Bing Images Adds License Search Filter

Bing has added another feature to Image Search. Starting this week you can now search images based on the license with which you can use it.

There’s now a new menu choice at the end of image search simply labeled “License.” With it, you can filter your image search results to limit them to images that contain a Creative Commons license.


Many images found via search engines are copyrighted and not allowed to be re-used. Many bloggers, presenters, and digital marketers often use images found via search without knowing.

Images licensed under a Creative Commons license are allowed to be used. Some commercially, some not. Some are allowed to by edited and modified while others are not.

By adding the ability to search for images by their license type, Bing has now joined the ranks of Yahoo Image Search (with Flickr), and Google Image Search and others who allow to limit search results for Creative Commons licensed images.

The Bing License menu, however, seems to be the easiest to find and use. Bing has put their option front and center, right at the top of the page with the rest of the search options.

Yahoo has their filter at the very bottom of a sidebar that must be “opened” using a small double-arrow icon.

You need to do an advanced Google Image search to find the licensing options. Once a search has been performed, Google leaves the option in its top-of-page search options. However, the initial search must be an advanced search.

Bing even offers a option to “Learn more” in its menu. Clicking that link directs you to a Bing Help page for how license types work.

Interesting and notable: Microsoft’s newest version of Office integrates a Bing image search. The results show licensed images by default. However, as soon as you search, a bar appears asking you if you want to filter for only Creative Commons images. You’ll find the feature under Insert Online Images.


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