How to Access and Use Google Lens on Desktop

Mefglobalforum.orgGoogle Lens is a feature that allows you to search, translate text, and scan QR codes using your smartphone camera. It can be used to search with images instead of text. However, it is not available on desktop as a standalone app, like it is on Android and iOS. But, there are ways to access and use Google Lens on desktop.

What Is Google Lens

Google Lens is a visual search engine that allows you to use the camera or photos to search for anything within the frame. It can extract text, translate languages in real life, and even help with shopping. On desktop, it is integrated into some Google services, though it may not have as many features as the mobile version. However, it can still be used to extract text and find similar images.

Access and Use Google Lens on Desktop

google lens on desktop

Google Lens can be accessed in multiple ways.

Google Images

Google Lens is built into the Google Images page, allowing you to search for anything within an image. It can provide a description of a specific part of the image, show similar images, and even provide links to purchase products. However, it does not have the ability to extract text or translate languages from images.

  1. Search for anything on Google, and then switch to the Images tab.
  2. In the Images tab, select any image that you want to scan using the Google Lens
  3. Now click on the Google Lens icon at the bottom left corner of the image.
  4. It will scan the image with Google Lens and come back with other images that are visually matching.
  5. You can adjust the borders in the image to search for something specific in the image too.
  6. Google Lens uses dots to automatically identify objects in an image, making it easy to search for similar visuals. Instead of manually adjusting the borders, simply select the dot to initiate a search for that object. Google Lens on Google Images is quite limited, it only shows images that are visually similar.
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Google Chrome

As of January 2023, Google Lens is not enabled by default on Chrome browser. To use the feature, you need to enable a flag in Chrome. With Google Lens enabled in Chrome, you can search for visually similar images and also copy and translate text within an image. Once enabled, you can use it to search for any image on any webpage.

  1. Open chrome://flags and search for enable-lens-standalone option.
  2. Now click on the drop-down beside that option and select Enabled option in the menu.
  3. Then click on the Relaunch option. This will close and reopen the Chrome browser.
    Note: If you have any unsaved work, save it before clicking on the Relaunch option.
  4. To use Google Lens on any website, right-click on an image and select the option “Search image with Google” from the context menu. This works on most websites such as Google, Google Photos, and blogs, except for highly secure sites like banks that prevent right-clicking and saving.
  5. It will open a left sidebar with the info you need and also the visual matches.
  6. When you select the Text option in the Google Lens sidebar, you can copy the text within an image, listen to it in audio format, search for its meaning, and access other related options.
  7. The Translate option in Google Lens allows you to translate all the text within an image to a selected language. You can switch languages by using the language selector above the image.
  8. In addition to searching for images, you can also right-click anywhere on a webpage and select “Search images with Google” from the context menu.
  9. Use your mouse or trackpad to drag and select the specific area you want to scan with Google Lens.
  10. After making your selection, Google Lens will open and search for similar items within the selected image or area.
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Google Photos

google lens on desktop Google Photos

Google Lens is integrated into the Google Photos app, but its functionality is limited to extracting text from images. The text extraction process cannot be initiated manually. If Google detects any text in an image, it will display a small pop-up on the image. However, it may not always detect text if it is small or there is not enough text present in the image.

  1. To use Google Lens in Google Photos, open the app and select the image that contains the text you want to copy.
  2. Google Photos will automatically suggest the option “Copy text from image”. Click on it to proceed.
  3. On the next page, click on the “Copy text” button to copy all the text.
  4. You can also select specific parts of the text that you want to copy and then click on “Copy text” to proceed. You can also use Google Lens on Google Photos through Chrome by right-clicking on an image and selecting “Search image with Google.” This will show similar images.


1. What are the limitations of Google Lens on PC?

Google Lens on PC has limited capabilities compared to mobile. It can only display visually similar images, copy text, and translate text. It cannot provide shopping results, assist with homework, or solve math problems. Additionally, it can only scan existing images and cannot take new pictures using your computer’s camera. To use Google Lens on PC, you must be using the Chrome browser and enable a flag.

2. Why I cannot find the Google Lens Chrome flag?

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Google Lens Chrome flag might be enabled by default, so it may not be visible in the settings. Also, ensure to use the correct search term as the search function in Chrome flags may not be as accurate.

Using Google Lens on Desktop

While there is no standalone Google Lens app for desktop computers, the service can still be accessed through various means. Enabling a flag in Google Chrome makes it a built-in feature. However, it does not have as many features as the mobile versions of Google Lens for Android and iOS, which can scan QR codes, read text from any surface, send it to a desktop, and much more.

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