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The Best Image Search Engines to Find the Images You Want


Image search engines aren’t limited to Google. In fact, it’s often not even the best option. There are numerous sites to find images for whatever project you’re working on, including commercial projects. You can even use some image search sites to find where an image comes from.

1. Yahoo Images

Google definitely isn’t the only image search engine around. Yahoo Images works similarly but has much better filters to find what you need. Filter by color, size, type, license, and more. Unlike Google, the filters are much easier to find and use.

2. Bing Images

Using Bing Images to search for clouds.

While Bing Images looks similar to Google, the results are slightly different. Plus, unless you’re signed in, you don’t have to deal with personalized results, thanks to Google trackers (learn how to delete your Google history here). You may actually get a wider variety and better selection of image results. The filters are off to the right side, making them a little harder to find, but once you click the filter button, everything displays under the search box, just as you’re used to.

3. Everypixel

Using Everypixel to search multiple image search engines at once.

Everypixel is one of my personal favorite image search engines to find images, both free and premium. It uses AI to search over 20 sites for CC0 licensed photos, so you can use them for any purpose without attribution, though you can provide attribution if you’d like. There are also exclusive free-use images available that do require attribution and premium stock photos. Detailed filters help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

4. Openverse

Exploring Openverse's search engine site.

Search for Creative Commons-licensed images on Openverse, formerly Creative Commons Search. While all are licensed for reuse, attribution, and commercial use, rights do vary. However, there are over 700 million images to choose from, so you’ll easily find something that works for your needs. Openverse is a WordPress product, so if you own a WordPress site, it’s a great tool for finding free images to use.

If you want to stick with Creative Commons-licensed images only, check these sites.

5. Flickr

Filtering by license on Flickr

Flickr is more than just a social photo-sharing site. It’s also one of the best image search engines. However, you do need to filter your search results by license to ensure that you’re able to use an image for your project. From absolutely no restrictions to no changes allowed, there are multiple license types to choose from.

6. Shopify Burst

Searching for clouds on Shopify's image search engine Burst.

Shopify is well-known for helping entrepreneurs start businesses online. However, Shopify Burst helps them find free stock images to use on their sites. You don’t need to be a Shopify customer to use them, though. These are great for businesses and business blogs, and you can use them for commercial sites and projects. The only downside is that there aren’t any real filters, only keyword searches and categories.

7. Unsplash

Searching for images on Unsplash

Unsplash has a constantly growing collection of high-quality stock photos to use for any purpose. Attribution for images isn’t required for free images, but it does help give the site and creators more exposure. Search or explore collections to find images in specific niches. While more filters would be nice, beyond orientation and color, tags help you navigate through the vast number of images.

For premium images, you’ll need to upgrade to Unsplash+ for $7/month. Please note that these results are mixed in with the free images, but labeled clearly.

8. Pexels

Pexels home page to search for images.

Pexels is similar to Unsplash, giving you access to numerous free stock photos. You can also find free-use videos. There are a few more filters here, but otherwise, it’s one of the more straightforward image search engines. If you can’t find something on Unsplash, make Pexels your next stop.

9. Pixabay

Searching for free images on Pixabay.

Pixabay is one of the best sites to find images. While it looks similar to Unsplash and Pexels, you also get access to videos and music. Plus, when you search for free-use images, you also get premium recommendations from iStock. This helps you search two sites in one place. All images on Pixabay (not iStock recommendations) are considered public domain.

10. Freestocks.org

Looking for nature photos on Freestocks.

The name says it all. Freestocks.org is filled with great free-use images to use in any type of project. Filters would be nice, but it’s a simple image search site that has some surprisingly great stock photos. If you’re looking for something current, check out the popular tags section to the side to see what people are currently searching for the most.

11. Vecteezy

Vecteezy's image search engine for both free and premium photos.

Vecteezy (previously Photo Pin) features both free and premium images. It’s one of the best image search engines if you’re searching for premium photos for major commercial projects. Images are clearly marked free or pro. Different licensing plans are available based on your needs. You can also look for vector images and videos.

12. Shutterstock

Shutterstock's main search page for images.

For premium images, Shutterstock remains one of the top sites to find premium images. With over 370 million images to choose from, you’ll always find something perfect. Plans start at just $29/month for 10 images. You can also subscribe to video plans. Searching is easy, and advanced filters make navigating the content a breeze. There’s also a free trial available to let you see whether Shutterstock is right for your needs before committing to a monthly plan.

13. Rawpixel

Searching public domain images on Rawpixel.

Rawpixel has an incredible variety of images to choose from, including illustrations. Search through free, premium, and public domain images to find exactly what you’re looking for. Filters make it even easier to find what you need. You can also browse collections for curated images. You’ll also find vectors, PSD mockups, and graphic templates. It’s a great all-in-one resource for all of your image needs.

14. Adobe Stock

Searching Adobe's vast image library.

Search through millions of royalty-free stock images at Adobe Stock. Vector images, templates, music, and videos are also available. Fotolia (another royalty-free stock image site) has merged with Adobe Stock. Plans start at $29.99/month for 10 assets. The growing library makes it a strong competitor to Shutterstock. Get 10 free stock images when you sign up.

15. FreeImages

Using Freeimage's search engine to find free photos.

FreeImages, formerly Picspree, is a free-use image site. Images can be used for almost any purpose, and attribution isn’t required on many of them. Of course, read any licensing details on any image you download to be on the safe side. As with Pixabay, premium images from iStock also show up in search results. There aren’t any real filters to use here.

16. iStock by Getty Images

Using Getty's iStock to find premium images.

Purchase high-quality images, illustrations, and videos from iStock by Getty Images. Subscriptions start at $29/month for 10 images. You can search through Essentials and Signature images, with the latter being exclusive images not found anywhere else.

17. Getty Images

Finding high-end images on Getty Images.

One of the ultimate sites to find images for commercial projects, journalism articles, and more is Getty Images. It’s the site major news outlets turn to when they need images. While rather pricey for the average user (the cheapest option is $50/download for a single small image), it’s hard to beat the collection of high-quality images and videos. From celebrity pics to creative stock photos, there’s a little bit of everything here. There is a free section with over 16,000 images.

18. Canva

Finding stock photos on Canva.

While Canva is more known for its templates for creating marketing material, there is also an image search feature included. Search through millions of high-quality images to use on Canva projects or anything else. Everything’s free, though there are a few restrictions on use. However, licensing is clearly laid out.

You can also edit video for free with Canva. Also, learn more about Canva’s Visual Worksuite.

19. EyeEm

Searching for premium stock images on EyeEm.

EyeEm is another premium stock photo site where you subscribe to monthly plans to buy packs of images each month. The cheapest per-image option starts at $4.50/image with a pack of 1,000 images. Collections and search filters make it quick and easy to find what you need. The constantly growing collection always has something new and creative to choose from.

20. Yandex Images

Using Yandex to find photos and collections of related photos.

Yandex Images is from the Russian search engine Yandex. Collections on the front page help you quickly find related images. Of course, you can also search directly. While a license filter would be great (you’ll need to verify licenses yourself), there are other filters available based on size, type, color, etc. It’s similar to the Google, Yahoo, and Bing image search engines, though you’ll find very different results.

21. Bigstock

Using Bigstock to find cheaper premium images.

Bigstock is one of the best sites to find images at an affordable price. While this is a premium royalty-free site, pricing is much cheaper than many other comparable sites. In fact, you can get images for as low as $0.33 each, with the 10 images/day plan. Photos and videos are available. There’s also a free one-week trial to get images for free.

Wikimedia Commons main page with the picture of the day and photo challenge.

With over 87 million free-use images available, Wikimedia Commons is one of the top image search engines. With monthly photo challenges, there is always fresh content being uploaded. Photos and illustrations from nearly any subject are freely available. Typically, you do need to provide attribution to use these images. Filters make it easy to search by type, license, location, and more.

23. The New York Library Digital Collections

The NYC Library's main page to search for images.

This isn’t like most of the other sites on this list. However, if you need historic images, it’s well worth searching The New York Library Digital Collections. Most of the material is public domain, so you can use it as you wish. You can also purchase some items. The search function is straightforward, with a few basic filters to find what you need. While you’re not going to get high-quality modern photos and images, if you’re putting together a history or geography project, it’s a great site to try. At the time of writing, there were over 900,000 items available.

24. Life of Pix

Finding new images on Life of Pix.

Life of Pix is a free image-finding site that’s partnered with Adobe Stock, so you’ll find plenty of free images alongside recommendations from Adobe Stock for premium options. The high-quality images look as professional as the premium recommendations. The filters are nice to search by color, type, orientation, and more. There are also options that you can’t find on other free sites. The site has free videos, too.

25. PimEyes

Finding pictures of people using PimEye's reverse image search.

PimEyes works differently than other image search engines. The entire purpose is to help you reverse search an image, including your own photo. The site specializes in locating sites that are using images of you or other people. Simply upload you or another person’s photo, and the site uses facial recognition to see which sites might have your image uploaded. It’s a great way to catch sites who are using your image without your permission.

Of course, you can reverse search almost any image, but you’re limited to just a few free searches a day. Premium plans start at $29.99/month and even include alerts if an uploaded photo is ever found.

26. TinEye Research Image Search

Using TinEye's reverse image search.

TinEye works similarly to PimEyes, but is more general. It’s free to use for standard searches. Upload an image or use the image URL to quickly see what sites an image is being used on. It’s also a great way to find out more about the licensing of any images you find online. You can also use the MatchEngine feature to find derivative works based on images you upload.

Image search engines let you find pretty much any image you can imagine. You can also use some sites to reverse search images. If you’re looking for images with transparent backgrounds, try these sites. Or, if you need to do reverse image searches on mobile devices, learn how to do it on iOS and Android.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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