Google Removes 'View Image' Button from Google Image Search (and what you can do about it)

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Google Image logoGoogle has eliminated the 'View image" button from its image search results and is making copyright notices more noticeable in an effort to prevent copyright infringement.

If you looked at an image in Google image search in the last few days and noticed the 'View image' button was missing, it's not just you.
As part of a settlement with Getty Images, Google removed the 'View image' button and 'Search by image' option when looking at an individual image in Google image search results. This removes the option to take a look at an image without visiting the site where the image is hosted. With the new changes, when you're looking at an individual image the available options are 'Visit' and 'Share'. Visit will take you to the site where the original image is hosted.

While the change is good for photographers and publishers (it directs traffic to websites and can decrease copyright infringement), it adds a few steps to be able to view an image. In addition to visiting the website where the image is, you may have to scroll through the site to find the image, or the image you want may no longer be on the website. Taking away the 'Search by image' option makes it harder to track down attribution for an image and more difficult to have an image taken down for any reason.

There are ways around this of course - you can drag and drop the image to a folder or desktop, and right clicking the image and choosing 'Open image in new tab' or 'Save image as' (or whatever the equivalent is in the browser you use) will download the image to your computer. While Google is a very good search engine with many features, you can also opt for another search engine. Duckduckgo is my favorite (see the write up by Robert on Duckduckgo here) and my second choice  is StartPage. Both Duckduckgo and StartPage are secure and support anonymous browsing. Both have an image search feature.

If you'd like to stay with Google image search, you're in luck - there are add-ons/extensions for Firefox and Chrome that add back the 'View image' button in Google image search.
You can find them at the Make Google Image Search Great Again! at GitHub (scroll down a bit for links) or you can use these direct download links:
Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-search-view-image/
Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-search-view-image/hgngncnljacgakaiifjcgdnknaglfipo
(these work for me in Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi - to use Chrome extensions in Opera, read here)

If you're a little more on the tech side of things, there's also a Userscript that will do the same thing for Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey - the link is at the Make Google Image Search Great Again! page at GitHub, or you can use this direct link:
Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/devunt/make-gis-great-again/master/gis-vib.user.js

(Note: while there are many public domain and copyright free images on the internet, do check usage rights before you use them - no one likes their images to be pirated or used without attribution or permission)

(via PetaPixel)

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Comments

For Web use, I find it convenient to search Creative Commons, thus avoiding copyright issues in the first place: https://search.creativecommons.org/. It allows searching not just Google but a variety of other image sources. Also, there's always www.unsplash.com where high-quality copyright-free images are available for free.

Creative Commons is good. I also like Pixabay and Pexels.

This is actually better without the button because now the high resolution image is actually on the search page, you don't have to always open a new tab for the high res version of the image, it is right in the search and you can just right click and save...

Using "Open image in new tab" has been working for me, but I will try the extension you mentioned.

No one has mentioned the other change that I find more bothersome: Google has removed the ability to search for alternative sizes of an image. What is offered by Google Image Search is most often not the largest version. I used to click on the size of the image to open a page with all the available sizes. Really useful if a thumbnail image just won't do the trick.

Open image in new tab has been my go to option too.

About the image size, do you mean you clicked on the image size listed under the image in individual image view or where the size used to be under the title of the image?
The only option I see to kind of replace that is at the top of the page, is under Tools. Check show sizes instead of All results.
There's also the option that theunsfvo mentioned, but it narrows the parameters for all search results, not for individual images.

it is still there mikey... just click on the Tool button below the search bar and then on the next line, the first option is Size that you can choose from...

Thanks for this..just installed the addon in Firefox..didn't work. So I installed the Greasemonkey script..that doesn't work either..even after restarting FF..still only just getting "Vist" and "Share" to the right of each image I view after a search on Google.

I don't see how it's something on my end, as both the script and the addon installed without issue and both confirmed as being installed..maybe Google has done something..I don't know. Is anyone else having this issue..or does anyone one know how to sort this out for me?

It's working fine for me still. I'm not sure what the issue is. Could be incompatible with another add-on perhaps?

Thanks for the workarounds rhiannon.
I have been using Startpage and DuckDuckGo for a number of years.

They are my favorite search engines. Google has more features, and I occasionally use it for a few things, but for daily use, either of these works for me, though I prefer DuckDuckGo results over StartPage for some reason.

There's always DuckDuckGo. Image search there, so far, works great.