How to Search Text Messages on an iPhone

Last updated: May 23, 2017 - 10:52am EDT

Trying to locate a specific message on your iPhone, but struggling to find it amidst a sea of other messages? It can be frustrating and time consuming to scroll through your conversation in attempt to find a particular message. Today, we’re going to show you a better way to locate a message on your phone. Now, let’s learn step-by-step how to search text messages on iOS devices.

To search text messages on iPhone

1. Tap Messages to launch the app.

On your home screen, tap the Messages icon to start up your device’s messaging app.

Apple Messages icon

2. Swipe your finger from the top of your screen downwards to reveal a search bar.

On the main messages screen, slide your finger downwards to pull the search bar down from the top of the window.

Tap to reveal a search bar

3. Type in what you’re searching for, by phone number, keyword, or phrase.

Tap the search bar and type in whatever you’d like to find. You can enter a keyword or a phrase that you know is contained within the message you’re trying to find, or search for a conversation by the name or phone number of the contact you were talking to.

Enter search criteria

4. When the message you’re looking for comes up, tap it once to view it in the context of the conversation.

View the results of your search and see if the message you were trying to find has come up. If not, try searching another keyword or phrase you think is in the message. If the message appears in the search results, tap it once to open the conversation at the point where that message appears.

View a message by tapping


That’s all you need to do to search for text messages on your iPhone. This method also works for iMessage on iPad and iPod touch. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our free iPhone texting course for more helpful articles.


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