How to Find Free to Use Images on Google

You can use Google for more than just searching the web. Here’s how to find free to use Creative Commons images with Google’s image search.

Published Categorized as Audio & Visual, Photography

Did you know that you can use Google Search to find free images on the Internet?

It turns out that Google’s image search engine, called Google Images, has a filter for images licensed under the Creative Commons group of licenses.

Creative Commons licenses allow you to reuse the images of others. Depending on the type of license, this is allowed either for personal use only or for personal and commercial use, and author attribution may or may not be required.

You can learn more about these licenses—and familiarize yourself with the different types—at

How to Find Creative Commons Images on Google

Step 1: Fire up your web browser and go to (or whichever version of Google is used in your country).

Step 2: Type in your search term and press the Enter key on your keyboard, just like you normally do when you search for something.

Step 3: Switch to “Images.”

Switching to the “Images” tab

Step 4: Expand the “Tools” menu.

Expanding the “Tools” menu

Step 5: Under “Usage Rights,” expand “Creative Commons licenses.”

Filtering for images with a Creative Commons license

Step 5: Find a photo you like.

For every photo, visit the URL to verify that it is indeed published under the Creative Commons license and to understand the license’s subtype.

Remember that some subtypes of the Creative Commons license only allow personal use, while others allow personal and commercial use. Similarly, some licenses require attribution and others don’t.

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

1 comment

  1. Google is a great resource for finding free to use images. I have found that the search results are usually relevant to what I am looking for, and I have never had any problems with copyright infringement.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *