New for iOS 12: How to Use Multiple Search Terms in the Photos App for iPhone & iPad

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

There are lots of picture apps and photo apps available for the iPhone and iPad, and lots of them are even free, but one of my favorite photography apps for my iPhone is Apple's Photos app. Not only are Apple's native Camera and Photos app free, but they keep on improving with every new operating system. With iOS 12, for example, we can now use multiple search terms to find the photo we're looking for in the Photos app. This feature is a real time saver, and I'll show you how to use it right now so you can search your pictures faster and more accurately than ever before. 

Related: How to Play Slideshows from the Photos App on iPhone

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In my family, we have an ongoing dispute over which are better, colored or white Christmas tree lights. We've compromised by setting a rotating schedule, but every year my daughter claims that last year was my turn and this year is her turn! Now I can easily find a photo of last year's tree, so we know for sure with one Photos search! To begin:

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Tap the search icon at the bottom-right of your display.

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  • This will take you to the Search page; type your search into the Search Bar at the top of the page.

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  • I've tried to type three words, but it seems that the Photos app is only capable of handling two terms at the moment.
  • Using two terms narrows my search down to eight photos, and I can easily find last year's tree. Looks like last year we had rainbow lights, so this year will be white lights again!

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Top image credit: Suti Stock Photo /

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Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.