Flickr Search

You can search Flickr for three basic things: photos/videos, people, and groups.  Since photos/videos is primarily what Flickr is about, you will have the most options for narrowing down your search results there.  However, you will also have a few options for sorting and filtering the groups that you search for.

How to search Flickr

  1. Go to and (optionally) log in.

  2. Click in the search box in the upper-right corner labelled "Photos, People, or Groups" and type in what you're looking for.  Then, click the magnifying glass icon or press the "Enter" key on your keyboard.

    The Flickr search box

  3. By default, you will be searching for Photos; click this if you are searching for something else to go back to searching for photos.  All of your results are displayed on the same screen; simply scroll down for more results.

    Flickr photo search options

    Click the drop-down menu that says "Any License" to select a certain category of licensed photos to search for.  Depending on the license of the photo, you may be able to modify or use it under certain conditions (as is the case with certain Creative-Commons-licensed photos).

    Click the drop-down menu that says "SafeSearch Off" to decide what safety rating of photos you want to see.  On results in you only seeing "Public"-rated photos, Moderate means that you can see "Moderate"-rated photos, and "Off" allows you to see "Restricted"-rating photos.

    Click a colour to see photos are primarily that colour, or click a pattern to see only photos that use that particular technique.

    Click Advanced for more filtering options (shown here), such as photo orientation, minimum size, capture date, whether you're searching for photos and/or videos, and whether you're searching for your keywords everywhere on Flickr or just in "tags".

    Finally, click the drop-down menu labelled "Relevance" to sort your results by how close they match your search terms, when they were captured, or how popular they are among other Flickr users.

  4. To search for other Flickr users, click People.

    Search for people on Flickr

    Click on a user's name to visit their profile, or click the Follow button to track their activity on Flickr (including what they upload and what comments others leave on their photos).

  5. If you're looking for groups on Flickr, click Groups.  (See our Flickr Groups tutorial for more on these.)

    Search for Flickr groups

    Click the check box beside "Hide Inactive Groups" to show or hide groups with few members or little recent activity.  You can also click the drop-down menu marked "Relevant" and choose to sort groups by:

    – how closely they match your search terms
    – their names (in alphabetical order)
    – how recently activity has occurred on them
    – how many members are in the group
    – how long ago the group was formed

    Click on a group's name to go to its profile page (or click the icons below it to immediately see its members, photos, or discussions), or click Join to ask to join the group.

Those are the basics of searching on Flickr!