Q. On a computer, you can use Google’s reverse image search feature in several ways, like dragging and dropping an image file in the search box or right-clicking on an image file on a web page. But how can you do reverse searches for pictures using a mobile device?
A. Third-party apps and sites for hunting down images are available, but Google offers its own way to use its image search engine if you are using a tablet or smartphone at the time. On a computer, you drag a file into the search box (or right-click it) to do a reverse search for similar images on the web. On a mobile device with the Chrome browser for Android and iOS, you start with a photo that has already popped up in the search results.
When you have an image you want to research in the Chrome app, tap it to open the photo to a full-screen view. Next, press and hold your finger on the screen and choose “Search Google for this image.” The results page returns other web pages where Google has found that particular image, often with text accompanying it for additional information.
Another method in the Chrome app involves switching to the desktop version of the Google image search page by tapping the menu button in the top-right corner and selecting “Request Desktop Site.” Once you are on the desktop version of the page, tap the camera icon in the search bar. You can now choose a file to upload from your device’s photo app or from an online file-storage site.
You can also take a picture of something and instantly upload the photo to the Google image search. (The process might be seen as a rudimentary precursor to the new Google Lens tool, announced at the company’s I/O conference last month, which uses a smartphone’s camera to gather more information about your surroundings in real time.)