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How to search for open images in google images: Simple!

Google recently updated the Google Image site and removed the "Advanced Search" button. I could not search for open resources without clicking on the "reuse" button. Finally, with the help of Cable Green, we found it! Is it simple or what?

You have to
1. do  a search on some topic first and then
2. scroll down past 100s of pix to find the bottom and voila
3. Find the "Switch to Basic Version" button
4. Press the button.
5. Scroll back up to the top of the new screen
6. Press the "Advanced Search" button
7. Scroll down to the "Usage Rights" section
8. Click on the "Only images labeled for reuse" button
9. Scroll back up to the search box
10. Hit Return
Voilà there!


  • Thanks for the instructions, Rory. 

    I followed the steps, and based on the search result (and deleted all the parameters), I found out that you can go directly to the advance search mode with this URL:

    and to further get back the advance search option, here's the URL for advance searching website:

    Worth bookmarking.

    Or even better, set it as the default search page. I'll add some steps on how to do that in Chrome (haven't found a way to do it in Firefox).

    Billy Cheung January 19, 2012 - 11:16am

  • Since Google took away the "Advance Search" link on the front page, I always want to find a way to get it back. Thanks for the post and instructions, I'm glad that it is still possible to go advanced. A simple way is to bookmark and use the links: 

  (for advance image search, which can filter result by license/commercial/modify usage rights.

  (which I really miss, for language specific search, etc.)


    Here's how to make the default search page in Chrome going to the Advance search mode, for either web search or image search. 

    in Chrome (not Firefox)

    1. click on the wrench icon at top right, a popup menu appears, select 'Preferences'
    2. Under the Preferences -> Basics page, there's the 'Search' option. Click on the button 'Manage Search Engines...'
    3. A long list of Search Engines shows up. At the bottom, there are three fields for you to 'Add a new search engine.'
    4. In the 1st field, enter "Google Advance" or "Google Image Advanced" or any name, in the 3rd field, enter
      for google advance image search
      for google advance web search 
    5. The 2nd field Keyword is tricky. As '' is already being used, we need to use a different 'Keyword.' I tried to add a slash to the to differentiate it from Keywords already being used. If there are a couple of site you wanna add, try adding multiple slashes to differentiate it from others (e.g.
    6. If there is no duplication of name or keyword or URL, the field won't turn red. And you can click anywhere other than the three fields to register this new search engine.
    7. Scroll back to the long list of all available search engines, find the one you just created. Mouse over it and a 'Make Default"  button will show up. Clicking on that to make the search default. And from now on, whatever non-url things you enter in a Chrome URL bar will get directed to that default search engine you just set.

    Note: The advance search won't be as 'instant' as the original default, meaning you have to explicitly click on the Advanced Search button instead of seeing the search result instantly. This is mainly due to you are asking for all these options to filter the search research. 

    Anyone can make it work for Firefox??

    Billy Cheung January 19, 2012 - 11:34am

  • Great Instruction. I manage a Canadian e-Learning company Scholarix e-Learning Solutions and as a business owner, anyone pulling images from Google should be really careful on how we intend to use them as some of them might be restricted even for educational use.


    - Adam

    an unauthenticated user of the Landing April 3, 2012 - 7:19pm

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