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'Search for image' gone? How to restore reverse image search in Google Chrome

What Google takes away, we show how to bring back.
August 9, 2023

Google recently replaced one of Chrome‘s most useful features with what they think is a better alternative. The right-click menu option for a reverse image search was swapped out in favor of searching through Google Lens instead. If you heavily depend on the older feature and want it back, then don’t worry. There’s a way to restore reverse image search in Chrome.


There are two options to restore the right-click reverse image search in Chrome. One is to search through Lens, which will also give you the option to do the older style search as well. But if you totally want to kick Lens out, you can do a simple Chrome Flags tweak to bring the older version back.


How to restore reverse image search with right-click in Chrome

There are two options to choose from. Take your pick.

Go through Google Lens

If you like Google Lens in your right-click menu, and you don’t want to get rid of it, it’s possible to keep it and still have the older reverse image search function too.

First, right-click the image and select Search Google for Image.

chrome search google for image

This then sends the image to Google Lens. As you can see, it is returning specific matching web pages because I have zoomed in on the woman’s face, and there is nothing in the background to confuse Google Images.

google lens results chrome

To get to the older reverse image search tool, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see this.

chrome didnt find what youre looking for

Click the blue Try it button, and your image will then be transferred to the older reverse image search.

google images reverse image search

Ditch Google Lens and bring the older reverse image search back

If you’d prefer to kick out Google Lens entirely and have the image directly sent to Google Images every time, then a simple Chrome Flags tweak is all that’s needed.

In your Chrome browser (works on desktop, Android, and iOS), type the following into your URL address bar:


That will bring up the setting for Google Lens. To disable it, drop down the menu and select Disabled.


google chrome google lens flag
Andy Walker / Android Authority

Hit the Relaunch button at the bottom right of the browser windows to restart Chrome and save the changes. Google Lens will now be gone, and you can go back to using Google Images for your reverse image searches.


A reverse image search is when you upload an image to Google (or give it a direct image URL), and it gives you all the sites where that image appears. This is tremendously helpful if you’re a photographer and want to ensure your work has not been stolen. Or if you want to credit a photo and need to find the source, Google can help you there too.

Yes, but you cannot upload images to Google Images on mobile. You can only visit a direct image URL, long-press on the image, and select Search Google for image.

Not entirely, no. It depends on the type of image, how clear it is, and how much unique detail there is. The more unique the image, the more chance Google will find the exact one. But if it is a picture of a person with lots of things going on in the background, you may end up with hundreds of thousands of other unrelated images that look vaguely similar.

There are many, although the results will vary. TinEye is probably the most well-known Google alternative, but a quick Google search will throw up dozens more.

Yes and no — there is a subtle difference. Google Lens will identify objects, read text, scan barcodes, and more if you take a photo of that object. You’ll then get search results based on what it thinks it is. But it also finds visually similar images, so it also has some of the reverse image search features.