Thank you a third time!

Very cool! I just found a bookmark I had made in May that people have pinned on Pinterest. I’m glad I had something people thought was fun and/or useful :)

Amanda and Kevin,
Can you help? Photos were sent to me (we met on an online dating site) and turns out the person on the site is pretending to be this woman. It’s actually a man posing as her. He has sent some pics that I highly doubt she would want floating around (not sure how she feels about non-heterosexuality but it’s a lesbian dating site). The poser is sucking a lot of women in for sure.

Is there a way to take the photos and try and learn who she is so that she can be told what the heck is happening to her photos? I just have photos sent to me via email. If I were in her position, I would want to know.

I tried on google reverse photo search with no luck and tineye with no luck.
Thanks for your help.
Caitlin

PS. The poser/thief has taken this woman’s photo and created a fake FB page too. I turned it in as a fake but it’s still up.

I have a MAC if that helps you to answer. And I’m not very computer savvy.
Thank you so much. I can’t believe I fell for such a cruel and deceitful ploy. Embarrassed is all I can say.

Caitlin

Hello Caitlin, Just read your comments & my heart sank… mainly because i am trying to get google reverse image to work for me on my mac & ipad. Tineye works for me but i’m needing more results! I am trying to learn if I have been catfished once again!! I have met way too many fakes as you describe. Can you share the fake FB profile name?

thanks, julia

How would you do this if you have right click disabled on your blog. Is there another way to get the file location or URL?

I’ve always used tineye.com for this, but it’s nice to know there is another option that might catch things the other missed. I’ve always watermarked my photos, but it’s easy to crop those out anymore.

I tried to use this for my pics on flickr but it doesn’t seem to be working. Is there a way to do this with photos on flickr?

Hi Ed, I just spent 20 minutes checking my own Flickr pictures so I can assure you it works. :)
Right-click on the ‘preview’ on your pictures on the gallery, not on the picture page. Have fun :)

Dear Amanda, thank you very much for this very useful tip. Now I found out that a picture of mine has been used to illustrate the weblog of an escort-girl. ;) THANKS !

Hi there, i just wanted to drop you a line to say that i thoroughly enjoyed this particular post of yours, I have subscribed to your RSS feeds and have skimmed a few of your posts before but this one really stood out for me. I know that I am just a stranger to you but I figured you might appreciate the appreciation Take care and keep blogging.

Ugh! I am just sick. I just took my most popular post and found that someone stole the picture and photoshopped one of the colors in the picture and called it there own! It was a gardening tutorial that is wildly popular on Pinterest…so was the photoshopped picture. I lost all of that traffic. Thank you so much for posting this, I’ll be closer tabs on my intellectual property!

Julia, I would feel more comfortable discussing further with you but over some private
measure such as email. I’m not even sure I understand this site here. To my knowledge neither Kevin or Amanda ever responded to me.

Thanks,
Caitlin

Unfortunately this won’t work in 99% of cases of image theft. This will only work if the person has shared your image to their blog or website. If they right clicked and saved the image like 99% of people do, then upload the image this doesn’t work. So it’s basically useless.

All I get is the image with no information. I saw a photo I wanted to use in my ebook. It was sent as a Valentine salutation and it is so cute (Two horses hugging), but I don’t know how to find out who owns it so I can get permission to use it. Thanks.

Hi Amanda.
I have IE and tried searching a few of my blog tutorial pictures using your instructions above. I can not get any results from any of my attempts. It does not even find where I posted my own pictures to my own blog, FB, Twitter, or Pintrest posts. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

Thanks for the great tip. I just saw it and found another way to do it. I have not read the 100+ comments, so I don’t know if someone has already posted it. Anyway, here’s how…

Go to google.com –>
On the header (of You+, Search, Images… ) click on “Images” –>
At the end of the search field, there is a camera icon, click on it. (when you hover over it, it will say “search by image”) –>
You can either “Paste image URL” or click on “Upload an image”. Click on upload an image if you have no URL, or if you want a quick way of searching images you have on your PC. –>
You can now browse and select your image, or simply drag an image file from your explorer into the search field… –>

And there you have it, your image searched… :)

Fauzi

Just go to http://images.google.com and drag-drop any photo there. either from your computer or from another website. (open your website on one tab and google images on another tab. drag the photo from your website to the google images tab on top of your browser. it will then go to google images. drop the photo in the search box)
Enjoy!

Dear Amanda, I met someone from facebook and his name there was Ronnie Powell. He had many pics in FB same all faces. We’ve been chatmates for how many months. I think 4 months. And everytime I ask him to let me see him on cam, he refuses me. One time, they went to Paris together with his dad. that was he said to me, and I dont know if he was true or was only lying. Then by next day, I receive a message from his IM that he encounter accident goin back from Paris to UK. Then, the one who messaged me was his cousin named Andrew, and when he let me saw him on cam, I was taken aback becuz he looked like a Pakistani and not similarly like with the guy on the pic. I know they are not bro but even cousins have still similar faces. I blocked him and unblocked him again. After few weeks he came back and said that why he blocked me and reply on his messages. I told him that he was not the guy on the pic and he insisted that it was him, but i still have a doubt. So, how would I know who is the guy on the pic? will i able to know him – the real name of the guy on the pic EVEN IF IT WAS TAKEN FROM FB using ur trick and will i able to know where that stupid wannabe stole that pic that he used to pretend? Please help me…

Actually another great way is to directly upload that images to google images search and then look for similar images which are to your. Google images search is pretty powerful and will discover all those images which look similar without warring about the naming and You will get all the list of images and places where they are being hosted.

This is a great resource. I belong to a portfolio site where lots of photographers and artists complain of their stuff being posted elsewhere. Most of it is harmless, but occasionally somebody finds their art in a Samsung ad or some such. A mailing list I subscribe to shared a resource similar to this but requested that list subscribers keep it to themselves for the time being, which was bugging me. Now I’m off the hook. :-D

You have no idea how grateful I am that you took the time to post this and share. I found someone who was using one of my art pieces on his blog without my permission and without credit. This is a spectacular way to keep tabs on my work! Thank you so much!

-Rebecca

Thanks for this. I had stored link to your post on my Pinterest… and had it to refer back to when a question about a picture came up this week. It’s simple, but interesting how much information can be gathered.

Dear amanda,
I have a few pictures of a girl saved in my computer. Obviously downloaded from Facebook.I haven’t used the picture anywhere. But if a upload that picture on my blog. And if I follow the instructions given by you will I get to know where is it on Facebook. !
I desperately want to know who that picture belongs to.please help.

So what do you do if you find one that doesn’t link back to you?
I have found one of my pictures, and it doesn’t link back to my blog. Its funny that the post was dated April 2008, I didn’t do my post until March 2012.. guess she didn’t like her own photo and replaced it with mine! I also have a “content and photos on this site are the sole property of…..” on the side bar.

❥ ღ ❥ Carol
Whitfields Home In The County

Wow–although I appreciate this tutorial, I’m totally creeped out by the number of people stealing my photos (photos that include my young son). I’m now wondering if there is some code I can place on my blog to help prevent it. :(

In Chrome it’s a right click and there is already an option to search. I blog about Crossfit but I don’t consider myself a Crossfit blogger. It’s one of my highest traffic posts so I took the image from a Paleo before and after challenge that I did and sure enough! It’s on about 3 other sites. I just need to contact one of them to give me proper credit. wow!

Thanks for this, I’ve shared it with a friend who runs a lifestyle blog and finds her images popping up *everywhere*. No one uses mine… they are too, ahem, rustic and naive in style :-)

I would not also appreciate how We found themselves listed here, but I believed this text seemed to be terrific. I do not know who seem to you are having said that unquestionably you’re going to some sort of well-known tumblr for many who may not be by now. Best wishes!

Would this work for Facebook photos too or only pictures on blogs? I guess if you were able to do it on Facebook, it would definitely have to be done on a computer not a cell phone. I see thedrag and drop method on Catfish all the time but it’s never worked for me!

Is there any way to do this on a smartphone? And where on the internet are we. supposed to upload the pictures if you’re trying to find where a pic came from either on your smartphone or the computer.. also is the image url and image location different? Thank you.

I have a picture that I am wanting to find out where it came from and who it is I was not able to follow your steps on here please help me

I traced one pic to a scam but this one I really think I know this person and need to let them know if their pic is being used… it is a dating fraud and scamming money

I have had a person emailing me since Nov. 19th, 2013. Saying some terrible things about my husband and I. She has sent a photo. The first one was totally different than the last. The last one she claimed is really her, how can I find out who this person is by the photo?

Much easier -quicker way to search is: in Chrome, right click on any image and choose an option ‘Search google for this image’ from the drop down menu. Takes a second :) No need for URL.

Hi! Thank you for the useful tutorial, but I was wondering if it would work on Facebook pictures. Because I sent my picture taken from facebook to my ex-friend on kik a while ago before we argued, and I think she reposted it in some website, but I’m not sure. I’m worried that she might post it on porn websites etc. I tried to do this to find my pictures but it didn’t work. So my question is : Does that trick works on Facebook picture ? Or if you have any other useful tricks, please let me know. I really REALLY need your help. Thank you!

Good to know : ) However, if someone copy your image url and edited it in Pixlr.com.
Save it as their own copy. It is rather difficult to trace. I found my image was copy and reused when i lookup in google image under the same Keyword.

Interesting and so easy to check, I had been told a while ago it could be done so thanks for the easy lesson,
Right now I’m off to write a letter to the guardian i found 11 of their web pages using one of mine images after i said they couldn’t, this’ll be fun :-)

Maybe this is silly but is that a special font at the very top that looks like brush on canvas? That looks so cool and grabs attention. Is that a brush or font or what? Loved your article.

Hi Amanda,
I’m just curious if this trick works for Instagram. I have recently opened a page to share my photography and hopefully make a name for myself a bit. But I just found out that people can “steal” your photos. I’m so disappointed. I would like to know if anyone has done this so far. I am going to close my account. But, do you know how to find out if someone has done this already? Thank you tons!
Sincerely,
Samantha

Dear Kevin,
This is the post I waited for long time. I had some pics which were not uploaded to internet. And some of that pics were accessed by some other else without my permission. Now I need to check whether that pics are uploaded to net. How can I do it. All I have is my pics alone and it does not have any image url.