How to access and use Spotlight search on your iPhone or iPad

How to access and use Spotlight search on your iPhone or iPad

Spotlight is an easy way to find almost anything on your iPhone or iPad. From the field you can search for music and apps, contacts and email messages, and much, much more. Best of all, Spotlight is easily accessible from the Home screen — any Home screen!

How to search using Spotlight on your iPhone or iPad

  1. From any Home screen page of your iPhone or iPad, touch your finger to the screen and drag down to reveal the Spotlight search field.
  2. Type what you're looking for and hit Search.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to access and use Spotlight search on your iPhone or iPad


Im glad you can access from any page now. It's a small thing but makes the user experience better.

Not the same for ipad tho... still trying to find spotlight on the ipad. swipe down shows notifications and calendar.

"drag your finger down anywhere on the screen." Technically, you'd be dragging down from anywhere other than the bezel as that would trigger the Notification Center.

Being able to access it from any screen is a benefit I didn't forsee. I like that.

Nice tip! This tip was actually displayed the first time you access the homescreen after updating to iOS7, but I was so pumped up to try it, I just clicked "Dismiss".

If you are seeing notifications you are swiping too high. Try swiping from the middle downward. If you swipe from the top like the old search was you will only see notifications.

Cute, but what a beast! Took (literally) hours and multiple reloads to complete and then with about a tenth of my apps (app junkie). Pleased over-all, not dazzled. My IPhone 5 doesn't have the (expected default)<wallpapers & brightness><dynamic><flat> all. Will take probably a week to reorganize...

Well - here's one - when I swipe down from my home screen I get like calendar stuff and events with Today All & Missed across the top on a screen with a black background ?? Any thoughts ??

But how do I search for apps I don't have? I mean, I used to be able to search for a new app I wanted to download by category or by name. I tried typing in an app I know exists by swiping the screen up and typing it in the search box but it didn't come up. Do I really have to scroll through all the listed apps? They aren't even in alphabetical order. I will never find anything!