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11. Perform an Advanced Image Search



About Finding Images with Image Search

Perform an Advanced Google Search

Because Google indexes hundreds of millions of images, your search results might return hundreds or thousands of images, many of which do not match that for which you're looking. What to do? Use Google's Advanced Image Search feature that enables you to fine-tune your searches. The Advanced Image Search includes features specific to images, such as file size.

Perform an Advanced Image Search

Go to Advanced Image Search

Starting on the main page of the Google Image Search, click the Advanced Image Search link, located on the right side of the page, just to the right of the Search Images button.

Enter Your Search Terms

The top part of the Advanced Image Search page enables you to enter search terms and phrases. It works exactly the same way as does Google's normal Advanced Search, so see Perform an Advanced Google Search for details.

Choose Image Size

You can narrow your search by specifying a file size. File size refers to image resolution rather than to the size in kilobytes. Choose small, medium, or large, or any size if you want to search for images of any size.

Choose File Type

Google Image Search indexes images that it finds in three formats: .gif, .jpg, and .png. Most images on the web are in .gif or .jpg format; the .png format is much rarer. Choose the type of file you want to search for from the Filetypes drop-down list.

Why would you search for a .gif rather than a .jpg, and vice versa? Although any image can be saved in either format, each format has its strengths and weaknesses, which you should take into account when searching:

  • .gif files are primarily used for simple graphics and illustrations that have 256 or fewer colors. The .gif format is best for logos, banners, web page buttons, and similarly simple graphics. Files in .gif format tend to be small and download quickly.

  • .jpg files are use for photographs and complex graphics and illustrations that use more than 256 colors.

  • .png files are a relatively new, high-quality format. Compared to .gif and .jpg files, relatively few .png files are on the Web.

If you're searching for photographs or complex graphics, search for a .jpg file; if you're looking for a logo, line illustration, or simple graphic, the .gif format is a better choice. It's rare that you would want to search only for .png files because there are relatively few of them online compared to files in .jpg and .gif format.

Choose the Coloration

Google can limit its search for images by color. Although you cannot search for images that are predominately red or mostly yellow, you can limit your search to black-and-white images, grayscale, or full-color images. From the Coloration drop-down box, choose any colors, black and white, grayscale, or full color. The any colors option returns black-and-white, grayscale, and full-color pictures. The full color option does not return black-and-white or grayscale pictures.


You can also search for images using your cell phone. Go to, select Images, and then do a search. For more details about using Google on your cell phone, see About Searching Google with Your Cell Phone.

Choose the Domain

If there is a specific website or domain to which you want to limit your search for images, type its URL in the Domain text box. For example, you could search an entire domain, such as, or an area inside that domain, such as

Use SafeSearch

The Web is full of inappropriate graphics, and although Google Image Search does not index pornographic sites, inappropriate pictures still might show up inadvertently on some searches. Use the SafeSearch feature, located at the bottom of the Advanced Image Search page, to filter out inappropriate pictures. You can choose No filtering, Use moderate filtering, or Use strict filtering.

Finish Your Search

After you've filled out the Advanced Image Search form, click the Google Search button or press Enter to finish your advanced search. Google returns image results in the standard way. See Browse Through Image Search Results for more information.

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