Categories: Tech News

How to Restore Google Image Search in Chrome

Google Chrome users who use the browser’s built-in option to search for images may have noticed that Google has changed the processing system of the traditional search engine from Google Images to Google Lens recently.

A right click on an image shows the new one Search image with Google Lens option and no longer the Search Google Images option. Depending on your settings, Chrome users can also see Search image with Googlewhich also works with Lens.

Google Lens is an image recognition service that tries to identify images using neural networks. The service has been available as an app for Android and iOS for years, but Google began expanding Lens recently.

Although both image search technologies may seem similar at first glance, some users may notice key differences between the two.

Chrome opens a sidebar with results when you use Google Lens to learn more about an image. Clicking the full screen icon opens a new browser tab.

Lens in Chrome offers three basic functions:

  • Identify an object in an image.
  • Identify text in an image.
  • Translate text into an image.

Controls are provided to highlight a different object in the image or change the dimensions. Google Lens can identify the object, for example, a building, a public figure or a plant.

Lens displays visually matching images in its interface, but limits the output. There is a link to Google Search to search the name, but no direct option to redirect the search to Google Images directly.

Google may show ads in the sidebar, based on the object that Lens has identified.

Google Images, on the other hand, looks at the entire image and displays search results, including visually similar images.

Restore Google Images search in Chrome

If you prefer Google Images search in Google Chrome, you can restore the classic functionality for now. Note that this is done by changing the value of an experimental flag; This mark will be removed by Google at some point, forcing all users to use Google Lens in the browser.

For now, do the following to restore classic Google Images search:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#enable-lens-standalone into your browser’s address bar.
  2. Change the status of the experimental brand from Default to Disabled.
  3. Restart Google Chrome.

Once done, Google displays the classic Search Google Images option in the context menu of the Chrome browser.

Extension alternatives

Google will remove the experimental mark at some point, which removes the option to restore the classic reverse image search in Chrome with Google Images.

Extensions can offer an alternative. They cannot remove the Google Lens option from the Chrome context menu, but they can add their own actions to it or to the main Chrome toolbar.

  • Quick Image Search uploads the selected image to Google Image Search and returns classic Google Image Search results. It’s a simple extension. The only downside is that it hasn’t been updated since 2020.
  • Reverse Image Search adds a context menu item to Chrome to search Google, Yandex or IQDB for the selected image.
  • Search by image expands the selection of reverse image search engines. It supports Google, but also others, such as Bing, TinEye or Shutterstock. The extension adds a context menu folder to Chrome when installed, which lists all available search options.

Closing words

Google Chrome users who prefer classic image search functionality can restore it to the browser natively for now. Once the option is removed, extensions can provide an alternative, although several Google Images search entries may seem confusing at first in the context menu.

When Google makes a fundamental change to Chrome, it’s always a good idea to ask whether it did it to improve the user experience or for its own goals. The latter means increased advertising revenue, usually.

In the case of Lens, it seems to be a bit of both. The lens offers better identification options, mainly because it allows users to choose an object in an image that they would like to identify.

now you: Google Image Search or Lens, which do you prefer?


Name of the item

How to Restore Google Image Search in Chrome


Learn how to restore the classic Google image search option in the Google Chrome web browser (replace Google Lens).


Martin Brinkmann


Tech News from Ghacks




Published by

Recent Posts

More on the Interest-Income Channel

Last weekend, I wrote about Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could be…

4 weeks ago

More information in the Interests Channel

Last weekend, I he wrote on Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could…

4 weeks ago

Biden wants to reduce the deficit. Powell wants to reduce inflation. Do rate hikes undermine both goals?

Last week, the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell said, "the disinflationary process has begun".…

1 month ago

Quick thoughts on the CBO budget and economic outlook

Earlier this week, I joined Romaine Bostick and Scarlet Fu Bloomberg TV. The Congressional Budget…

1 month ago

Eight states have joined forces to raise taxes on America’s wealthiest

Tomorrow morning, I'll be joining CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about a new effort tax…

1 month ago

Mike Pence would pick up where Paul Ryan left off

Former Vice President Mike Pence talks about privatizing Social Security. The remarks came Thursday before…

2 months ago