Search with Spotlight

You can use Spotlight to search for content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. To use Spotlight, swipe down on your home screen to reveal the search field.

Content on your device

Spotlight searches the content on your device for text beginning with your search phrase. It's not case sensitive, so you can use uppercase or lowercase letters and get the same results.

Suggested content on Safari

In iOS 8, Spotlight can suggest results from Safari, including: 

  • Wikipedia
  • News articles
  • Nearby places
  • iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store


From the Home screen, Spotlight can search the sender, recipient, and subject fields of email messages in your mail accounts. To search text in the message body, use the search field in Mail. Search in Mail understands dates and message states, so you can target your search based on date, flag, and unread status. 

Search in Mail can also search messages on your email server, but will search local content before content on your email server. Searchable fields may vary depending on the email server (like iCloud and Exchange). The maximum number of search results may be dependent on your search query, and the email server's implementation.


Spotlight searches for names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and notes about your contacts.

Calendar and Reminders

Spotlight searches for the title of calendar events and reminders in a two-year window—it will reveal results from one year in the past and one year in the future. If an event has recurrences that fall in this range, it will find the event that is closest to the current date. 

If multiple events have similar details (like title, notes, and location), and you search for these details, Spotlight will show the most recent. To see more results, use search in Calendar or Reminders.


Spotlight searches for specific text within your messages and sender name.

Music, Videos, and Podcasts

Spotlight searches for titles, artists, and album fields of your songs, videos, audiobooks, and podcasts.

Turn on/turn off Spotlight

You can enable or disable Spotlight search for specific types of content, and change the order in which results are displayed by tapping Settings > General > Spotlight Search.

Get help

If you didn't find what you were looking for, get tips for searching in spotlight.

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