Search by people, things, & places in your photos

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

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

Note: Some features are not available in all countries. 

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
    • A name or nickname, if you've labeled people or pets. 

Find photos of a person or pet & apply a label

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

Note: 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. 
  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 Next 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 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 used to create those face groups
  • Face labels you created

To turn it off or on:

  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. 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 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 get 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 iPhone & iPad, 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 and then.
  5. At the top right, tap More More and then Hide & show faces.
  6. Tap the faces 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 iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app
  2. At the top, tap the search box.
  3. Tap Next and then.
  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 you want to remove from the group.
  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

Face grouping occurs in three steps:

  • First, we detect whether any photo has a face in it.
  • Then, 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.
  • Finally, 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 is in the wrong group.

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 to more easily 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 you want to make a model of your face. 

To delete your models, turn off Face grouping.

Related page

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

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