Search by people, things and places in your photos

Search your photos for anything. For example, you can search for: 

  • A wedding that you attended last summer
  • Your best friend
  • A pet
  • Your favourite city 

Important: Some features are not available in all countries, all domains or all account types.

Before you start

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Search your photos

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Search. 
    • To search by text:
      • Tap on the search box at the top, and enter what you want to find, for example:
      • London
      • A name or nickname, if you've labelled people or pets
    • To search using suggestions:
      • You can explore categories of:
        • People and pets: All of the photos and videos of your close ties
        • Places: The map lets you explore your photos in physical space
        • Things: Objects and concepts that we've detected in your photos
      • You can also scroll to the bottom for more utilitarian searches, like:
        • Screenshots, videos, collages, movies

Find photos of a person or pet and add name

To search and manage your photos more easily, you can apply a label to people or pets recognised by Google Photos.

Important: This feature is not available in all countries, all domains or all account types.

Step 1: Find photos of a person or pet

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Search
  4. You'll see a row of faces. To see photos of them, tap a face.
    • To see more faces, tap View all.

If you don't see a row of faces:

Step 2: Apply a label

  1. At the top of a face group, tap Add a name.
  2. Enter a name or nickname.

You'll be able to search with that label using the search box. Only you can see the private face labels that you choose, even if you share those photos.

Turn face grouping off or on

You can stop grouping similar faces together in your photos.

If you turn off face grouping, you delete:

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

To turn it off or on:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top right, tap your account profile photo or initials.
  4. Tap Photos settings  and then Group similar faces.
  5. Turn Face grouping off or on.
    • To turn off face grouping only for pets, turn off Show pets with people.

Advanced tips

Combine face groups

If the same person is in more than one group, you can merge the groups.

  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.

You may also receive a suggestion to merge two face groups. If they are the same person, tap Yes.

Change or remove a label

You can edit or remove your face group labels.

  • To change a label: Tap People folder and then More and then Edit name label.
  • To remove a label: Tap People folder and then 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 Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Search.
  4. Next to the row of faces, tap View all.
  5. At the top right, tap More and then Hide and show people.
  6. Tap the faces that you want to hide. To show 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 Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Search,
  4. Select the face group that you want to remove something from.
  5. Tap More and then Remove results.
  6. Select the photos or videos that you want to remove from the group.
  7. At the top right, tap Remove.

Tip: If you remove an item from a group, it will not delete the photo or video from your Google Photos library.

Change a feature photo
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Search.
  3. Tap a face group.
  4. At the top right, tap More and then Change feature photo.
  5. Select a photo to make it the featured photo.
Learn about face models

Face grouping occurs in three steps:

  • We detect whether any photo has a face in it.
  • If the face grouping feature is turned on, algorithmic models are used to predict the similarity of different images and estimate whether two images represent the same face.
  • Photos that are likely to represent the same face are grouped together. You can always remove a photo from a group if you think it's in the wrong group.

When face grouping is on, Google Photos may also include photos in a particular group based on other characteristics. This includes photos being taken close together in time and detecting that a person is wearing the same clothing across photos when a face is not visible.

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 help your contacts’ Google Photos apps recognise your face in photos more easily. This helps your contacts get suggestions to share photos of you with you. Learn how to label your face group.

When face grouping is turned on, you let us know that you want to make a model of your face.

To delete your models, turn off face grouping.

Remove, change or add people and pet labels to your photos
If Google Photos misses or incorrectly groups a photo, you can change, remove or add a photo to a face group.
This feature isn’t available in all countries.

Change which face group a photo belongs to

You can add, remove or change a face label when Google Photos labels the wrong person or pet.
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Select a photo and then tap More 더보기.
  3. Scroll to 'People' and tap Edit Edit.
  4. Remove, add or change a label:
    • To remove a label: On the face label, tap Remove Remove.
    • To add a label: Under 'Available to add', tap Add Add on the face label. Then, in the photo, tap a label to add, or select Add Add to create a new label.
    • To change a label:
      1. On the face label, tap Remove Remove.
      2. Under 'Available to add', on the face label, tap Add Add.
      3. Select a face label to add.
  5. Tap Done.

Related page

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

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