Google Instant Previews

Updated December 3rd, 2015.

It’s not easy keeping up with Google— they make changes all the time, and they almost never make a big deal about them. Google Instant Previews is a good example of that. What it does is show you “Instant Previews” (hmmm!) of each website in search results, which makes it a little easier, sometimes, to figure out which website you want to go to.

For example, here I’ve searched for Barbecue Recipes, and as expected I found a LOT of results: approximately thirteen million, four hundred thousand. I don’t want to plow through thirteen million four hundred thousand websites. I don’t even want to plow through the ten on the first page. I want, somehow, to find the right one on the first try. I’m looking for one with a nice layout, with pictures as well as text. Google Instant Previews can help.

Start by clicking the magnifying glass to the right of any item in the search results. I’ve drawn a big red arrow here to show you where to look.

When you click on a magnifying glass you get a preview of that site, and since what you’ve really done is turn Instant Previews on for everything on the page, all you have to do now is hover over each item in the listing. No need to click another magnifying glass– in fact, if you do, you’ll turn the feature off.

Here I’ve just turned the feature on, showing a preview of the second site in my search results.

Now I can roll the mouse around and hover over other items in the search results, giving me a quick idea of what each site looks like.

I don’t like the looks of this site with the green sidebar– no pictures, at least not on the first page. Based on the previews, I could make a decision about which site to go to, saving me a little time. I know, I know: don’t judge a book by its cover. But I’m busy. Seeing the cover helps.

You can watch a nice video by Google Themselves that explains it a little further. Turns out Google Instant Previews is even handier on the iPhone. Check it out. Here’s the link.

Copyright 2008-2022 Christian Boyce. All rights reserved.

Did this article help you?

Maybe you'd like to contribute to the
Christian Boyce coffee fund.

Want some some quick iPhone how-tos?
Visit me at

Looking for quick tips about Macs?
See my One-Minute Macman website!

Please use the “Sharing” buttons to share what’s interesting with your friends. It helps your friends and it helps me too. Thank you very much!

Christian signature
Christian Boyce

Please Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑

Read our Privacy Policy