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Without warning, Google removes image search filter options

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Google Images has trimmed down its search filtering options and removed the “exact size,” “larger than,” “face,” and “full color” filters from its service without announcing that the changes were going to made.

These filters allowed users to quickly find a variety of specific image types while searching and worked in the following ways:

  • Exact size: Returned images in the search results that were a specific size.
  • Larger than: Returned images in the search results that were larger than a specific size.
  • Face: Returned images in the search results that contained faces.
  • Full color: Returned images in the search results that were full color by removing black and white images.

Before Google made the change, these filters could be accessed via the toolbar that appears at the top of Google Images search results with the “exact size” and “larger than” filters appearing under the “Size” menu, the “Full color” filter appearing under the “Color” menu, and the “Face” filter appearing under the “Type” menu.


Source: Search Engine Roundtable

Alternative text: The Google Images “exact size” filter.

Now, none of these filters can be accessed via this toolbar. The “larger than,” “face,” and “full color” filters are still available in Google’s Advanced Image Search but the “exact size” filter has been completely removed. However, as a workaround, users can still add an “imagesize:[pixels]x[pixels]” prefix to their search to return images of a specific size. For example, searching for “flowers imagesize:1080×1080” in Google Images will return images of flowers that measure 1080 x 1080 pixels.

For those that want an image search tool with search filtering features that are similar to those Google Images had before the changes, Bing Images is worth checking out. Its toolbar has most of the filters that have been removed from Google Images although unfortunately, the “exact size” filter is also missing from the Bing Images toolbar.

On the Google subreddit, many people who used these features regularly to find wallpapers that were the exact dimensions of their device or larger images, are expressing their frustrations with the changes and see the removal of these filters as an example of Google not listening to its users.

This isn’t the first time Google has quietly removed a feature to the ire of its users. In April, the company removed the “sort by date” filter which let users override the search engine’s algorithmic recommendations and instead list the search results based on their date stamps.

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