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Find people, things, & places in your photos

Search your photos for anything – a wedding you attended last summer, your best friend, a pet, or even New York City.

Before you get started

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Search your photos

  1. On your iPhone & iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. In the box at the top, type what you want to find, for example:
    • New York City
    • For people and pets you've labeled: their name or nickname.

Find photos of a person or pet & apply a label

Use face groups to more easily search and manage your photos. After you apply a label, you can search for them using that label. Note that this feature is not available in all countries.

STEP 1: Find photos of a person or pet

  1. On your iPhone & iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top, tap the search bar. You'll see a box with faces.
  4. Tap a face to see more photos of them. To see more faces tap the arrow.
    (If you don't see this box, that means this feature is not available in your country, you turned it off in settings, or you don't have any groups.)

STEP 2:  Apply a label

  1. At the top of a face group, tap "Who is this?"
  2. Enter a name or nickname. Now you'll be able to search with that label using the search box. Only you will see the private face labels you choose, even if you share those photos.

Turn off face grouping

You can stop getting similar faces grouped together in your photos. If you turn off face grouping, you delete:

  • Face groups in your account
  • Face models used to create those face groups
  • Face labels you created.

To turn off:

  1. On your iPhone & iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. Tap Menu  and then Settings and then Group similar faces.
  4. Optional: To turn off face grouping just for pets, turn off Show pets with people.

Advanced tips

Merge face groups

If a face shows in more than one grouping, you can merge them.

  1. Label one of the face groups with a name or nickname.
  2. Label the other face group with the same name or nickname, choosing from the suggestions.
  3. When you confirm the second name or nickname, Google Photos will ask if you want to merge the face groups.
Change or remove a label

To edit a label, at the top right of a face group, tap More More and then Edit name label.

To remove a label, at the top right of a face group, tap More More and then Remove name label.

Remove a face group from the search page

If you don't want to see a certain face group on your search page, you can remove it.

  1. On your iPhone & iPad, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top, tap the search bar.
  4. On the box with faces, tap the arrow.
  5. At the top right, tap More More and then Hide & show faces.
  6. Tap the faces you want to hide.
    (To unhide a face, tap the box again.)
  7. At the top right, tap Done.
Remove an item from a group

If you see a photo that's in the wrong group, you can take it out.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app
  2. At the top, tap the search box.
  3. Tap Next Next
  4. Select the face group that you want to remove something from.
  5. Tap More and then Remove results
  6. Select a photo. 
  7. At the top right, tap Remove

Note: This will not delete the photo or video from your Google Photos library.

Learn about face models

Google Photos creates models of the faces in your photos to group similar faces together.

Face groups, face labels, and sharing

  • Face labels are private to each account and not shared across accounts.
  • Face groups are not shared when you share photos.
  • By default, face groups and labels in your account are only visible to you.
  • You can choose to label a face group as “Me” and allow your contacts’ Google Photos apps to recognize your face in photos. This helps your contacts get suggestions to share photos of you with you. Learn more about labeling your face group.

When face grouping is turned on, you let us know that it’s OK for us to use the face models of people and pets in your photos, including you, and that you have the approval of everyone featured in your photos.

To delete your face models, turn off Face grouping.

Related page

Can't find your photos? Get help finding photos.

Brenna is a Google Photos expert and wrote this page. Help her improve it by leaving feedback below.

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