Google Stock Images – Can I Download Images from Google?

Update - 2020.08.31

On August 31st, 2020, Google released an update to Google Images, the Licensable Images badge and filter, which makes it easier to identify and buy stock photos from a Google Images search.

However, it is still NOT legal to right-click-download images from Google to use in your work, so the following advice is still on-point. Read on!

I get what you're thinking, Google is one of the largest search engines and content aggregators on the planet so it would make sense for them to provide a Google Stock Images service, right?

Read on to find out why that's not the case, why you shouldn't be using images from Google in your works and find out about some great alternative places to grab all the stock images that you need!

So, Can I Use Google Stock Images In My Work?

As a content aggregator -someone who collects web content from different sources- Google doesn't actually own the majority of the content you can find through their services.

What this means is that they don't have the legal rights to the content in order to resell or licence it to anybody else, including you. And using images you find on google without a licence could quite possibly end up getting you into a whole heap of trouble.

Not least could you face potential legal action due to copyright infringements from the original creator, owners of any copyrighted material within the image itself (such as buildings, locations and more), the models or any company or person that has purchased exclusive rights to use the image in question.

This could leave you paying out fines in the ranges from the hundreds to the hundreds of thousands of dollars for using the image without permission. On top of this, you may also be liable for any potential damages that the legal owners claim for. And of course this will certainly create issues with your current and any potential future clients.

In short, purchase your stock images from a reputable company to ensure that you have a legal license to use the content. It's better to be safe than sorry! For more details, read our full article on the dangers of using images from Google in your work. 

So Where Can I Get the Stock Images I Need?

The internet is littered with sites offering Stock Images, some of them more reputable than others but below you'll find our 6 favourite Stock Image Agencies, in no particular order,  with links to their full reviews and special deals!

shutterstock logo new s > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?

1. Shutterstock

In short, Shutterstock is one of the wells known stock photo agencies in the industry, excelling in the microstock model: they offer Royalty Free images –a collection of 95 million of them!– at very low prices.
Shutterstock pricing plans and licenses, huge library and the great quality and variety in content is responsible for their popularity and the reason why you can't search for stock photos without at some point bumping into them.

Check out our in-depth review of Shutterstock here!

And grab your discount coupon codes right here!

2. iStock istocklogo300 > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?

Besides its impeccable reputation, iStock has an impressively large selection of stock photos, video, illustrations, vectors and audio files that are highly curated with the highest quality standards, and they add value with a collection of exclusive content. With the amount of experience and largest stock photo library of exclusive images, this stock agency is certainly worth considering if you are looking for royalty-free images that are both affordable and high quality.

Check out our full iStock review over here!

And get your money off coupons right this way!


Stockphotos Logo Tight

Why not grab some great stock images directly from our most trusted partner? comes with a library of over 8 MILLION extremely high quality stock photos, vectors, and fonts to choose from when you sign up for one of their subscription offers!

First, they have the fantastic Club Easy, offering 200 XXL downloads for only $99! You can read more about the Club here! Plus, they have two more options for annual plans and on-demand image packs.

And with this awesome rebate code, you can add an extra 10 images to any subscription!

4. Photocase Photocase

Photocase is an awesome German stock photo agency that's been in the business for over 15 years specializing in the kind of imagery that is a top trend today: authentic, artistic, “non-stocky” stock photos. This is a place for high end stock photography and unique stock photos you will not find anywhere else.

Check out the full review here, or head this way for 5 FREE Credits and 10% OFF on your first purchase with Photocase.

 5. Adobe Stockadobe stock logo 1 > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?

Adobe Stock, if you use Adobe Creative Cloud applications, or if you’re looking for images to use in your designs safely, you will likely come across the name more than once.

Adobe Stock comes with various subscriptions and price points that you can read about in detail in our full-length review over here!

And while you're at it, why not read our article here to find out how to get a whole month free, that's ten free images!

Need more free yet legally safe images? Check out our list of all the stock photo free trials currently running!

In fact, there is. Nothing stops you from going to Google and search for licensable stock photos. And it's a good way to find stock images from multiple agencies at the same time. Just remember you cannot, CANNOT “right click and save” any of those images to use in your work.

What you can do, however, is to use Google image search to find the right licensable stock photo you're after. Here's a visual guide on how:

  • Go to Google image search and search for the kind of stock photo you want
Google Stock Images Search > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?
  • Select the image you like, and click on the “See” button
Google Stock Images Result > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?
  • You'll land on the stock photo agency page that contains the photo you want, in this case, it's Shutterstock
Google Stock Images Shutterstock Image > Google Stock Images - Can I Download Images from Google?
  • Hit the “Download” or “Buy” button and follow the easy process to register and purchase the image.
  • Done!

 Google Stock Images and Buy From Stock Agencies

So there you have it. Google does not sell stock images, but it is useful to find them for sure. As long as you understand you cannot get any image from Google directly (neither for free nor paying for it), you can use it to search for stock photos.

When it comes to getting the images you want for your work, you must stick to legally safe stock photos, which you can buy at any of the above-listed agencies at a super low price, and best of all is it will only take you a few minutes to purchase and download any image you choose.

Like this, you will secure images for your designs that are both professional quality and perfectly legal to use.

Did this article help you out? Maybe you have a question, comment or would like to help me add to the list? Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Amos Struck
Amos Struck

Amos Struck, a renowned expert with over two decades in the stock photography industry, is known for his profound expertise in both stock imagery and artificial intelligence (AI). He is the founder of and a driving force behind the innovative AI-driven platform, His pioneering work in visual AI is marked by co-founding Ximilar AI. Amos also established the Microstock Expo Conference, a key event in the stock photography sector. As a regular speaker at major industry conferences like DMLA and a prominent member of CEPIC, he consistently contributes to the industry's growth and evolution through a blend of technological innovation and market insight.

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