How to Search for Objects in the Photos App on the iPhone & iPad (iOS 14 Update)

If you're looking for a specific photo in the Photos app, it's nice to know you can search for it in a number of ways. Try using the Photos app search function to search for a photo by the object or objects in it!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Not only can you search for people in the Photos app, with iOS 10 and later you can also search for objects. Want to see all the cute pictures you have of dogs? You can search for photos of dogs and find them. Perhaps you’re looking for that picture of your Christmas tree from last year—search trees. The Photos app on iPhone is getting better and better at being able to recognize what’s in a photo, making it much easier for you to find exactly the picture you're looking for. Plus, recent iOS updates have given us the ability to add captions to photos in the Photos app, which makes searching even more likely to turn up accurate results. The search function works even without captions, though, and is pretty impressive. Here’s how to search for objects in the Photos app on your Apple device.

Related: How to Add Captions to iPhone Photos in iOS 14

How to Search for Objects in the Photos App

Searching for objects or non-human beings (such as horses, cats, and dogs) became much easier when iOS 14 rolled out, but was already much-improved starting with iOS 10. Here's how to use your Photos app search function to search for objects in your photo library:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap on the Search tab, which is represented by the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right.

    Open the Photos app to use the Photo search functionTap on the Search tab
  3. Tap into the Search bar.
  4. Type a search term, such as "horse" or "hat."

    Tap on the Search Bar and enter a search termTap on the Search Bar and enter a search term

You'll see that the Photos app search returns some surprisingly accurate results! It even considers my hood a hat, which is evidence of how intelligent this search feature is. Try it out with your own search terms!

Top image credit: GongTo /

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country. 

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