Stock Photo Search Bookmarklet

How To Find The Best Free Images For Your Articles, Social Media Posts Or Design Projects

Geraud Schmit · May 2, 2018

“A picture is worth a thousand words!”

Everyone knows this mantra - and not a day passes without it being true.

If you have a blog or are active on social networks, finding the right photo to illustrate your article or tweet is strategic.
Like me you end up surfing for hours on free stock photo sites like Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay to name only the three most popular sites. But there are dozens of others, each with its own style and topics.

Thus, finding the perfect photo turns out to be an extremely time-consuming, recurring quest. It was enough for me to try optimize this process.

Ta-da! Let me introduce you to the Stock Photo Search Bookmarklet.

Stock Photo Search Bookmarklet screenshot

The Stock Photo Search Bookmarklet is a 100% free little tool that will do you a huge service: it will make your image search much easier and faster! Period.

In one click, you will be able to launch your search simultaneously on several sites: either via Google Images or directly on the stock photo sites you have selected (multi-tab search).

The tool allows you to choose the sites you want to do your research from, with more than 30 sites available.

Of course, you can search by keyword. But also, and this is where it gets much more interesting: if, while surfing the internet, you come across an interesting image but it’s copyrighted, you will be able to immediately launch a search to find a free version of similar images. To do this, Stock Photo Search makes use of the “search from an image” mode that Google offers.

Interested? Want to know more?

Here is a detailed tutorial that will teach you how to get the most out of Stock Photo Search:

I don’t have time to read a tutorial. I want to use Stock Photo Search right now!

  1. Video Tutorial
  2. Installation
  3. Basic Use
    3.1 Search by keyword
    3.2 Search by image
    3.3 Auto-save mode
  4. Advanced Use
    4.1 Keyword and image selection from the current page
    4.2 Stock photo site selection
    4.3 Multi-tab limit
    4.4 Other settings
    4.5 Browser compatibility and troubleshooting

1. Video Tutorial

2. Installation

Go to the product page:
Then drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar like this (click to zoom in):

How To Install Stock Photo Search

Your bookmarks bar may be hidden. Here’s how to show it:

  • Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari: Control (Command on a Mac) + Shift + B
  • Firefox: Control (Command on a Mac) + B

3. Basic Use

Once you’ve installed Stock Photo Search, you can start using it right away!
Just click on the bookmarklet in your bookmarks bar, and a window will popup.

Now, you need to choose whether you want to search by keyword or by image.

3.1 Search by keyword

If you want to do a search by keyword, follow this simple process:

Step 1: Select the “Search By Keyword” tab.

Step 2: Enter your keyword(s) in the appropriate field (for example: “flower”).

Step 3: Choose if you want to use Google Images or be sent directly to stock photo sites (multi-tab search).

Step 4: Click on the button to launch your search.

Keyword search process

By default, three sites are preselected: Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. But you can modify this selection if you wish - 30+ sites are available in the tool.

If you choose the “Google Images” option, you will be redirected to the results page of “Google Images”. The results are limited to the sites you’ve selected:

Google Image Search Query

When hovering an image on Google’s result page, you can see which site it comes from:

Google Image Search Result Hovering

If you click on an image, Google Images will display more details about it. If you click on “Visit”, you will be redirected to the page where the image can be found:

Google Image Search Result Visit Button


  • It may happen that one of the stock photo sites you’ve selected ranks better in Google for your chosen keyword. Therefore, you may get the feeling that the results page only displays images from this site. To avoid that, you can change your site selection or choose the multi-tab option.

  • Be aware that some stock photo sites display a mix of free and copyrighted photos. Google doesn’t make the distinction on its results page.

  • Sometimes, when you click on the “Visit” button, you may be redirected to a page with a lot of images (the profile page of a photographer, for instance). You may need to scroll a bit to find the picture you’ve selected from Google’s results page.

3.2 Search by image

If you want to do a search by image, follow this process:

Step 1: Select the “Search By Image” tab.

Step 2: Paste the URL of the image in the appropriate field (like in the screenshot below).

Step 2bis: Or, click on one of the images displayed below this field to launch your search. These images have been automatically fetched by the bookmarklet from the page you were browsing when you activated the bookmarklet (They are displayed 3-by-3 in the bookmarklet. Click on the dots below the images to display the next ones).

Step 3: If you’ve pasted a URL (step 2), click on the button to launch your search.

Image search process


  • When you do a “Search by Image”, you are always redirected to Google Images (since this feature is only available on Google Images).

  • But the bookmarklet will open separate tabs for each stock photo site in your selection (it’s impossible to use the OR statement in the search query when doing a “Search by Image” on Google).

Example of a results page (Pixabay tab):

Result page for Pixabay

3.3 Auto-save mode

By default, the bookmarklet is in auto-save mode.
It will remember your last search and settings.
Let’s say that your last search was a “Search by Image”. When you click on the bookmarklet again, the “Search by Image” tab will be selected, and if you entered an image URL, the form will be pre-filled with it.
Same for the “Search by Keyword” tab.

This auto-save mode can be deactivated in the settings.

4. Advanced Use

4.1 Keyword and image selection from the current page

If you select a word on a webpage before clicking on the bookmarklet, this word will be pre-filled in the search form of the bookmarklet.

Text selection
If you right-click on an image in a webpage, most of the time you will be able to open it in a new tab (via the “Open image in a new tab” contextual menu). Once on the image tab, click on the bookmarklet and your image will be the only one displayed in the “Search By Image” tab. Click on it to launch your search.
NB: The URL of the image must end with “.jpg”, “.jpeg” or “.png” for this to work.

Image selection

4.2 Stock photo site selection

Click on “Select Stock Photo Sites” and a side panel will show up. Select the sites you want to search from.
By default, the bookmarklet will save this selection for future searches (auto-save mode).

Image selection

4.3 Multi-tab limit

You can potentially launch a search on more than 30 stock photo sites simultaneously. In order to prevent the bookmarklet from opening more than 30 tabs at once in multi-tab mode, I have implemented a limit. The default limit is five tabs. You can change it to 10 or 15 in the settings.
If the number of selected sites is higher than this limit, the multi-tab mode is deactivated and a warning message will show up.

Multi-tab limit

4.4 Other settings

When you click on “Settings”, a side panel shows up on the right of the bookmarklet. Settings are self-explanatory and allow you to fine-tune the bookmarklet’s auto-save mode.


4.5 Browser compatibility and troubleshooting

Stock Photo Search works well in Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

Multi-tab mode doesn’t work in Safari due to Apple’s security policy.

Strange behavior in Internet Explorer/Edge: When you are redirected to the stock photo site from Google Images, the site opens in a small window (the same size of the bookmarklet window).

If you find this bookmarklet useful (and want more tools like this in the future 😃), please share the ❤️, like the Mailomix Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram!

If you have any questions, bug reports or feedback you want to share, please leave a comment below or contact me on the Mailomix Facebook page or Twitter.