5 Search Features Google Removed (And How to Bring Them Back)

Mihir Patkar 03-03-2018

Google Search launched over 20 years ago, and in that time, it has introduced and removed several features. Here’s how to bring back some of the best ones for those users who still like them.


From the classic “Instant Preview” to the latest move to remove the “View Image” button, Google doesn’t always do what’s best for its users. Giving the option to enable or disable such features would be nice, wouldn’t it?

But while Google doesn’t want you to officially have these Search commands anymore, a few Chrome extensions will make sure you don’t miss them. And no, none of them are made by Google The 13 Best Chrome Extensions by Google You Probably Aren't Using Personalize your browsing with these must-have extensions from Google. Among the thousands of Chrome extensions in the Google Web Store, some are developed by Google. These are the best picks from Google itself. Read More .

1. Bring Back “View Image” and “Search by Image”

Let’s start with the newest feature removal. Google recently discarded two of the most useful features from the Image Search feature: View Image and Search By Image. It took almost no time for developers to make extensions to fix that.

Install the extension and you won’t have to do anything. It’s almost as if Google never removed those buttons. And there’s a Firefox version as well.

“Search by Image” was actually one of the coolest features in Image Search 7 Vital Google Image Search Hacks Want to use Google Images like a pro? Here are advanced tips you should know for successful image searches Read More , so everyone would be glad to have that back. Unfortunately, the Firefox extension doesn’t support this yet.


If an extension isn’t your thing, there are other alternatives to the View Image button The Best Alternatives to Google's View Image Button Google unfortunately removed its View Image button, but there are workarounds you can use to get that functionality back. Read More you can consider.

Download: View Image for Chrome (Free)
Download: Google Search View Image Button for Firefox (Free) [Broken Link Removed]

2. Get the “I’m Feeling Lucky” Button in Chrome

I'm Feeling Lucky Button

When Google started, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button was one of its highlights. Clicking that instantly sent you to the most appropriate result for what you wanted, according to Google. While the button still exists on the main Google site, it’s not a part of the powerful Chrome Omnibox 11 Quick Tricks To Become A Chrome Omnibox Power User Do you want to become an Omnibox power user and save plenty of time and keystrokes? All you need are a few good extensions and a little knowledge of how to tweak the search settings.... Read More , which is where most people conduct searches.

So how do you get it in the Omnibox? There’s an extension for that. Install it, and type \ followed by Tab to activate a search with I’m Feeling Lucky. It’s that simple. Apart from search, it also works with Google’s easter eggs and hidden treasures Google's Top 10 Hidden Treasures Read More .

There’s a Firefox add-on equivalent of this too, but it didn’t work as well in our tests. Still, try it out, it does the basic “I’m Feeling Lucky” search well.

Download: I’m Feeling Lucky for Chrome (Free)
Download: Google I’m Feeling Lucky for Firefox (Free)

3. Search Forums With Google Discussions Again

Search Forums with Google Discussions

Google lets you filter search results based on several parameters, like images, videos, shopping, applications, and so on. One of the options was Discussions, which let you search several forums The Best Forum Search Engines to Search Message Boards Some of the best information on the web can be found on message boards. Try these forum search engines for searching them today. Read More . It’s gone now, but you can get it back.

This Chrome extension adds the Discussions button back to the Search results like it was. Carry out your search query, select the Discussions tab, and you will only see forums in the results.

Unfortunately, Google not only removed the cosmetic button but also the base algorithm behind it. But the extension’s developer has done a good job in replicating what Google used to do by automatically adding search operators to your query.

Download: Discussions Button for Chrome (Free)

4. Type Again With Google Instant Keyboard Shortcuts

Google Instant Keyboard Shortcuts

Google Instant is dead. The feature, which let you see new search results as you typed in the Google bar, was removed in 2017. That’s not coming back, unfortunately. But you can bring back one of the features that Instant added: keyboard shortcuts Navigate Google Search Results Using Your Keyboard Only Read More .

The first search result is automatically selected, denoted by a little bulleted arrow next to it. You can go back and forth with Tab and Shift+Tab, or scroll the page with j and k. Press Enter to visit the page.

Download: Google Search Keyboard Shortcuts for Chrome (Free)

5. Get a Sneak Peek With Google Instant Preview

Google Instant Preview

Instant Preview was a tremendous feature. It added a thumbnail next to search results, so you could see what the page you were visiting would look like. And of course, Google killed it citing lack of use.

But if you loved it, some extensions can bring it back, and Search Preview is the best of them. It works for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and even extends the function to other search engines in case you aren’t using Google exclusively.

The thumbnails aren’t coming from Google’s servers, so they can be a bit slow to load at times. But as long as you’re on a decently quick internet connection, you’ll be fine.

Download: Search Preview for Chrome | Firefox | Safari (Free)

Let’s Make Google Search Great Again

Google Search is the company’s core product and perhaps its best. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be better than it is. These other sites and apps Make Google Search Great Again with These Five Sites & Apps These web apps and extensions add missing functions and features to Google. Learn to search better with their help. Read More prove that already.

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Cool Web Apps, Google, Google Chrome, Google Search, Web Search.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Reli
    May 10, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I'm so glad I found this article. The discussion search feature was extremely vital to me. I think the internet is filled with too much noise and discussion boards give you unfiltered opinions and tips without users always being sponsored, influenced, or paid to say so. It helps me cut to the proverbial "chase".

  2. Luc
    March 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I use duckduckgo
    'nuff said

  3. Harry
    March 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Since google started pushing it's liberal agenda and censoring all other voices, I could care less about using it's products. The thuggish antifa, sjw's and feminists get free reign, but God forbid you criticise them or have views that are marginally to the right.
    Duckduckgo isn't evil.
    Goolag seemingly is.

  4. Florence Sundberg
    March 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    March 13, 2018: Thanks for this article. Google removes my "Bookmarks" - those squares at the bottom of the Google page where I can immediately access sites I use often. Since I am working with anti-trafficking groups there are images of Destiny Rescue, Agape International etc. which I click on often but Google removes them when they want...I don't suppose there is any way to keep them there? Thanks.

  5. Ron K
    March 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I'm sorry but #1 is wrong. You can still search by image on google images... were you drunk when you wrote this?

  6. Jim
    March 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Are you guys not paying attention? Both 1 and 2 still exist. I am not sure why you think they disappeared. Go to google, click on Images and the "Search by Image" is right there under the camera icon. Regarding "I'm Feeling Lucky", that too is there in Chrome, if you actually go to the url of

  7. Phil Bradley
    March 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Make Google great again? Let’s do nothing of the sort. Why should we care about it, when it doesn’t care about us. Misplaced loyalty to a corporate that only sees users as advertising fodder is ridiculous. Let’s support other search engines instead, such as DuckDuckGo and Yandex, to name two of dozens.

    • Uma maheswar
      March 14, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      Good Evening,
      You are very much right.
      Let's not bother about those who don't care for us.
      I think Google is getting on to it's head, because people praising too much.
      Encourage other search engines.

  8. George
    March 3, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Case closed.

    • H
      March 4, 2018 at 4:05 am

      DuckDuckGo aka Google bootleg

  9. Gazoo
    March 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

    > Google doesn't always do what's best for its users.

    Google and all the others... they spend billions collecting "telemetry" to "improve" services. In the end, they all force their long-term, agenda-driven vision on the rest of us.

    Also, let's keep in mind that while Google (and others) are removing features, they are still available to certain preferred parties. You take a look at censored (and sanitized) search results. This is what the public gets.

    There are uncensored search results, results that disregard the robots.txt file, dark web results... These are for internal use and available to 3rd-party "partners". There are search results that use hashes, metadata to track images and people, real-time tracking of individuals across the internet based on social-networking activity, GPS, purchases, etc..

    A lot of the effort over the last few years has been the (hidden) search features not available to the general public. Entire Operating Systems (and specific apps) are devoted to tracking at this level and pumping this data into central (easy-to-access) servers: metadata, hashes, GPS/location, social networking interactions, etc... It isn't just data-collection for targeted advertising.

  10. Jeff
    March 3, 2018 at 11:22 am

    'Resulter' extension from the last linked article seems to have much better keyboard shortcuts than the one mentioned here. It should be in this article instead.