The synthesis and evaluation of two cathepsin S-specific probes is described. For long-term retention of the probe at the target site and a high signal-to-noise ratio, we introduced a lipidation approach via the simple attachment of palmitoic acid to the reporter. After cathepsin S-specific cleavage in cultured cells and in a grafted tumor mouse model, fluorescence increased owing to dequenching and we observed an intracellular accumulation of the fluorescence in the target tissue. The lipidated probe provided a prolonged and strongly fluorescent signal in tumors when compared to the very similar non-lipidated probe, demonstrating that non-invasive tumor identification is feasable. The homing principle by probe lipidation might also work for selective administration of cytotoxic compounds to specifically reduce tumor mass.