Reverse image search on Facebook

Cameras are everywhere these days, which means you are likely to come across an image that interests you. There are plenty of reverse image search options on Google. But what do you do when you see an image on Facebook and want to find out its origin?

Fortunately, there are ways to do a reverse image search for Facebook. While Facebook doesn’t have a reverse image search, you can use the unique numeric ID that Facebook assigns to each image on Facebook to identify the source of the photo. Alternatively, you can use Google Image Search to perform a reverse image search outside of Facebook.

This is how you find the origin of a photo you find on Facebook.

Reverse Image Search

One of the easiest ways to find information about an image is to search for images in reverse. You can use search engines like Google Images or TinEye to quickly find the source of an image.

facebook reverse search image

To use a reverse image search engine, you need the image location or the actual image. You can also download and save the image. To save an image from Facebook, you can right-click and tap “Save Image As” in the web browser or open the image in the app and tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner and click Save.

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For Google, you can paste the image URL or upload the image you downloaded and saved.

facebook reverse image search

However, keep in mind that your reverse image search results may be vary depending on profile settings from the profile from which the photo came. If the user’s privacy is locked, you may not be able to find out whose profile the image is from. You may find information about the photo from sources other than Facebook, which will direct you to the source of the photo.

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Instead of or in addition to the reverse image search, there is a method you can use within Facebook to trace a photo back to its original profile.

Read on for instructions on how to match an image to a profile on Facebook.

How To Use Facebook Photo ID Numbers

Did you know that some Facebook images have a photo number embedded in the file name? Using this method is relatively easy.

However, if you choose to use this method, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, the profile you find may not be the person in the photo. It could be where the photo came from, but that photo could have been taken and shared by someone else.

It’s also important to remember that you may get a Facebook profile, but the information you see may be limited. It depends on the privacy settings of the person. For optimal results, the profile should be public, which is of course not always the case.

With that in mind, here’s how to use this method to find specific Facebook profiles.

Step 1: Find the photo ID number

First you need to find the Facebook photo ID number on the image. To do this, right-click on the image and select “View image/photo”. Doing so may reveal the original link for the image. You can also right click on the photo and choose ‘Copy image address’.

reverse image search

Somewhere at the beginning of the link you should see the letters “fb”. That stands for Facebook, and it confirms that the image comes from there. But you’re not done yet. You still need the photo’s unique number assigned by Facebook.

In the link address you should see three sets of numbers followed by “jpg” or “png”. For example, you might see a URL that looks something like this:

fbid=65502964574389&set=a.105484896xxxxx.2345.10000116735844&type

The sequences of numbers can also be broken down by underscores to look like this:

fbid=65502964574389&set=a_105484896xxxxx.2345_10000116735844&type

Either way, it’s the second or middle set of numbers you want. This is the profile number for the person’s photo on Facebook. In this case it would be: 105484896xxxxxx.

Every Facebook user and every photo on Facebook has a unique number, so by matching the ID of the image with the profile ID, you now have a match.

Step 2: Open the Facebook profile with the photo ID

Your next step is to use that second set of numbers to find the Facebook profile where the image comes from. To do this, open another tab and paste the following link with the photo ID number:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=[insert photo ID number here]

image search facebook

Make sure there are no spaces or decimals when copying the ID number. The actual number of digits may differ from the example, so you can get one that is shorter or longer. Press Enter to open the Facebook profile where the image may come from.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a lot to learn about what you can find on Facebook. We’ve added this section to answer more questions.

Is a Facebook profile picture public?

Yes. One of Facebook’s rules is that all profile pictures must be public. Therefore, if you see a photo that looks like a profile photo, you should be able to find the source of the image.

Can I search for private photos on Facebook?

The only way to see someone’s private photos on Facebook is if you’re friends with their friends (and their settings allow it). Finding photos on Facebook can be quite difficult if the original poster has a private account.

How do I find my friend’s photos?

If you’re friends with someone on Facebook and want to see all their photos, you can. You can also do this for public accounts. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to the person’s profile (use the search bar at the top to enter the name).

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2. Click Photos/video.

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Here you can view all your friends’ photos and videos.

Does Reverse Image Search Really Work?

Using reverse image search is perhaps the easiest way to look up information. It’s not the most comprehensive, especially for social media websites.

Check out the name format instead. See if the photo is from Facebook or another website. If it’s from Facebook, you can try to find the photo ID and use the generic URL to take you to the correct Facebook page.

Keep in mind that neither method is completely reliable. Both results may vary depending on many factors. But maybe you’re lucky and you’re one step closer to putting a name on a face, and that’s one step closer than you were before you tried.

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