Can You Get a Virus from Google Images? What to Know?

Google Images is a medium that allows users to visualize any graphical information on specific topics or facts.

It is a search engine based on the pictures google has in its cloud server. The user has to give written input about what to see in the search box. Then clicking on the search icon will let the user see pictures according to the suggestion.

Can You Get a Virus from Google Images

Unfortunately, one can be affected by malware or other dangerous viruses if the user tries to view or download pictures through it from an unprotected third-party website. 

Can You Get a Virus from Google Images – Is It Possible?

Yes, it is quite possible. There are websites that are controlled by unethical hackers. They use photos attached with their web link. When a user searches for any particular photo, google collects and provides it from every possible source. Google images only show those photos as thumbnails. So, whenever a user clicks on such photos, it pops up in a black window with a “visit” option. It is safe until the user press on “visit” or tries to save an image while using “view full image”. If the user goes with any of these procedures, it will fetch him to that harmful website and hackers can easily hack him. 

SANS Internet Storm Center states that there are certain images in Google that are attached with spamming malware. It leads users to webs that sell fake antivirus and suggests them to download it to get rid of viruses. Here, hackers use third party web photos which seems legit as they use google trends for top search terms. Therefore, we can say that saving an image can bring a virus into the system if the source is polluted.

How to Get Rid of Computer Viruses?

Removing or eliminating computer viruses is not an easy task. Viruses can install themselves in different parts of the system. Without complete removal, viruses can come back even after a reboot. So, it is crucial to ensure the full elimination of viruses. Now, these steps will help to guide for removing computer viruses –

Step 1: Install an efficient virus scanner.

Step 2: Disconnect the internet if it is turned on. It will help to stop more viruses to get into the system through online. 

Step 3: Ensure to reboot your computer in safe mode from the boot menu to avoid further problems.

Step 4: Delete temporary internet files. It will help to delete some viruses that initiate at final boot up. 

Step 5: Run a full scan. 

Step 6: Remove or quarantine the remaining viruses.

Step 7: Restart / Reboot your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I get hacked by viewing pictures in Google Images?

It’s pretty much sure to get hacked by viewing such pictures in it as they come from dubious pages. These are maintained by scammers or hackers. Browsing those photos in depth can let the user get hacked. 

Can I encounter any virus from an image?

If any photo contains any malicious link with it, then a user may get attacked by the virus just by visiting or viewing full image.

Can I get infected by viruses from Google Search?

Basically, no. Just searching for anything on google does not lead you to any harm. But after searching, if anyone visits any page that is unprotected or suspicious then the outcome may not be good. 


We need photos for various purposes such as personalizing our social media profile, and device displays, decorating our blog posts et cetera. As it is clear by now that viruses can get into the computer system via Google Images, it will be a wise decision to browse photos from verified or renowned websites. An interesting fact is, that Google Image search was launched in 2001, with 250 million images for users to browse. The reason for the creation is that Jennifer Lopez wore a Versace green gown, and the image of the gown was so popular on Google that the search engine couldn’t handle it. That is when it was created.

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