[Updated] Don't like Chrome's 'Search Image with Google Lens'? Here's how to disable feature or revert back to 'Search Google for Image'

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 27, 2021) follows:

As of 2021, there are more than 3.2 billion internet users worldwide. Having said that that, more than 64% use Google Chrome to browse the internet.

Undoubtedly, Chrome has been dominating the web browser app niche for years now, thanks to the developers constantly dishing out new features and bringing performance improvements.


Google recently updated the app with a couple of fixes for some bugs. But as it turns out, the developers also replaced the Search Image with Google feature with Search Image with Google Lens.

The Search Google for Image feature allowed users to reverse search for images using Google search, with some saying that it was one of the reasons why they used Chrome in the first place.

You can see in the image below how the new option looks like for those using Google Chrome on desktop:

Click/tap to enlarge image (Source)

Apparently, Chrome users are really frustrated with Google’s decision since Search with Lens sometimes does not show up the relevant results for the image or shows no results at all.

Google just forced desktop users to switch over to their stupid mobile app Lens in the right-click context menu, after the same release came with a UAF vulnerability in V8 for 2.5 billion devices. Lens is trash. I just wanted to test it out, so I used Image Search and Lens on the same image, and Lens came back with “No results found for the selected area” and Image Search came back with “About 294 results (1,06 seconds)”. Is that the “new machine learning and AI capabilities” they’re trying to get over people with? There’s no excuse. Just another example of how out-of-touch and half-baked the chrome devs are, they take a year to roll out broken software and deactivate what worked.

It appears that in the past 24 hours or so, I have noticed that the “Search Image using Google” option [typically found when you right click on an image to find other instances of that image] has been replaced with “Search Image using Google Lens”. However, it seems like they’ve taken away all of the actual functionality previously available. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this just another case of “upgrades that usually aren’t”? This really hampers the ability to find original sources and better quality or higher resolution versions of an image.

Users say that the feature was allegedly first released for the Android version of Chrome and then added to the desktop version of the app.

Chrome users say that that searching images using Lens is not as good as it was with Google Images. Now, many are wondering how to revert to Search Images using Google instead of the new Lens search.

Thankfully, we have found a bunch of workarounds that seem to help Chrome users to use Search Images with Google instead of Search with Google Lens.

Workaround 1

A bunch of users said that they were able to see the Search Image with Google option if they tried searching it in Incognito mode.


Workaround 2

For those using Google Chrome on desktop, disabling the enable-lens-region-search flag seems to be doing the trick for now.

However, we want to remind you that Google often loves to remove or modify flags like these, like how they did with the Tab Groups flag, so enjoy till it lasts.


Workaround 3

If the aforementioned workarounds are not working, you can try using an extension that allows you to search images using your favorite search engine.


Update 1 (March 12)

12:07 pm (IST): One of our readers suggested a plugin that will bring back the search by image option into the drop-down menu in Google Chrome. You can download it from here.

Thanks for the tip: Devin Devon!

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Anurag Chawake

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.