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3 Ways to Enable or Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Enable Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge lately integrated is Bing Image Search into the browser, similar to Google Lens in Chrome. It lets you search and find visually similar images on the web either by right-clicking the image or tapping the Visual Search button on it. Here, let’s look at three ways to enable or disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge on Mac and Windows PC. We’ll also check how it compares with Google Lens.

Related | 9 Ways to Fix Microsoft Edge is Slow (Windows, Mac)

Enable or Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

What is Visual Search in Microsoft Edge?

Search Related Images in Microsoft Edge

With Edge 96, Microsoft added a new feature called Visual Search in the browser. Available in the right-click menu and as a button on images, Visual Search lets you search for similar images using Bing Image Search.


The Bing-powered Visual Search allows for:

  • Smart identification of image content to recognize celebrities or search for related content. 
  • Find related products across the web.
  • Look up for the original image source.
  • Extract textual information from the image through OCR.

Overall, it makes it very easy to find related content around an image using AI. You can call it an alternative to Google Lens Search in Chrome.

Turn On Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Visual Search is enabled by default in the browser. However, if it doesn’t work, follow the steps below to enable it manually. Make sure to update Edge to the latest version before you proceed.

Step 1: Open Edge and click the three-dot menu > Settings.

Step 2: Select Appearance from the sidebar at the left.

Step 3: Next, scroll down and click Visual Search under Context Menus.

Enable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Step 4: Here, enable the Show visual search in the context menu and Show visual search on image hover.

Enable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

The Context menu option will add Visual Search to the right-click menu. You can right-click an image on the web and select Visual Search to find similar content.

The other option will give you a Visual Search button when you hover on an image.

Turn Off Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

While Visual Search doesn’t do any harm, it does overcrowd the context menu. If you prefer simplicity and don’t find yourself using the feature, you can disable it as shown below:

Step 1: Open Edge and click the three-dot menu > Settings.

Step 2: Select Appearance from the sidebar at the left.

Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Step 3: Next, scroll down and click Visual Search under Context Menus.

Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Step 4: If you want to remove the visual search option from the right-click menu, disable Show visual search in the context menu.

Disable Visual Search in Microsoft Edge

Step 5: If you want to remove the visual search button or icon that appears over images, disable Show visual search on image hover.

Disable Visual Search on Specific Websites

Do you want the Visual Search button not to appear when you hover over images on certain websites? If that’s the case, you can turn off the feature for specific websites using the steps below.

Step 1: Open Edge and navigate to Settings > Appearance.

Step 2: Here, scroll down and click on Visual Search.

Step 3: Click the Add button next to “Visual search is turned off for these sites.”

Turn Off Visual Search for Specific Sites Edge

Step 4: Enter the URL of the website you want to disable Visual Search for.

Turn Off Visual Search for Specific Sites Edge

Step 5: Finally, click on Add.

Turn Off Visual Search for Specific Sites Edge

Edge will no longer show you the Visual Search option on the websites you’ve added here. You can always revert things by deleting these websites from here.

Edge Visual Search vs. Google Lens Search- Which is Better?

We tried both Visual Search and Google Lens side-by-side- both worked fine for basic searches. However, Bing wasn’t as accurate. For instance, upon searching a picture of the OnePlus 9R on the web, Google accurately showed related images whereas Edge yielded completely different pictures of sauce, candies, and whatnot.

Edge Visual Search vs Google Lens Image Search
Visual Search on top, Google Lens at bottom

The same was evident when we searched for pictures of bikes and cars, particularly the complex ones. Anyways, it did work fine for detecting celebrities, finding related products, wildlife, and more.

Edge Visual Search vs Google Lens Image Search
Visual Search on top, Google Lens at bottom

For obvious reasons, Bing’s Visual Search cannot beat Google Lens when it comes to finding visually similar images on the web. But we do hope that Microsoft will improve it in the coming time.

Bonus- Enable or Disable Google Lens in Chrome

Last year, Google added the Lens Image Search feature to improve searching for similar images in the Chrome browser. You can directly use it by right-clicking the image and tapping “Search image with Google Lens.”

However, if you don’t like it and want to revert to the old reverse image search, follow our guide to disable Lens Image Search in Chrome.

Wrapping Up

This was all about how one can enable and disable the Visual Search button in Microsoft Edge. While the feature seems to be an excellent addition for people who want a Lens alternative in Edge, some may not want it to overcrowd the clean look of the browser. Anyways, what’s your opinion on the Visual Search feature? Let us know via comments.

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Ritik Singh

Ritik is the Managing Editor at BrowserToUse. He is responsible for managing the website, developing the content strategy, and overseeing the articles to make sure they’re as informative as possible. He is mainly into smartphones, wearables, and IoT devices. Putting work aside, he has a great interest in personal finance and is also a keen motorcycle enthusiast.