Does TinEye Work At All?

TinEye purports to be a website that will do a reverse-image lookup. Feed it an image or the URL of an image, and it claims it will find the places where that image has been used.

I learned about it from this article.

Given the sharing that happened yesterday — scroll down in my post here — I decided to see if TinEye would uncover that use and perhaps others.

Well, no:


Click = big

Well, perhaps it didn’t like the URL I gave it. But that’s just no excuse. Because I’ve used that image in at least three posts. And it found none of them!

Then I decided to try a famous image. Because I Am Mean!

I used that famous space shuttle photo that’s been floating around and is the subject of the article I linked to at the beginning of this post. I mean, come on, it should be able to find something as widely used as that, right?

Um, no:


Click = big

So, if I had to answer the question, Does TinEye work at all? My own reply would be: No.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Does TinEye Work At All?

  1. Weird. I like TinEye. It doesn’t always find everything, but I’ve found very few cases like those you describe. I use it fairly often, and usually it works pretty well.

    I’ve tracked down the origins of several images with it. I would never have known where they came from otherwise.

  2. Peter jones

    Doesn’t work. Scam. Tried it also.

  3. a

    I confirm, it doesn’t work

  4. Roy

    I can’t say I used it honestly. If it finds images on the net then at most I can say I TRIED to use it a dozen times because it never found anything. Ir’s utterly worthless.

  5. nane

    Tried it a lot , that thing doesn´t find any of my pictures (laying out on different sites) . Not even several months after publishing.

  6. Dario

    Hey @PeterJones, just curious: how is it a scam if it’s FREE?

    And by the way, no it doesn’t work (that’s why I googled “TinEye doesn’t work” and ended up here). I was trying to find out who’s the guy in this caricature and no luck:

    If you happen to know who he is, let me know!

    • Darren

      Actually it’s not free. See the ads on the results page?

      It’s dead but no one’s pulling the plug officially…and why would they. They’ll let it continue to be a small revenue stream until the user base dries up. Not a bad strategy, considering there’s no back end dev on the project anymore.

      Once Google got in the game I suspect TinEye decided that investing software dev on this project is crazy from a fiscal perspective. But they’re not going to announce that it’s dead…that would be throwing tons of ad $$$ away.

      So keep the TinEye searches coming!

  7. James

    I can confirm Tineye is a load of crap and no, it doesn`t work.

    Have attempted to use Tineye to find images over several years, but mostly with no success, even have it as an add on with firefox. It can manage to find an image, but this is few and very far between.

    I have no idea what the point of it is? As the whole thing is a waste of time.

  8. ScubaSteve

    Tineye used to work great back in the day…maybe around 2007-2008 if I remember correctly. I haven’t been able to get it to return anything for several years, though. Google has a nice reverse image search tool now, but it’s just not the same.

  9. luiuy

    does not work have several of my images stolen now i have to go to google to find them

  10. Pam

    I have tried several times and no, it does not work.

  11. Joe

    It used to work many years ago.

    Even though it’s free, I still call it a scam. Anything that is so popular on the net, and doesn’t work is wasting our time. I wonder how many people have tried it several times to find it doesn’t work.

    I’ve got close to 400 webpages on the net, been there for about 15 years, many images are stolen / hijacked. Tineye has not found one single occurrence.

  12. Same, TinEye doesn’t work at all. The google Image search works far better, although their online DCMA reporting form doesn’t seem to accept the URLs of pages when you attempt to report them…

  13. 99ways2die

    I used it about two years ago, it worked fine, Facebook, other sites, if there was a fake profile out there I knew where the pics where from. Just now been trying it and getting nothing. It did pick up on an old comment I made like 5 years ago I forgot I ever was even on, but then I tried a friend on facebook and it didn’t even come back to face book. Seems most photos are stolen from facebook these days now that Myspace is crap, most fake profile pics should come back to that, but if it won’t even come back to the persons page I got it off from, what use is that? Just garbage. Not cool like it used to be.

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