Step-by-Step: How to Do a Reverse Image Search on Facebook?

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Updated · Jan 12, 2024

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April Grace Asgapo
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April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

April is a proficient content writer with a knack for research and communication. With a keen eye fo... | See full bio

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Over 350 million photos are uploaded on Facebook daily, making it a massive online repository of images. Billions of users worldwide share photos of their lives on Facebook regularly.

Finding someone on Facebook with only a photo is now possible through reverse image search technology. However, Facebook does not have this feature on its platform.

How will you perform an image search on Facebook? Continue reading to find out.

3 Ways to  Perform Reverse Image Search on Facebook

As a platform that has vowed to protect user privacy, Facebook does not have a built-in reverse image search function. However, there are methods to find the source or the profile origin of a photo on the networking site. 

Check out the three ways to do a reverse image search on Facebook below:

Method 1: Use the Facebook Photo ID 

One way to find an image’s source profile is by using the unique ID number that Facebook assigns to every uploaded photo on its platform. This is also the default file name of the picture if it’s downloaded from Facebook.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. If you have the photo on your device, open it with any image-viewer app.
  2. Find the unique photo ID by looking at the image’s file name. Get the middle set of numbers that are separated by underscores.
    Getting the Photo ID using the File Name
  3. Open a new tab in your web browser. Enter on the web address bar. 
  4. Add the ID number at the end of the web address. This is how it should look like:
    Sample Facebook URL with the Photo ID
  5. Press Enter. It should take you to the original image on the Facebook user profile that uploaded it.

📝 Note

Facebook users have the liberty to adjust the privacy settings of their photos. They can choose to show their photos to the public, to their friends only, or keep them private. You may be unable to view a photo if it is set as “Only Me.”

Privacy Settings for Facebook Photos

If you only have the link for the photo, you can still acquire the unique photo ID. Check the photo's URL for the three sets of numbers. Copy the middle set and do the same process as above.

Getting the Photo ID with the URL

Method 2: Search Through Social Catfish

Another way of executing a reverse image search on Facebook is through third-party apps like Social Catfish. It is an online investigation site with various search features. One of which is reverse image search

Social Catfish is capable of running more than 17 million reports. Most people use its Reverse Image Search feature to determine if their online dating match uses a fake identity or has undesirable records. It is also used to find long-lost loved ones.

The reverse image search function is simple and straightforward. 

  1. Go to Social Catfish. Click Image
    Social Catfish homepage
  2. Upload the image. Hit Search.
  3. Wait for the scan to finish. It will search through all the available online resources like Facebook to find a match.
    Social Catfish progress bar
  4. Enter your email address to receive the report. 
  5. Sign up for a subscription to access the full results. 

Social Catfish is a paid service. After running the scan, it will ask you to subscribe before showing the results. The paid trial costs $6.87 for three days. After that, you will be billed $28.97 monthly if you do not cancel the subscription.

👍 Helpful Article

Besides finding the source of a photo on Facebook, Social Catfish is also an effective tool for detecting scammers. Check out this TechJury guide on using Social Catfish to identify and track down a fraudster.

Method 3: Use Reverse Image Search Websites

Google runs more than 105,000 searches per second, making it a capable search engine for general information. That includes finding the source of an image. Google has a built-in reverse image search function that is free and easy to use.

Here’s how to use Google Image Search:

  1. The easiest way to access Google’s Image Search function is by clicking the camera icon on the homepage.
    Google Search homepage
  2. Upload a file image or paste a URL. Wait for the result.
  3. You can adjust the image cropping to exclude unnecessary details. This should improve image recognition and may provide more accurate results.
    Reverse Image Search with Google Lens
  4. Click on Find image source to find better results that match the photo.
  5. Check the list for any results from Facebook.

Besides Google, you can also use TinEye to search for an image’s profile origin on Facebook. It works the same way as Google Image Search.

You only have to upload an image or paste a URL. Then, you just have to wait for the results. The tool also lets you filter the results only to show those from Facebook. However, it only works if there are matching images on Facebook.

TinEye search results

👍 Helpful Article

Twitter is another social media platform with millions of images, like Facebook. There are three ways to perform a reverse image search on Twitter. Discover how each method works by reading this guide. 

Final Thoughts

Facebook does not possess a built-in reverse image search function. However, finding the origin of a photo is not an impossible task with photo IDs, Social Catfish, and Google. Using those tools allows any user to trace the source of images on Facebook.

Also, remember that Facebook's privacy settings were put in place to protect users from those who want to see their photos. The visibility of photos depends on how the user configures their audience, so you should value their privacy in your search.

Facebook Reverse Image Search FAQs.

Can you reverse image search a screenshot?

Yes, reverse image search works with any type of image. Reverse image search tools will scan and recognize an image, no matter how it was taken.

Can you reverse-image search a photo on your phone?

Yes. Google Image Search works on mobile versions of web browsers. Finding an image using the Facebook photo ID also applies on mobile. The same works for other reverse image search tools, too.

Can you see who looks at your Facebook profile?

Facebook denies this. Many third-party apps claim this functionality, but it would be against Facebook’s Terms of Service.


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