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 

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 .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. In the box at the top, enter what you want to find, for example:
    • London
    • A name or nickname, if you've labelled people or pets

Find photos of a person or pet and apply a label

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

Note: This feature is not available in all countries. 

Step 1: Find photos of a person or pet

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top, tap the search bar. 
  4. Under your list of recent or suggested searches, you'll see a row of faces. Tap a face to see photos of them. 
    • To see more faces, tap View more people and then.

If you don't see a row of faces: 

Note: To find photos of a person without searching, tap Albums and then People

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 .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. Tap Menu  and then Settings and then Group similar faces.
  4. Turn Face grouping off or on
    • To turn off face grouping for pets only, turn off Show pets with people.

Advanced tips

Combine face groups

If the same person is 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.

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. 

  • Change a label: Tap More  and then Edit name label.
  • Remove a label: Tap 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 .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top, tap the search bar.
  4. Next to the row of faces, tap Next Next.
  5. At the top right, tap More  and then Hide & show faces.
  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 .
  2. At the top, tap the search box.
  3. Tap Next Next.
  4. Select the face group from which you want to remove something.
  5. Tap More and then Remove results
  6. Select a photo. 
  7. At the top right, tap Remove

Note: If you remove an item from a group, it 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. 

If you turn on face grouping, 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 receive suggestions to share photos of you with you. Learn more about labelling your face group.

When face grouping is turned on, you let us know that it’s OK for us to use the 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 models, turn off Face grouping.

Related page

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

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