Instagram search by image. How to find someone’s profile with a picture?

Julia Moore
You may have seen a photo on the Internet by chance and want to know whose it is. Or a friend may have sent you a photo, and you are too shy to ask who’s on it or just never look for an easy way. Whatever it is, we will tell you how to perform Instagram search by image.
Reading time — 11 minutes

Reverse image search

There is no Instagram reverse image search, so you have to open Google or Microsoft Bing. You will almost never find a direct link to a profile in the social network. But you’ll find a name or a username from different websites. Then you can try to find someone’s profile on Instagram using the names.

Google images

Google reverse search helps to find profiles regardless of the country. That’s why we recommend you start looking for the person’s info with it. 

On a computer

  1. Click the camera icon in the Google search box.
  2. Provide a picture: put a URL or upload from a computer.
  3. Click Search by image.

On a smartphone 

You can’t upload a photo through a browser. To search Instagram by image, use an official Google app.

  1. Tap the camera icon (1).
  2. Upload a photo (2) or take a picture (3).

In the Google Lens app on iOS or Android
— Choose Search with your camera and take a photo.
OR
—  Upload a picture from Camera roll.

From the gallery:

  1. Open a picture and tap Share.
  2. Choose Search image. 

Microsoft Bing images

Bing is good for searching with a picture on English versions of sites. If you are sure a user runs a social page in English, try it. It increases chances, because the search results differ from Google’s reverse search.

Browser

Reverse image search in Microsoft Bing is available both on a computer and a smartphone. 

  1. Choose the border icon on the search page. 
  2. Upload a photo. You can also capture from a phone, and put a link from a computer. 

The app

On iOS and Android, you can search a name and username with a picture made from camera or uploaded from Camera roll.

Search for an Instagram profile

People often use the same account data in all social media. Use a name or username you see under photos in the search or on the websites to find a user on Instagram.

Search engines

Type the names in Google or Bing search boxes and add "Instagram". If the profile is public and run actively, you’ll find it. If the profile is private, and the user is not so active in social media, the likelihood they’ll be in the search results is much less.

Search the profile in both engines — they often show different pages. And one may find the page when another can’t.

Instagram

If you didn’t succeed with the search engines, search a user right in Instagram.

Name and username

Type the name and username you’ve found in the Instagram search. Choose Top or Accounts tab. You will see a list of users who used these names to fill the name and username boxes in their profile settings.

Only Latin letters are allowed in the username. Any alphabet is supported in the name box. Thus, if you are looking for a person from a foreign country, try to type their first and last names in their native language. 

If you see a long list, you have to spend a lot of time scrolling. However, you know what the person looks like and don’t have to check every profile. Go to those with a familiar face on profile photo. We also recommend checking Instagram profiles with pictures.

Username

Type a username from another social network in the search box. It is also a users’ ID, and that’s why it is unique. You’ll find a page with this username in no time. But be aware, someone else may use it in Instagram. You'll know it by photos in the profile. 

Instagram tools

It’s not that easy to find a user who is not active in social media. If methods above didn’t help, use hashtags and location to search Instagram by image. You can also look for a profile among followers in accounts. 

Use tags

Search for a user on a tag’s explore page. They may have added tags in their posts, or they may have been tagged on a photo with a tag. Also pay attention to the caption under a post, there may be a username you are looking for. And check comments section, the user might be there. 

Search for a user with low-frequency tags. They have fewer posts on their pages, which means you don’t have to scroll for long. 

Consider what’s pictured on the photo you’ve got.

Hobbies

If what you see is a person playing the guitar, use the instrument’s series or model as a hashtag. It is low-frequency, and if there is a picture with the user on the tag’s explore page, you’ll find it quickly. 

You don’t want to perform Instagram search by image using high-frequency tags like "guitar" or "music". You won’t find on their explore page even a popular person. 

A gym’s name may appear in the photo of an athlete. Use it as a low-frequency hashtag to find a profile. And don’t use high-frequency tags of sports brands or exercises, they won’t help to find anyone.

Education

Look for students by education-related tags. Every student belongs to a club or society in their universities, which have their own tags. For example, type #crimsonems in the search box. The tag’s page has few posts, if there is a post with the person you need, you’ll quickly find it. 

You should also try searching by the name of a university or college, or a major. The one you are looking for may be tagged on a group photo.

Work

Search for an adult by a tag of a company. It may be a shop’s name, a salon or bank they work in. 

You can search for them by the activity — event planning, maintenance, insurance service. Maybe the person on the photo is a prominent specialist in their field? Then, it won't be difficult to find them.

Friends

If a photo you’ve got shows a group of friends, think back whether they called themselves somehow. It may be a good hashtag to find a person, as there won’t be many pictures.

You can go to a profile of someone in the picture and search for an unusual hashtag under a post. Probably it’ll be the hashtag of their company.

Location

Users can tag a place when posting. If you recognize a place in a photo, open the relevant location page. Probably you’ll see more photos with the person you are looking for. Maybe even those they posted themselves. 

When hashtags don’t work

You won’t see a person’s photo or video on a hashtag page if:

  • the author's profile is private. Its content is available only for the subscribers. 
  • a tag is used too often. Photos with the hashtag goes down quickly. They are replaced by new content.

Search among followers

You may find a user among the followers of thematic public profiles or mutual acquaintances. Follow the principle of searching by IG hashtags above.

Look for a musician among the followers of a musical instruments brand, local nightclubs or a famous singer profile. Look for a sportsman on a page of a gym or Olympic champions. 

Students, especially if they are in clothes with a university logo, search in accounts of the educational institute. Adults can be found among the followers of a company's profile. 

Go to an account and search for a familiar face among the profile pictures. Type a name or username on the search box at the top if you know them. 

Apps and services

The apps give you the results of Google image search. Their only advantage is convenient interface. But if you are used to searching with a mobile app, use Google Lens to find Instagram by image. 

Online services for searching a profile with a picture provide the same reverse image search results. Their advantage is offering pictures and sites form several searching engines. For example, Reverseimagesearch and Duplichecker collect data from Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu.

The bottom line

There are no instruments which have proved to search Instagram by image in 100% cases. Using a search engine, you may find a name and username from an actively used public account.

You have to look for users who are not so active on the Internet among followers of others’ accounts.

There is more to searching for an IG profile. If it turns out to be private, you’ll probably want to be a follower to watch the content. Read about how to have your follow request confirmed and watch the content of a private profile

If no method above helped you to search Instagram by image, it might be the person hasn’t signed up on Instagram.

Let’s discuss in the comments what method to search by image works best.