Frequently asked questions

Our API FAQs can be found on our API product pages:

MatchEngine, MobileEngine, MulticolorEngine and TinEye API.

General questions

Using TinEye

TinEye crawlers and index

Account management

Plugins and bookmarklet

  • What is TinEye?

    TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. For some real TinEye search examples, check out our Cool Searches page.

    For an overview of how to use TinEye, check out our brief tutorial.

  • How does TinEye work? Does it use image names?

    TinEye uses image recognition to search for images and find matches to your search image. It does not use image names or any data associated with your search image. When you submit an image to be searched, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature or 'fingerprint' for it using image recognition, then compares this fingerprint to every other image in our index to find matches. TinEye uses robust and accurate image recognition and as such can find even partial image matches to your search image.

    TinEye does not typically find similar images (i.e., a different image with the same subject matter); it finds exact matches including those that have been cropped, edited or resized.

  • Why use TinEye?

    There are many uses for TinEye, but here are a few:

    • Find out where an image came from, or get more information about it
    • Research or track the appearance of an image online
    • Find higher resolution versions of an image
    • Locate web pages that make use of an image you have created
    • Discover modified or edited versions of an image
    • Debunk an image
    • Help with image attribution
  • What happens to the images I upload to TinEye?

    Images uploaded to TinEye for search are not added to the search index, nor are they made accessible to other users. Copyright for all images submitted to TinEye remains with the original owner/author.

  • Can TinEye find similar images? Does TinEye do facial recognition?

    TinEye finds exact and altered copies of the images that you search for, including those that have been cropped, colour adjusted, resized, heavily edited or slightly rotated. TinEye does not commonly return similar matches, and it cannot recognize the contents of any image. This means that TinEye cannot find different images with the same people or things in them.

  • Am I free to use images I find through TinEye?

    No. Most images found online are protected by copyright. If you would like to use any image found through TinEye, you will need to find the image owner and contact them directly. Unless an image is identified as a public domain image, you need to ensure that you get in touch with any image copyright holder and secure the rights to use the image you have found.

  • Is there a limit to how many searches I can do?

    Yes. The free for non-commercial use version of TinEye at allows you to do up to 50 searches per day, up to 150 searches per week. If you exceed your search limit, or want to use TinEye for commercial use you may purchase a paid version of TinEye which allows for virtually unlimited search by pre-paid bundles. The paid version of TinEye includes a user interface for easy manual searching, as well as an API for more advanced automated searching.

    Note: If you use a shared or dynamic IP address, you may reach your search limit quickly if other people on your connection are using TinEye as well. To avoid this, simply create a TinEye account and make sure you are logged in. This way, only your individual searches are counted by TinEye.

  • Can I use TinEye’s image recognition technologies with my own images?

    Yes. We have launched a series of image recognition APIs that work with your own image collections. You can find out more about our APIs, by visiting our products page.

  • Can TinEye find this person for me?

    TinEye can recognize particular photos, but it does not recognize faces in the photos. Even if TinEye does find the same photo, it doesn't necessarily have the person's name; all it can tell you is where on the web we found the photo. The page the image came from might be able to tell you more.

Using TinEye

  • How do I submit an image to be searched?

    From the search page, you can either upload an image, or point to a web image or web page by pasting in a URL. You can also use our Drag & Drop feature. This allows you to drag an image, hover it over the tab in which TinEye is open and drop it into the page to do an image search.

    If you use Firefox, Chrome or IE you can install the TinEye browser plugin, which lets you right-click on any web image to search it.

    If you use any other javascript-enabled browser, you can install the TinEye bookmarklet. This lets you search for images from any web page that you are viewing.

  • What kind of images can I submit to TinEye?

    What kind of images can I search on TinEye?

    • File type: JPEG, PNG and GIF images are all acceptable.
    • Image dimensions: TinEye works best with images that are at least 300 pixels in either dimension, but can accept images as low as 100 pixels in either dimension.
    • File size: 20 megabytes is the maximum file size.
    • Watermarked images: For best results, visibly watermarked images should be avoided as TinEye may search for the watermark and not the image itself.
    • Subject matter: Submitted images must adhere to our Terms of Service.
  • Can I sort my results?

    By default, your results are sorted by 'best match'. However, you can also sort by 'biggest image', 'most changed' (which is usually the most heavily edited image result), 'newest' or 'oldest' crawled image.

    Just select your preferred option from the 'Sort by' list on the left side of the page. TinEye will remember your selection for the duration of your session.

  • What do the 'Newest' and 'Oldest' sort orders do?

    The 'Newest' sort order displays the images most recently found by TinEye's web-crawlers at the top. The 'Oldest' does the opposite, showing the earliest crawled images at the top.

    It is important to understand that the date TinEye crawled an image isn't the date that it first appeared on the webpage - we don't know that date. So we can't tell you when an image first appeared on the internet, only the first date TinEye found it on!

  • What does the 'Compare' feature do?

    This allows you to compare a result with the image used to perform your search. Click on “Compare” to go back and forth between images. This is extremely useful when identifying cropped, resized, skewed or photoshopped images.

  • I want to use permalinks to my search. What do I need to do?

    Register for a free TinEye account. Registered users of TinEye can save their search images if history is enabled in their user Profile. Saved searches are always available from the user's private History page, and permanent URL links to any saved search can be bookmarked or shared.

    Unregistered users of TinEye cannot save their search images, as they are automatically discarded.

  • I searched for one of my images and found a website where it's being used without my permission. What should I do?

    If you are concerned about how your images are being used on a particular website, try contacting the site owner directly. Although TinEye can help you locate websites where your images appear, those websites are not owned or controlled by TinEye.

  • Is TinEye free to use?

    TinEye is free for non-commercial use.

  • Can I use TinEye for commercial purposes or large volume searching?

    Yes, there is a paid version of TinEye for commercial use, which allows you to purchase TinEye searches. The commercial version of TinEye includes a user interface for easy manual searching, as well as an API for integrating TinEye with your own website or system. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

TinEye crawlers and index

  • How many images are in TinEye's search index?

    TinEye is constantly crawling the web and updating our image database regularly. To date, TinEye has indexed 15,238,804,904 images from the web. We add hundreds of millions of new images to TinEye every month, and our index is constantly growing. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook to stay updated on our image index or check out our weekly updates.

  • Why can't TinEye find my image? I know it is on the web.

    TinEye’s web crawlers are continuously working, everyday to add more images to our index. If we missed your image, it is simply because we have not yet crawled the website or page where it appears. But be sure to keep checking back! We add hundreds of millions of new images to TinEye every month.

  • How do I get my image removed from TinEye?

    TinEye simply crawls the web and directs you to content on publicly available websites. If you want content removed from the web, you should contact the webmaster of the site where that content appears.

    With this in mind, to remove personal or copyrighted images from TinEye only, please provide TinEye with the information listed on this page.

  • How do I get my images added to TinEye?

    TinEye is constantly crawling and indexing the web, with an ever-growing number of images. However this doesn’t mean that we have indexed the entire web (at least, not yet). We may not have come across your site or might not have completely crawled your site. To have TinEye point our crawler to your site for indexing, please submit an XML sitemap. For details see our sitemap specifications.

Account management

  • Why register with TinEye?

    Registration is not required to use TinEye, but it's free and it offers a few benefits:

    • Be an early adopter for our new features and provide your feedback.
    • Easily Share your search results. Get permanent URL links to your searches.
    • Keep track of your searches. Record the images you search for in your history, including the date and number of results found.
  • How do I create an account?

    To create an account, visit our registration page and register! TinEye will need to verify your email address, so please be sure to check your email for instructions.

  • I didn't receive my verification email. What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is check your junkmail and email filters to make sure it didn't get caught before it reached your inbox. The email is called: 'Welcome to TinEye!'

    If this doesn't work, you can have your email resent. Visit the TinEye login page and enter your email and password. You will get a message with an option to have your verification email resent.

    Finally, some email services simply seem to block messages from TinEye. If you did not receive your email and it was not filtered, please contact us via our contact form.

  • What is History and how do I enable/disable it?

    Registered users of TinEye can visit their History page to see all of their past TinEye search images, including the date, time and number of results for each search. To search for an image again, just click on it.

    History can be enabled or disabled by editing the preferences on your Profile page. If history is disabled, all prior searches are cleared, and future search images will be discarded.

    Use the 'Clear all' button on the History page to clear all of your current searches without disabling History in the future.

  • How do I change my password?

    You can change your password by editing the personal info on your Profile page. Enter your old password in the Old Password field, and your new password in the New Password field, then Click 'Update Profile'.

  • Can I change my email address?

    You cannot change the email address connected to your profile. Your email address is used as your login. If you need to use a different email address you will need to create a new TinEye account.

  • How do I delete my TinEye account?

    To delete your TinEye account, visit your Profile page and click the 'Delete your profile' button. You will be asked to confirm this change as it is permanent.

Plugins and bookmarklet

  • Do the plugins work with Chrome/Firefox/IE/Opera/Safari?

    The plugins work with the latest stable builds of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer.

    The TinEye bookmarklet works for any javascript-enabled browser.

  • What is the TinEye bookmarklet?

    The TinEye bookmarklet allows you to search for any images appearing on the web page you are viewing, without having to go to TinEye first. Unlike the TinEye plugin — which allows you to right-click an image to search for it — the bookmarklet is run from your browser's bookmark menu. When you click the bookmarklet, it submits the URL of the web page you are viewing to TinEye, fetches the images, and asks you to choose which image to search (just like when you paste a web page URL to the TinEye search page).

    The TinEye bookmarklet is recommended for users of mobile browsers, as well as any other browser that does not support plugins.

  • I tried to install the Firefox plugin but it isn't working. Why?

    First off, make sure you are allowing Firefox to install software from TinEye. (If you aren't, you will probably see a message at the top of your screen with an 'allow' button; click this and continue).