Tricks to quickly find a photo on your smartphone

With 1.2 trillion photos taken last year on cell phones, the ability to find a photo quickly on your smartphone has become a real challenge. How many times has a friend said to you, “let me show you that photo,” only to take minutes, hours or give up trying? Apple’s new iOS 12, available this Fall, will offer features to aid in photo searches on your iPhone. Android phones already have similar capabilities with rumors to offer further assistance coming soon. In the meantime, ClickAway has summarized some tricks you can use to find a photo.

Find a photo on an iPhone

Use the Search icon

Don’t waste time scrolling through your photos. Go to your photos and click the search icon. Types in a search term to narrow down your choices. For example. You can type in any object, place and attribute. If you type in “dog” comma “May 2018”, iOS will bring up all the photos of dogs you have taken in May. The searched images include any photo in your album or camera roll as well as those saved to your devices.

find a photo

Ask Siri to find a photo

“Hey Siri, find my photos of dogs from May 2018.” Test it out. You’ll be surprised how helpful Siri can be.

What doesn’t work – yet

You can’t search for modified attributes such as selfies, live photos or screenshots. Look for iOS 12 to help out here.

Extra tip – Hide private photos

We all hand our phones over to friends when we want to share photos or videos. But what if your collection includes sensitive images you’d rather not show anyone else? Luckily, the iPhone makes it easy to hide your most personal pictures from view. Inside Photos, select one or more images, then tap the Share button and choose Hide. As the confirmation message says, your chosen pictures will become invisible via the Moments, Collections, and Years views, but can still be accessed through the Albums screen.

Find a photo on Android phones with Google Photos

Find a Photo With Faces

find a photo

Google Photos can learn the faces of people in your pictures, but it’s up to you to take advantage of the feature’s organizational potential. Tap or click the app’s search bar and look for the row of shiny, happy people that pops up—then take a moment to tell Photos who each person is by tapping or clicking a face, tapping or clicking “Add a name,” and then inputting the person’s name or nickname. Google Photos can now identify and search for your pet too. Just give Photos the name of your favorite kitten or canine using the same name-assigning system. Then search for “Fido, park.” That’ll open up some interesting new possibilities for search.

Search Terms & Types

Photos is able to search for terms like “birthday,” “wedding,” “Thanksgiving,” “swimming,” “beaches,” “dancing,” “concerts,” “food,” “and even “rainbows.” You can also search for specific types of shots such as videos, selfies, animations and screenshots. Try searching by a particular color too. Have multiple dogs or cats, you can now search by breeds.

Multiple Search Terms

Try combining multiple search terms together for even more detailed discovery. Simple queries like “dog and park” will work, but the real power comes from combining people’s names with places or things to find super-specific items from your library. For instance, if you had identified someone in your collection as Dave, you could search for “Dave Paris,” “Dave birthday,” “Dave pool,” “Dave purple.” The possibilities are practically endless.

Parlor Trick

If you really want to show off your search capabilities, try searching your Photo library by emoji. For example, you could try a hat emoji to find photos with cowboy hats on or a baby emoji for photos of infants.