A couple of days ago, users noticed that Google Images had gotten rid of a few very useful search parameters. Whether the change is related to the new Images interface with the dark side panel or it was just a timing coincidence, we don’t know for sure, but that doesn’t matter when you go looking for the “exact size” or “larger than” search options and don’t find them. In this post, we’ll look at the different parameters that have been removed and how you can replicate their functionality in various ways.
Missing image search parameters
Five different search filters have been removed from Google Images. These were accessible, like all other parameters, when you clicked on Tools under the search bar. Under Size, both Larger than and Exact size have disappeared. Under Color, the Full color option is gone. And finally, under Type, you won’t find Face or Photo anymore.
New image search filters look pretty meager.
Find images larger than a certain size
If you’re looking for high-resolution images, your current best user-facing option is Size -> Large, which brings up laughably small images that can be anywhere from 900×900 and above. That’s not our modern-day definition of a “large” image. There are two ways to circumvent this and find really large images.
Method 1: Advanced search
Go to google.com/advanced_image_search and use the detailed search boxes there to perform your search. One of them is Image size and it lets you pick a specific minimum for your results, ranging from 400×300 and up to 20, 40, and even 70 megapixels.
Above: Choosing a larger size in Advanced image search. Bottom: Results.
Method 2: URL parameter
If you don’t want to bother with the advanced search site, you can append &tbs=isz:lt,islt:2mp to the Images URL result and reload the page. 2mp is the minimum size and can be replaced by 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 40, and 70mp.
Results for images larger than 6MP bring up really big photos.
Find images of an exact size
If you’re looking for an exact image size — say for a wallpaper for example — and you don’t want the margin to be off by one pixel in any direction, you need to do a search by exact size. Again, there are two methods here, one easy and one a little harder.
Method 1: Search operator
When you’re typing your search query in Google Images, add imagesize:300×300 right after the word you’re looking for. 300×300 are the exact width and height dimensions in pixels, respectively, and can be replaced by any numbers you want.
Search results for “android police imagesize:300×300” include a lot of icons from our articles.
Method 2: URL parameter
Again, there’s a URL trick to do this one too. In this case, after you perform your keyword search, append &tbs=isz:ex,iszw:2000,iszh:1000 to the URL and reload it. 2000 and 1000 are the exact width and height dimensions, respectively, and can be replaced with any numbers you want.
Above: A search for 1440×2880 images on our site returns screenshots. Below: 728×410 returns hero images mostly.
Use other missing search parameters
If you want to use the other missing search filters, like Full color to remove black and white images from results, Face to only get images with faces in them, and Photo to only get proper photos and not cliparts or vectors, you need to use the advanced search site we talked about earlier. Again, go to google.com/advanced_image_search and you’ll find those three filters in the options under colors and types.
Above: Advanced image search for “apple” with faces in full color. Below: Results.
We may soon see a Chrome extension that renders all of these tricks superfluous, but in the meantime, if you’re used to filtering down your Google Images searches and don’t want to lose any of the options, I recommend you start by bookmarking the advanced image search site. It’ll bring you back four of the five missing parameters without you having to remember any tricks. The only one remaining is exact size, and for that, knowing the “imagesize:” search operator seems to be the easiest solution.
However, if, like me, you’re a huge fan of custom search engines in Chrome, and you’re used to manipulating URLs to get what you want, you can easily create several search engines that give you larger than or exact size searches for the resolutions and dimensions you most frequently use — your computer display(s) for example.
And to be clear, we don’t know how long these tricks will keep on doing their job properly. Just like it removed the filters from the consumer-facing interface, Google could at any time shut down the URL parameters or remove the different options from its advanced search site, and we’ll have no other recourse.