Google Images can be a great source for free, high-quality photos for any type of project. However, it is important to know the rules of using Google images without violating copyright laws.

This article will give you some tips on how to use Google images without copyright issues.

Read this further to get useful insight so that you can use the images found on Google without infringing on others’ exclusive rights.

How to Find Google Images: Use the Advanced Image Search Option

Google Images provides users with the option to filter search results based on usage rights.

To access these filters, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Images: Open your web browser and navigate to Google Images (
  2. Enter Your Search Query: Type in your desired keyword(s) to find images relevant to your content.
  3. Click on “Tools” in the Google Images interface.
  4. Navigate to the drop-down menu labeled “Usage Rights.”
  5. In the “Usage Rights” dropdown menu:
    • Select “Not filtered by license” to ensure your search results are not filtered based on licenses.
    • To find suitable images for commercial use that can be edited, choose the option “Labeled for reuse with modification.”
    • Opt for “Labeled for reuse” to locate images that can be reproduced, distributed, or published for commercial use.
    • Choose the option “Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification” when looking for images that can be edited. Note that some images may only be available for non-commercial use.
    • Decide on “Labeled for noncommercial reuse” to find images that can be reproduced, distributed, or published, with the caveat that some material may only be available for non-commercial use.
  6. Click on an image to access more details, then select the “Visit” option. This action will display the image within its original website context. By visiting the image’s original website, you can verify its authenticity and confirm proper licensing.
    • It’s essential to review the license terms to ensure their legitimacy. Occasionally, individuals might take an image from one website and present it on their own site under a Creative Commons license.
  7. When on the image’s original website, carefully examine the details for images to validate the authenticity of both the image and its associated license.
    • Evaluate the credibility and reputation of the website. Does it appear trustworthy, or does it seem like a platform that permits users to upload content without copyright checks?
    • Look for information regarding the image’s creator and rightful owner. This data is vital for accurately attributing the image.
    • Ensure that licensing information is readily accessible and clearly presented. Is the licensing status easy to locate and appropriately labeled?
  8. Click the provided link to access more comprehensive information about the license terms, outlining both the permissible actions and any applicable conditions.

Performing a Reverse Image Search on Google for Image Attribution

When finding an image through a wide Google search or on an unfamiliar website, it is crucial not to assume that the website showing the image is its original source right away.

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A prudent approach involves conducting a reverse image search to potentially trace the digital image back to its original origin.

Various online search engines offer tools for conducting reverse image searches, including:

1. Google Image Search

Widely used for reverse image searches, Google’s image search function enables you to track down the source of an image.

Instructions for Conducting a Reverse Image Search on Google:

  1. Visit Google Images (
  2. Click on the camera icon within the search bar. This will prompt you to upload an image or paste its URL.
  3. Upload the image you want to search for or provide the image URL if the image is hosted online.
  4. Click the “Search by image” button to initiate the reverse image search.

2. TinEye

Another tool for reverse image searches, TinEye aids in finding the original source of an image across the web.

By utilising these reverse image search options, you can increase your chances of uncovering genuine image sources, contributing to more accurate attribution and understanding of its context.

Remember that conducting a reverse image search can be particularly useful when aiming to verify the authenticity or ascertain the rightful owner of a high-quality image found on the Internet.

How to Find Non-Copyrighted Images on Google

Simplified Approach to Discovering Stock Photo Site

When it comes to locating images that you can freely utilise, exploring stock image platforms such as Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay emerges as a straightforward strategy.

These platforms offer a wealth of images that come without a price tag, and while giving credit to the artist is not mandatory, it’s a gesture of appreciation worth considering.

Moreover, the versatility extends to modifying these images for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, granting you creative flexibility.

The only caveat lies in selling the images without substantial alterations, which is restricted.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of what falls within the permissible boundaries, each platform’s licensing page provides detailed insights: Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can confidently infuse your projects with captivating visuals while abiding by the stipulated terms.

Library of Congress

Unearth a wealth of cost-free digital photos by venturing into the digital collection of the Library of Congress. This repository offers an extensive assortment of photographs that you can freely utilise.

Notably, the Library of Congress curates content that falls within the spectrum of being “in the public domain,” possessing “no known copyright,” or having obtained explicit clearance from the copyright owner for public usage.

It’s worth noting that while you might not encounter run-of-the-mill stock images within this collection, the Library of Congress proves to be a valuable resource if you’re seeking historical visuals.

From iconic landmarks to prominent individuals and artistic creations, this platform presents image collections that traverse the realms of history and culture.

Exploring Free Image Resources on Wikimedia Commons

When in search of cost-free images, consider navigating to Wikimedia Commons—an online platform affiliated with the same nonprofit organisation that operates Wikipedia.

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This resource proves to be another valuable hub for discovering images without any associated cost.

It’s important to note that while all images hosted on Wikimedia Commons are indeed available for use without charge, they may be governed by various licenses, each carrying distinct usage stipulations.

Exploring Alternatives for Discovering Free Images

Discovering a plethora of copyright-free images to enhance your creative projects has never been easier.

Here are notable platforms that offer a diverse array of images, all available within the public domain:

  1. The Smithsonian: Delve into the treasure trove of the Smithsonian, where millions of captivating images spanning wildlife, architecture, art, landscapes, and more await. Each image available on the Smithsonian’s open-access platform is part of the public domain, ensuring unrestricted use. You can explore their expansive collection of images with confidence.
  2. National Gallery of Art: If your quest leads you to find reusable artwork, look no further than the National Gallery of Art (NGA). Their collection boasts images that reside in the public domain, granting you the liberty to copy, modify, and distribute them according to your needs. For more insights into NGA’s open access policy, you can refer to their dedicated resources.
  3. Art Institute of Chicago: Embark on a visual journey through the Art Institute of Chicago’s repository of art in the public domain. As you peruse their collection, remember to activate the Public Domain filter beneath the Show Only dropdown on the left side of the screen. This thoughtful feature streamlines your search, making it easier to find precisely what you seek.
  4. New York Public Library: Much like the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library (NYPL) presents an extensive array of historical images that you can freely explore and download. As you embark on your image hunt, don’t forget to toggle the “Search only public domain materials” option that emerges upon clicking the search bar. This ensures that the materials you access are well within the public domain.
  5. Creative Commons’ Openverse: Creative Commons, the renowned nonprofit behind the CC license framework, introduces its own open-source search engine called Openverse. A curated assortment of images awaits you, all of which are either nestled in the public domain or governed by a CC license. A prudent practice is to ascertain the specific license associated with each image before proceeding with reuse.

By leveraging these esteemed platforms, you can seamlessly integrate captivating perfect images into your projects, all while abiding by the public domain principles or licenses that govern each repository.

The availability of these copyright-free resources empowers you to enhance your creative endeavors without the hindrance of legal constraints.

How to Use Google Images Without Copyright Issues?

  1. To use Google Images without copyright issues, select images labeled for reuse, like those under Creative Commons licenses.
  2. Seek public domain images from reliable sources.
  3. Consider stock photo sites for clear licensing. Obtain permission if uncertain. Modify images if allowed.
  4. Attribution: If an image requires attribution, ensure you give proper credit to the creator as specified in the license. This often involves including the creator’s name and a link to the original source.
  5. Educational and Fair Use: While using copyrighted images for educational purposes or within the boundaries of fair use might be allowed, it’s a nuanced area. Proceed with caution and consider seeking legal advice if unsure.
  6. Obtaining Permission: If you’re uncertain about an image’s copyright status, try to obtain permission from the owner. They might grant you specific rights for your intended use.
  7. Commercial Use: For commercial purposes, consider purchasing images from reliable sources. This ensures you have the appropriate rights for your business needs.
  8. Legal Guidance: Copyright laws can be complex, and internet-sourced images carry risks. When in doubt, consulting a legal expert specialising in intellectual property can provide clarity and prevent potential legal issues.
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In the realm of sourcing images, the utilisation of licensed images becomes pivotal.

By aligning with specific search criteria and delving into the intricacies of copyright status, one can navigate the digital landscape with confidence.

Vigilance in identifying copyright holders and understanding the nuances of copyrights-free stock photo sites aids in making informed choices.

Whether it’s honing in on an apt search term or comprehending the legal liabilities associated with picture use, a cautious approach is paramount.

Ultimately, weaving a tapestry of visuals without trespassing into legal boundaries safeguards against potential issues. Through due diligence, the quest for impactful visuals harmonises with responsible practices.


How can I ensure the images I find on Google are free to use?

Utilise Google’s Advanced Image Search tool and set appropriate usage rights filters to discover pictures that are copyright-free.

Can I modify images I find on Google for commercial purposes?

Yes, you can often modify images for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. However, ensure you understand the specific license terms for each image.

Is giving credit to the artist required when using images from sources like Pexels or Unsplash?

No, giving credit is generally optional, but it’s considered a courteous gesture to acknowledge the artist.

How can I prevent legal issues when using online images?

Be cautious about copyright status, respect usage rights, and understand licensing terms to avoid legal liabilities.

What are the benefits of using licensed images?

Licensed images provide a secure way to use visuals while respecting copyright holders’ rights and adhering to licensing terms.

Are there specific search criteria for finding copyright-free images?

Yes, platforms like Google offer filters to narrow down search results to copyright-free images.