How to Search Messages on iPhone and Mac

There are many reasons to search for specific text in iMessage and SMS conversations. Perhaps you need to check a friend’s birthday or see work-related information a colleague sent you long ago.

Whatever the reason, we’ll show you how to easily find your messages on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You’ll also learn how to find multimedia files, links, places, and more.

Search text messages on your iPhone or iPad

You can search for messages using the built-in search tools in the Messages app or your device’s operating system. I’ll show you how to use both.

Search for text using the Messages app

The Messages app comes with a built-in search tool that makes it easy to find old messages from both SMS and iMessage.

  1. Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad and tap the search bar.
message search bar

If you can’t find the search bar, swipe down on the conversation on your screen. This will bring up a search bar at the top of the first conversation.

Enter a keyword (or a random word you remember from a conversation) to search for in the search field. The search tool will show her last 3 conversations/messages containing the keyword in the “Conversations” section. Additionally, text that matches the search term is highlighted in black.

Keywords in the search bar

If there are links or documents related to the keyword,[リンク]or[ドキュメント]section.Tap view all View the results of other conversations.

You can also use the Messages app to find your location or GPS coordinates. If you can’t remember the exact details, position In the search bar, look through the “Locations” section.

The results page shows a preview of the 3 most recently sent or received view all To see more location information from old conversations.

The location entered in the search bar will be displayed on the map

Unless you open the conversation, it’s almost impossible to tell if you’ve sent or received a message on the results page. Tap an entry in the search results to open the conversation.

Find text using Find

There are two ways to access the search tool on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Go to your iPhone home screen and swipe the screen to the right.
  2. Swipe down from the center of the Home screen.

No matter what router you use, you will see a search bar at the top of the screen.

  1. Tap the search field and enter the keyword of the message you’re looking for.
Home screen search bar
  1. Once you have found the exact message you are looking for,[メッセージ]Tap the message preview in the section to open the conversation. Otherwise, Search by app View more results in the Messages app in the Messages section.
search bar birthday

If your search term/keyword spans multiple categories, scroll to the bottom of the search results and tap Search messages Search for keywords in the Messages app.

Message search options

This will launch the Messages app and display all conversations that contain items corresponding to your search term. It can be text, media files, location information, or web links.

How to Search Messages on Mac

On macOS, you can find specific content from iMessage and SMS conversations using Spotlight search or within the Messages app.

Search for text from the Messages app

Launch the Messages app on your Mac and enter the text or conversation you want to search for in the search field in the top left corner. The search tool will display the first three conversations or the most recent conversations containing the keyword or keyphrase.

Messages app search bar

If you can’t find the desired conversation in the results, show more Show more entries.


Just like the Messages app on iOS, you can search for places, multimedia files, links, and more on your Mac. Search results are categorized into text, links, photos, and more for easy searching. Selecting an entry in the search results shows the exact position of the search term within the conversation.

The selected entry will appear in the conversation

Find text using Spotlight search

Spotlight Search is one of the most underrated macOS tools. Quickly find all kinds of items on your Mac (apps, contacts, messages, folders, events, etc.). However, to find messages using Spotlight search, you need to make sure the tool is configured to capture the content of your messaging application.

go to System Preferences > Spotlight > search result of and, email and message option is checked.

[システム環境設定]>[Spotlight]>[検索結果]Go to[メールとメッセージ]Make sure the option is checked.” class=”wp-image-13882″  /></figure>
<li>press <strong>instructions</strong> + <strong>space</strong> or <strong>search icon</strong> Click to launch Spotlight Search.</li>
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Search icon in the menu bar
  1. Enter the text you are looking for,[メールとメッセージ]Review the results in section. Double-click a resulting entry to open the exact conversation containing the searched keyword.
Search bar Istanbul in message

Find multimedia in Messages on iPhone and Mac

Unlike text, it’s not easy to pinpoint and accurately find multimedia files (images, videos, songs, GIFs, etc.) in the Messages app. It’s easy if you know the file name.

For example, to share an image named “Fruit” via iMessage on your device, type: fruit The image appears in the “Photos” section in the search field.

The fruit search bar displays fruit images

This image search technique also works in the macOS Messages app. Enter the image name in the search field and see files with matching names in the Photos section.

Search bar and photo fruit displayed in macOS Messages app

But how do you find multimedia files whose names you don’t know? Enter a general file category in the search field and comb through the results. For example, say you’re looking for screenshots. screenshot Tap in the search field. view all In the “Photos” section.

search bar and[すべて表示]button screenshot

Looking for a song someone sent you? Open the Messages app and type: song In the search field, comb through messages with a “Song:” prefix in the conversation section. These messages include songs and audio files that you have shared or received.

search bar songs

On iPhone, check the “Links” section for songs shared on Apple Music, Spotify, or other music streaming apps.

link section

To find a photo or image you don’t remember the name of, enter general keywords such as image Also Photo in the search field. This will show you the photos exchanged in every conversation, from newest to oldest.

Images and screenshots entered in the search bar

come in screenshot Click in the search bar to view screenshots sent or received via iMessage or MMS.[写真]section.Tap show more (Also view all (on iPhone and iPad) to view older screenshots.


Limitations and solutions

Deleted messages and conversations won’t show up in search results until you restore them. For more information, please refer to this guide on recovering deleted texts on iPhone. Messages automatically deleted by the device may also not be searchable. So check your Messages settings menu or settings and make sure the app is configured to save messages forever.

On your iPhone or iPad, setting > message > keep message and set it to eternally.

Settings > Messages > Keep messages forever” class=”wp-image-13894″  /></figure>
<p>On Mac, open the Messages app and tap <strong>message</strong> in the menu bar, <strong>Environmental setting</strong>head to <strong>Universal</strong> tab, <strong>keep the message</strong> Click the dropdown button and select <strong>eternally</strong>.</p>
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[メッセージを保持]in the section[永久に]is selected

If your devices use the same Apple ID and some messages appear on your iPhone but not on your Mac (or vice versa), it may be because you haven’t synced your messages to iCloud. .

On your iPhone or iPad, setting > [Apple ID name] > iCloud and check message is turned on. Connect your device to the internet and wait a few minutes for your messages to sync.

Messages toggled on

That’s all you need to know about searching for messages on Apple devices. For best results, we recommend connecting your device to the internet while performing searches.

If you still can’t find your message using the methods above, close and reopen the Messages app and try again. Better yet, download your iMessage chat history as a PDF file and search the document for keyphrases/keywords.

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