How to Search Messages on iPhone and Mac.how to go to the first message on imessage mac.
There are many reasons why you want to search for a specific text in an iMessage or SMS conversation. Perhaps you need to confirm a friend’s birthday, or refer to some information related to a job that your coworker submitted a long time ago.
Whatever the reason, we’ll show you how easy it is to search for messages on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You will also learn how to search for media files, links, location, etc.
Table of Contents – Table of contents
Search Text Messages on iPhone or iPad
To search for messages, you can use the search tool built into the Messages app or your device’s operating system. We’ll show you how to use both.
Search for texts using the Messages app
The Messages app comes with a built-in search tool that makes it easy to view old messages – both SMS and iMessages.
- Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad and tap the search bar.
If you can’t find the search bar, swipe down on any conversation on the screen. This should display a search bar at the top of the first conversation.
Enter the keywords you want to find (or random words that you can recall from a conversation) in the search box. The search tool will display the last three conversations / messages with keywords in the Conversations section. In addition, the texts corresponding to the search query are highlighted in black.
If there are any links or documents related to the keyword, you will find them in the “Links” or “Documents” section. Click View All to see the results of other conversations.
You can also search for locations or GPS coordinates through the Messages app. If you can’t remember the exact details, enter a location in the search bar and see the Locations section.
You will find a preview of the three most recently sent or received addresses on the results page. Select View All to view additional location information from old conversations.
Until you open a conversation, it is nearly impossible to tell if you sent or received message (s) on the results page. So tap an entry in the search results to open a conversation.
Search for texts using search
There are two ways to access the search tool on your iPhone and iPad:
- Go to the iPhone home screen and swipe right.
- Swipe down from the middle of the home screen.
Whichever router you are using, you should find the search bar at the top of the screen.
- Tap the search box and enter keywords from the post you are looking for.
- If you find the exact message you’re looking for, click the message preview in the Messages section to open the conversation. Otherwise, click Search in App in the Messages section to display more results in the Messages app.
If your search term / keyword falls into more than one category, you may need to scroll to the bottom of the search results and click Search Messages to find the keyword in the Messages app.
This will launch the Messages app and display all conversations containing items that match your search term. These can be texts, media files, location information, or web links.
How to Search Messages on Mac
On macOS, you can find specific content from iMessages and SMS using Spotlight Search or in the Messages app.
Search for texts in the Messages app
Launch the Messages app on your Mac and enter the text or conversation you’re looking for in the search box in the upper left corner. The search tool will display the three starting or last conversations with a keyword or key phrase.
If you don’t find the conversation you want in the results, click Show More to view more entries.
Similar to the Messages app on iOS, you can also search for locations, media files, links, and more on your Mac. To make your search easier, the search results are divided into text, links, photos, and more. Select an entry in the search results to see the exact location of the search term in the conversation.
Search for texts using Spotlight Search
Spotlight Search is one of the most underrated tools in macOS. It allows you to quickly find all kinds of items (apps, contacts, messages, folders, events, etc.) on your Mac. However, in order to use Spotlight Search to search for messages, you must ensure that the tool is configured to capture content in the Messages application.
Go to System Preferences> In Spotlight> Search Results and make sure the Mail & Messages checkbox is checked.
Press Command + Space or select the search icon from the menu bar to start Spotlight search.
- Enter your search text and view the results in the Mail & Messages section. Double-click an entry in the results to open a specific conversation containing the keyword you were looking for.
Search for Multimedia in Messages on iPhone and Mac
Unlike text, finding media files (pictures, videos, songs, GIFs, and so on) in the Messages app is tricky with high fidelity. It will be much easier if you know the name of the file.
For example, if you share an image named â€œfruitâ€ via iMessage on your device, when you enter fruit in the search box, the image will appear in the â€œPhotosâ€ section.
This image search method also works in the macOS Messages app. Enter the name of the image in the search box and check the Photos section for files with matching names.
But how do you find media files you don’t know the names of? Enter the general category of the file in the search box and view the results. For example, if you’re looking for a screenshot, enter the screenshot in the search box and click View All under Photos.
Looking for the song that was sent to you? Open the Messages app, enter a song in the search field, and view messages with the â€œSong:â€ prefix in the Conversations section. These messages contain songs or audio files that you have shared or received.
On iPhone, check the Links section to find songs published through Apple Music, Spotify, or other music streaming apps.
To find photos and images that you don’t remember the names of, enter general keywords, such as image or photos, in the search field. Photos that have been shared in all conversations, from the most recent to the oldest, will be displayed here.
Entering a screenshot in the search bar under Photos will display screenshots sent and received via iMessage or MMS. Click Show More (or Show All on iPhone and iPad) to see old screenshots.
Limitations and Solutions
Deleted messages or conversations will not appear in search results unless you restore them. Check out this guide to recover deleted texts on iPhone to learn more. Messages automatically deleted by your device may also not be searchable. So check the message settings menu or preferences and make sure the app is set to keep messages forever.
On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> Messages> Save Messages and set it to Forever.
On your Mac, open the Messages app, choose Messages from the menu bar, choose Preferences, click the General tab, click the Save Messages drop-down menu button, and choose Forever.
If your devices use the same Apple ID and some messages appear on your iPhone but not on your Mac (or vice versa), it could be because you aren’t syncing messages to iCloud.
On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings> [Apple ID name]> iCloud and make sure Messages is turned on. Connect your devices to the Internet and wait a couple of minutes for the messages to sync.
That’s all you need to know about finding messages on Apple devices. For best results, we recommend that you connect your device (s) to the Internet while searching.
If you are still having trouble finding messages using the methods above, close and reopen the Messages app and try again. Better yet, download your iMessage chat history as a PDF file and search the document for your keyword / keyword.
How to Search Messages on iPhone and Mac
How to Search Messages on iPhone and Mac