Google Image Search Tools and Tips

You may use Google image search every day and still not be aware of all the features and tools that can help in your search. In this article, we review the different tools and tricks on how to get the image you need.

Google image search is a great way to find images for work and personal use. Perhaps you need help showing someone what a USB-C connect looks like? Google it.

Listening to that podcast all day and wondering what the person talking looks like? Google it!

Need an excellent picture of a unicorn for some reason? Look no further than Google.

Easy to access

You can access Google image search by going to or by clicking the images tab after googling your keyword or phrase.

At the top of the search results, Google has suggested keywords to add to make your search more specific.


Google has a number of tool categories to help you narrow down your search results to get the image you need. They are:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Usage Rights
  • Type
  • Time
A variety of tools are displayed under the images tab.


Google allows you to choose a specific size for your image search. They have more generic size categories such as large, medium, and icon, as well as the option to search only for images larger than specified dimensions. Additionally, you have the option to enter your exact dimensions needed, but unless its a common size, like a wallpaper, this may severely limit your results.

Those are some large unicorn images that Google found.


The color options include narrowing images to full color, black and white only, transparent, or picking from one of 16 color options. This is very helpful if you need a specific color image such as a blue unicorn or an image that you know looks good printed in black and white.

These Google images are as rare as a blue moon-icorn.

Usage rights

This option is important if you plan to use the images in any public or commercial manner. You do not want to use any images that you are not authorized to use.

Google has the option to narrow your search to images labeled for reuse with modification, labeled for reuse, labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification, and labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Feel free to use these unicorn images, as they are labeled for reuse by Google’s filter.


Google will deliver you a wide range of images, so narrowing down by type can help you find what you really need. Perhaps you need a more cartoon-like image or you may need an actual photo. The options you can select from are face, photo, clip art, line drawing, and animated.

Line drawing image search results make great coloring book pages.
The face option illustrates the very different (and I might add terrifying) search results you get when choosing different image types.


The option to select what time the image was uploaded is important when current results are needed. You may want to see the latest examples of your image, or just search for newer content. You can filter by images from the past 24 hours, the past week, the past month, the past year, or create a custom range filter.

Only the newest unicorn images will appear in this search.


The last critical option for when using Google is the safe search mode. Remember to turn this on especially when Googling images at work. Here’s how:

  • Go to settings
  • Click search settings
  • Safe search will be the first checkbox at the top
Turn on safe search for any Google search when at work.

Google image search provides so much valuable content. It’s important to know how to narrow that down to exactly what you need. Try this out on your own, and get the images you need for your next project.

Practice Assignment

Not sure of what to search for? Here are a few tasks to try:

  • An image of your hobby as a coloring book page labeled for noncommercial reuse
  • A real photo of a green poodle
  • A desktop background image of your favorite movie uploaded in the past year

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