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How to Reverse Image Search: Quickly Find Name of Mystery Image

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The pub quiz picture round is a prime example for this problem: you have an image in front of you and you need to know what it is. You could try putting descriptive terms into Google’s search query field in hope of getting lucky with the image results, or a better solution would be to try searching by image rather than words.

(We are not condoning cheating on pub quizzes, before anyone complains.)

So let’s do that. In front of us is a pub quiz picture round featuring various characters from The Simpsons. We’ve named the first 14 characters, and we’re stuck on the last.

We could Google “old guy with orange skin, white hair, Simpsons character, BAM”, but the following steps are a lot easier.

Find a mystery image using reverse image search on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

• Launch the browser on your smartphone and go to https://ctrlq.org/google/images

(That’s a bit of a mouthful to remember, so you can also just search for ‘reverse image search’ and select it from the results.)

• Tap the Upload Picture button

• Choose Camera when prompted

How to reverse image search

• Using your phone’s camera take a photo of the image you want to search. Try to get it in focus and taking up as much of the frame as possible

• Tap the tick icon to select that image and begin uploading it to Google’s reverse image search tool. This may take a few moments, so be patient

• When the process is complete you will get a message Image Uploaded. Click Show matches

• A new Google Images search results page will pop up with some suggestions – so we now know our mystery character is Kent Brockman

How to reverse image search

• If the service doesn’t offer you any results, try taking a photo of the image on your phone, cropping in using the built-in image editor, then uploading the edit to the reverse image search service.

This will also work on your laptop or PC, but you will be prompted to upload an image file rather than to take a photo.

Read next: Best camera phones 2017

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