Find out if a picture has been copied from the web

Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Lynn, Anthony G., Dougie and 16 others

The mobile age we live in has introduced even more ease in uploading and downloading any kind of pictures, and the collection multiplies many times overnight. Images are passed continuously over the internet so that it has become possible for a single picture to be copied or posted hundreds of times. If you stumbled upon a picture and are wondering where on the internet it originated, then you have come to the right place, so read on!


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    Regardless of the standard browser you use, finding the original place wherein a picture is uploaded is easy
    In the address bar, simply go to, then, under the address bar, click the image option. Once you are there, you will be given two options (whether to input the URL of the picture you saw or upload it from your own collection). If you decide to upload from your collection, a separate tab will appear. From there choose the picture file you want. You can even simply drag a file from your computer to the image search bar if you choose to.
    Let's say you want to locate the original site from which the infamous "Hi, Cal" image was uploaded. If you follow the above instructions, Google will then list pages from the internet with similar visual images (see below).
    Eureka! Simple as that, Google will list hundreds or even thousands of results, but the first tab is most likely the originator of the image you uploaded or linked. If you are a website owner looking for that culprit who stole and got his or her credit from using your picture, you may use the same technique. Clicking multiple entries in the search results will give more detailed information about how the picture is utilized in different websites.
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  2. 2
    You can also utilize Tin Eye, an advanced reverse image searching web application, that will locate the original uploaded version of a picture
    To do this, you only need to go to their website and, like with Google image search, copy the link address of the image or upload one from your computer. Your search results will be shown just below the site so you can just scroll down to see it. There will be tons, so just click on the first five results, and the original file is most likely there. If not, continuously scroll down to look at other results.
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  • Note: The two methods above yield the most accurate and in-depth search results on the internet, and having your picture checked there will not cause the website to retain the picture you uploaded and recently searched. So rest assured that you will be anonymous when reverse searching an image.

Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Beware of other websites that offer reverse searching, as they might leak your uploaded file or even sell it indiscriminately across the internet.
  • When you see a hit with your picture, don't assume the website has ripped you off, as it may have been uploaded by a third party user.
  • Have an open mind when searching if the picture is copied from the web. Not all reverse searches can give desirable results.

Questions and Answers

I would like to know about copying a photo from the internet and if it's legal?

Hi! I copied a picture of a used Rolex watch from an online used watch store and posted it on Facebook to find out if anybody knows about the same type of watch for a cheaper price. Was it an acceptable thing to do and what, if any are the consequences? Thanks.

This can be either acceptable or not. If the picture is watermarked or otherwise copyrighted (you will need to ask about the license for the picture on the website), then it may be a subject to a copyright claim. Your best solution would be to link the whole web page from the online store to your Facebook to avoid any legal troubles. The other solution is to contact the website and ask about the license. If the license is CC0, then you can use and modify it. If the license is BY, then you need to write the author's name, with a BY-NC license, you could upload it to your Facebook and use it for non commercial purposes. There are other license types too, which may limit your possible actions with the intellectual property.

The other aspect is that the website itself could take a picture from someone, alter it, and put it out. Then, you may get in trouble too. So, it is always recommended to contact the website or author, unless the license type is clearly stated, with your request to use the image.

The consequences can be none (if it was all right to use it, if no one reports the image to the author, or if the author does not notice it), just a request to put the image down (more often), or a trial (very rarely).

There is a website that uses my image along with other people's images without permission?

I want to find out exactly how many people images they are using so I can notify them all and maybe collectively we can do something about it

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Have my pictures been copied and used elsewhere on the Internet?

If I have a picture, is there a way to find out where it has been used on the Internet? I have tried Tineye, but is there any other way? Thanks!

There are a lot of services and engines that may help you. We are going to list just several below.

  1. 1
    Please do not forget about too, which is in the article above
    Just click on the camera icon next to the search bar and upload your picture.
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  2. 2
    Then, you can navigate to ImageBrief and perform a reverse image search by clicking the camera icon and uploading your picture.
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  3. 3
    Small SEO Tools help people find plagiarism online too
    Click the "Upload Image" tab to start the search.
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  4. 4
    Yandex uses its own reverse image search
    While it is in Russian, you can just click the icon with the camera in the top-right corner. Then either click the upper-left section with the camera icon with a zooming glass or enter the URL in the upper-right section. Upload your image and check the results.
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  5. 5
    Pixsy helps to fight image theft.
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  6. 6
    RezF is a service (not a search engine) that comprehensively helps to find your image usage online.
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  7. 7
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  8. 8
    Karma Decay for Reddit-related searches
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Please note that you can also flip your picture horizontally or remove colors and search for matches again. You can even flip images online: on this website (click here).

I copied a drawing for my yearbook from the net. Is it a problem?

I want to know if it is legal to do the above said.

It might be a problem, but you will need to review all of the aspects of downloading the drawing. Using drawings with licenses other than CC0 are limited. Stricter licenses or any copyrights forbid any public use of a drawing without the prior consent of the author. This may cause legal actions against the one who took the property and used it without permission.

If you see any watermarks or copyright signs on the picture and you did not get any permission from the author to upload the image, then it will most likely cause trouble once the author finds it.

If the net is a local Intranet (for example, between you and friends or at a college), then it is worth to try to find someone who uploaded it into your network and ask him or her whether he or she allows you to use it in your yearbook. Drawings, generally not of the best artistic quality or value, between friends on an Intranet network are usually exchanged without copyright claims.

If the net was the Internet, then finding the author is a must. First of all, take down or withdraw the drawing if it is possible (this is essential!) If you do not remember the Web source from which you downloaded the picture, then you will need to reverse-search the image to find the original Web page or Web pages. Then, find any contact address that will allow you to contact the owner of the Web site, the designer, or the artist. Those are usually in the "Contact us" section. Explain your situation to anyone whom you can contact and ask whether you can use for the explained purpose. The answer may take days or you may get no reply. To increase effectiveness, continue researching the origin of the picture and contact more Web sites. Once you get the response, you will be either allowed to use the picture for the yearbook, denied usage, or redirected to another person.

Hi. I've been receiving these emails about a sick old woman who wants to claim her money in the bank. I told her to give me some photos and I just want to clarify if the photos she sent are original?

Hi. I've been receiving these emails about a sick old woman who wants to claim her money in the bank. I told her to give me some photos and I just want to clarify if the photos she sent are original?

Those are scams, do not reply or respond to similar emails.

Just a quick proof reversed image search?

So let's face it, I was online chatting here and there and this girl went ahead and linked me some pictures now I know for certain she is lying already in the aspect of where she is living now, I'm just trying to find out who that person is actually copying or if it is just some publicly downloadable pictures. I have tried: Any quick found reversed image search by Google. I think it was caused by: Well I didn't get a single hit on any of those although there has to be at least a Facebook profile I found myself.

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Has a photo been used to create a fake profile?

Check a photo on Facebook to see if the person is genuine. I have tried: Photoshop. I think it was caused by: I don't know

The first check is just looking up the same name online (via Facebook or a search engine like While it is always hard to find out whether the person is misrepresented in the picture on a social network (note that even graphical editors such as GIMP 2 or Photoshop can do wonders to a real person), it is always possible to use our article above to find out whether there are copies of that picture online. Fraudulent pictures can be easily found as people disclose the picture of the "perpetrator" and discuss it on forums. Nevertheless, it is always possible that the real innocent person whose pictures have been used and whose name has been labeled is actually the one you are checking. When you find the picture online used elsewhere, compare the given name and other personal details. If you are still perplexed about the search results, then the only advice can be to contact the person and ask him or her to pose with your name written on a piece of paper or perform some other action that can be done only for you. Still, it does not guarantee that this person will not address another person to do it.

Fake photos of a man I am dating online and speak on the phone?

Hi! I am communicating with a man as a Boyfriend and chatting on Viber for more than a year now. He has been working overseas for almost all this time. I did not get a single picture from there. He avoids taking them using a million excuses.

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Someone sent me this on Skype. Fake or not, please?

I have this man in my Facebook group. He said this is his selfie on Skype which is a Vin Diesel look alike, fake or liar, please, I can't see a copy of this anywhere. He keeps skyping me, I want to know who I'm talking to

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How do I know if someone is faking an Instagram's profile?

Hey, I need help regarding an Instagram's profile I am 100% sure is fake, however, it seems that he edits the pictures by putting filters, which makes it hard for me to know the actual person behind these photos. The one thing that got me suspicious is that he has low points on snapchat and he never posts actual selfies/photos from the camera, instead he takes pictures from the gallery. His comments on his photos seem to be all spam accounts which he has downloaded from an app or maybe even paid for the sake of his promotion of his Instagram's profile. The only photos from his actual camera are when he says his "sister" has taken over his Snapchat for his streaks. He also sometimes shows that he has a lot of streaks with tons of people on Snapchat, but how come if he only has like 17k points on snapchat? Doesn't add up at all. So what do I do? Because he uses filters for his Instagram pictures. And when I screenshot them to upload them to Google, they have a hard time finding them. although I'm 100% he is faking them because it doesn't add up that the person he claims that he is, is actually him. I have tried: I've tried pressing him into sending selfies of him directly from the camera, but he ignores that or just laughs it away by talking about something else. I've also tried Google Image but it doesn't show up any results due to him filtering his pictures. I think it was caused by: I have no idea, It's not my problem. Although I think he is searching for desperate girls. Maybe he is a child predator, or maybe it's a little 12 girl behind it who's just insecure and wants attention from people.

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Need to know if a profile picture was downloaded from the internet?

Talking to a man on a dating site. Said he lived in Shiloh, Ohio, but avoided all questions about Shiloh. Ran his phone number through been verified. No information on him at all and phone number is listed in Magnolia, Ohio. Not even close to Shiloh. What articles? I clicked on this site and your box popped up.

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After the search if the picture results are selfie does that mean they are legit?

Trying to find out if pictures someone send to me are really his or stolen

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: Jay, Hey, Maria Quinney

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