How to Restore Image Search Functions

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Quite unfortunately, Google has just removed three useful options in its Image Search:

  1. Option “Face” from “Types”,
  2. Option “Photos” from “Types”, and
  3. An ability to enter an exact image size.

Here is an example of what it used to look like until just a few days ago. This Image search looks for “Faces”, size 200×200 – with the idea to find profile pictures on LinkedIn:

… and here is what we see now (with no ability to enter an exact image size either):

(Why did Google do this?)

Here is how to compensate for the losses.

1.-2. Solution:

You will get both “Face” and “Photos” filter back by using Google Advanced Image Search URL.

3. Solution:

You will get searching by an exact size back by using the search operator imagesize: (did you know about it?)

(Note that when you press “Enter”, the operator will disappear, but the search will be filtered).

By the way, there is another Google Image Search operator with similar behavior (disappearing after “Enter” is pressed) – and that is filetype:, followed by one of the Image filetypes – JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG, WEBP, ICO, or RAW. Interestingly, after you have used the filetype: operator, you will get an extra menu for filetypes:

All three lost features can also be accessed by altering the search URL. Let’s memorize what those URL parameters spell out like for image types, sizes, and colors, and keep these strings, in case Google takes more options away from us in the menu.

  • Large images: &tbs=isz:l
  • Medium images: &tbs=isz:m
  • Icon sized images: &tba=isz:i
  • Image sized exactly 200×200: &tbs=isz:ex,iszw:200,iszh:200
  • Images in full color: &tbs=ic:color
  • Images in black and white: &tbs=ic:gray
  • Images that are red: &tbs=ic:specific,isc:red (orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, pink, white, gray, black, brown)
  • Image type Face: &tbs=itp:face
  • Image type Photo: &tbs=itp:photo
  • Image type Clipart: &tbs=itp:clipart
  • Image type Line drawing: &tbs=itp:lineart
  • Image type Gif: &tbs=itp:animated
  • Show image sizes in search results: &tbs=imgo:1
  • Search for filetypes: &as_filetype=png (will get you a new filetype menu as when searching by the operator)
  • X-Ray: &as_sitesearch=linkedin.com (will instert a string site:linkedin.com into search)
  • Localize to country: &cr=countryNZ (a two-letter country abbreviation goes at the end)

So here, we have learned how to restore each piece of the disappeared functionality – and also about additional rather “hidden” filters.

Don’t miss the Productivity Tools for Sourcing webinar on Wednesday, September 11th!

Comments 2

  1. Is there a url parameter for larger than 2MP?
    Or for setting a specific time period, such as Jan-Apr 2019?
    Advanced Search suddenly stopped working for size today.
    It lets me set it, but I get all size results, both on Safari and Chrome.
    It was fine last night.

    1. That’s exactly what happened to me too. I use “larger than” and filetype all the time, and now Google is making me look for another search engine. And I realize this is why Google should be broken up—competition.

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