The Photos app in iPhone

The underrated search function in iPhone Photos app

The Photos app in the iPhone devices includes an underrated search function. You can make the most out of it because it can find almost any photo or video in your storage memory. The search tool is a great ally when looking for files in your device and also in the iCloud service.

However, the search tool is underrated as many user think it only works with very specific parameters. Truth is you can find almost any multimedia file in your iPhone or iOS account in just a few seconds.

Search function in iPhone Photos app

Search function in iPhone Photos

The search tool in iPhone is located at the bottom of the search section in Photos. You can use it with default filters that organize multimedia files by several parameters: date, type, people or pets, among others. In the following section we explain the different organization settings the app uses.

Search files by date

You can use the search function in iPhone Photos app to find exact dates or all the photos of a certain year or month. For example, you can put February 3rd and it will give you a list of all the photos and videos taken on a February 3. Or you can search for all the photos of the 2023 year.

Search function by file in iPhone

In case you are searching for a photo or video, you can select the type of multimedia file. That way you can save time when looking for a certain image or video in your collection.

People search

The iPhone face recognition technology lets you identify the people on a photo or video. That way you can give the search function in iPhone the order to show you a list of photos or videos with certain people on it. Open any image, swipe up the screen and click on the icon on the face of each person. If you have more files with that person you can group them all together to find the most suitable one.

Pet search

This is a variation of the technology used for people searching. Photos app on iPhone uses the search function to identify certain pets you have identified. It’s an excellent tool to find that great photo of your dog or cat.

Places search

The photos in the iPhone gallery can also be grouped by places. If you are looking for certain videos or photos taken in certain places, the search function of iPhone Photos lets you do it in just a few seconds.


The search engine of iPhone Photos can identify different objects in your photos. That way, you can use the term “computer” to look for photos with a computer or laptop, for example.


In case you are looking for images or videos of a certain party or gathering, the search tool works with direct orders. Try looking for photos of a birthday party and all the results will have something related to that celebration in particular.

Text search

From iOS 15 onwards the search function also includes text detection skills. The iOS search tool is capable of showing you the photos or videos where a certain text is present.

Combine several parameters in a search

Having such a powerful search tool in iPhone lets the user combine some parameters. That way you can exactly find the image or video you are looking for. For example, you can introduce the words “Birthday party 2022 Jim” and the results will show you Jim in all the photos of birthday you have taken.

You can use two or more tabs in order to make a more specific search. The function is far from perfect, but it works relatively well. If you use iPhone Photos to manage your multimedia files, the search function is a great ally.

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