Finding someone with a picture is the easiest and most reliable method of locating online accounts.
Some features and services allow us to reverse-search an image in order to find its source/owner.
Reverse image searching is usually done to stop catfishing (and its damage) or to find somebody’s online—the purpose is up to you.
To help your search even further, I will be demonstrating each method using social media personality Zach King.
– Why use an image to find someone in the first place?
There is a considerable number of methods you can use to locate a person’s accounts, but using an image has the most benefit.
– It’s free:
You can pay for specific reverse-image search tools, but the rest of the methods you can use completely for free.
– It’s quick and uncomplicated:
The results won’t take an eternity to show up as most of these tools find image sources either instantly or in a matter of seconds.
They also require little or no effort at all.
– It gives results:
Reverse image search features/services derive data from public data, and since images are considered “data”, your search will be productive.
So it’s speedy, trouble-free, and worthwhile—let me show you the 6 main ways of finding someone online with just a picture.
1. Use Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yandex, etc.) to search a person by image for free.
Our beloved search engines have built-in reverse image search features that you can use for free!
Let me show you how:
Reverse-search a person’s picture with Google Lens.
You can find about anybody with an image with Google’s image-recognition technology: Google Lens.
- This can be carried out on both PC and mobile devices.
On PC, open the Google browser or your desktop and click the camera symbol on the search bar to upload your image.
On Mobile, download the Google App if you haven’t already, click the camera icon once again, and allow access to your phone’s gallery.
Here you can see that Google Lens showed me the places where that specific picture appears (his YouTube channel, social media, and mostly blogs).
Use Microsoft Bing’s image-search option.
Microsoft’s web search engine, Bing, has an incorporated image-searching component that lets you find people online—it’s efficacious!
Launch Bing on your computer or mobile device, and click the second icon that appears on the search bar (the square).
Drop your image there!
- You can click the “All” tab for more widespread results, “Pages With This Image” to view the source of the image (YouTube, blogs, social media platforms, etc.), or “Related Content”.
I’m guessing you’re looking for a person’s social network, so look for public social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
My results here were more or less similar to Google Lens, however, scrolling down, they were becoming less and less relevant to the picture I had picked.
It was able to verify his personality, though, and the “Pages With This Image” section came quite in handy!
Use the Yandex search engine to thoroughly search by image!
For me, Yandex Images is perhaps the most powerful reverse image search engine out there.
- It pinpoints many sources for one image, has great facial recognition technology, and can find different sizes of the same picture.
To find a person by image, visit Yandex, pick Images, and click the camera on the search bar; select your image so that Yandex can find its origin.
Scroll down to see all of the online pages the image is displayed on (look specifically for social media or dating sites like Tinder).
To this point, Yandex has shown the most results—mainly the source of the chosen image.
The results are never-ending (not really, but they kept loading and loading, which is a good thing!).
On the right side of your screen, you can click the yellow “Similar Images” button (this is useful for face detection).
2. Install reverse image search extensions or add-ons on your browser.
These types of extensions can be installed on Web Stores (e.g. Chrome Store): click on “Add to Chrome” > “Add Extension”.
After you have added the reverse image search extension, use it on images you find on social media sites, image-based platforms, etc.
- Right-click the image, pick “Reverse Image Search” (or similar functions on the menu), and choose the search engine you would like to search on.
Here I took the TinEye add-on as an example, and although it did show me some pages, there were only 24 results, which is not that useful.
It’s not too impressive when you compare it to Yandex Reverse Image Search which conducted a thorough and fruitful search.
3. How to identify someone with only their picture as a clue? Use DupliChecker!
What we’re trying to do is called a “Reverse Image Search”, and DupliChecker is my personal favorite.
Go to DupliChecker, pick the “Reverse Image Search” tab, and upload your picture.
You can find which search engine you’d like your results to be shown on (Google, Yandex, etc.)—this way, you’ll find the identity of your person.
As you can see, DupliChecker gave me the option to search on Google, Bing, Yandex, etc., so the results will be pretty much the same as using those search engines on their own.
Face-identification tools (like FaceCheck.ID) give similar results and operate the same way (since my search included a celebrity, face-recognition tools may work better for random people).
4. Reverse-search any photo on the Pinterest app.
I was surprised to learn that Pinterest is quite a powerful reverse image search tool! Although it didn’t show a lot of (relevant) results, it was able to detect who I was searching for.
The beloved image-sharing platform Pinterest has a reverse-search feature which you might’ve missed since it only exists on the mobile application.
- Open the Pinterest app on your phone, click the magnifying glass icon (bottom left), and click on the search bar’s camera icon.
You have the option to take a picture using your camera or to reverse-search one from your gallery—pick the gallery option.
5. It’s not free, but you can find someone with the “Image” search option on SocialCatfish.
SocialCatfish helps users outsmart dangerous individuals and find their online accounts by name, phone number, and email address.
You can also search for (and find) someone by image: open SocialCatfish on your browser, choose the “Image” option and pick a picture.
SocialCatfish will first scan that picture and then continue to find all the social media platforms and dating sites (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc.) where it’s being used.
An “Unlimited Image Searches” subscription costs $6.87 for 3 days and it will find you your person almost immediately!
6. Show the picture to your friends—they might be able to recognize the person!
If you’re looking to find the identity of this mysterious person, you can also ask your friends if they know them—just show them the picture.
Do this if they and your friends have anything in common: if they go to the same school, town, events, or have similar interests.
In case they know this mysterious person, you’ll also learn more about them (for instance, if you’re crushing on them and find out they’re in a relationship, rethink if you want to pursue them).
If reverse image searching doesn’t work, asking your friends is all that’s left!
Which free service is the best for finding people with only an image?
Okay, so we have Search Engines (excluding Yahoo Images as we can’t upload an image on it), Extensions, Reverse Image Search Tools, and Pinterest!
Based on my research, I would say that Search Engines, specifically Yandex take the prize.
- Not only did Yandex show me a long list of online pages using Zach King’s image, but it also told me who he is and other related images.
For the sake of this analysis, I had to pick a famous person so if you’re trying this on a non-celebrity, the results may look different.
But because Yandex is able to gather this much data with this much accuracy, it’s worth assuming that it works both ways!
– When should you attempt to find someone using a picture?
You should only do this if you have good intentions in mind, otherwise, you’d only look like a stalker!
- If this person is an ex who made it clear they don’t want any contact with you, then halt your search for them.
- Don’t frantically search for them if they’re a stranger you’re interested in as they might feel uncomfortable.
It’s best to be upfront about it and ask this person if it’s okay to have and message them on social media (it’s way easier and less awkward).
You can reverse-search somebody’s image if it’s a potential employee whose background you want to check or a lost connection.
I highly advise you also reverse image search an online date’s selfies before meeting up with them—being able to uncover a catfish prevents danger.
Attempt to search someone by picture only if it’s for your safety’s sake or if the
person wouldn’t mind you doing it.
Is it possible to find someone with just a photo? Here’s my say in it.
Yes, not only can you find someone using their picture, but you can do so easily and without a cost.
I mean it when I say that reverse image searching is the most beneficial method of finding social profiles.
Use special add-ons, tools, and your favorite search engines, but only if the other person wouldn’t feel inconvenienced.