How to Use Spotlight Search On iPhone

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Check How to Use Spotlight Search On iPhone

Spotlight search is perhaps the least used feature on the iPad or iPhone. Instead of searching through pages and pages of apps, you can use the iPad’s search feature to find things for you. Since the search results update with each letter you type, you may only need to tap a few buttons to bring the item to the top of the screen. However, Spotlight Search is more than just launching apps. Search your entire iOS device, including your movie, music, contacts, and email collection.

It also searches outside of your iPad to find results from the web and the App Store. If you’re looking for an app you’ve removed, the search results include a link to its download page. Spotlight Search can also pull information from Wikipedia and Google search results. Everyone is familiar with Internet searches, which can be used to find answers to common questions, solutions to problems, and product details. With Spotlight, a feature introduced in Mac OS X Tiger in 2005, this capability can also be used on iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers.

How to use Spotlight Search on iPhone

To access the Spotlight search interface, go to your iPhone or iPad home screen and swipe right. You will find the Spotlight search interface on the left of the main home screen. You can also touch anywhere in the app grid on any home screen and swipe down. You’ll see fewer suggestions when you scroll down to search, just app suggestions.

Proactive Siri

Starting with iOS 9, Spotlight offers suggestions for recent content and apps you might want to use. This is part of Apple’s plan to transform Siri into a Google Now- or Cortana-style assistant that provides information before you ask for it. On the Spotlight screen, you’ll see recommendations for contacts you might want to connect with and apps you might want to use. Siri uses factors like the time of day and your location to guess what you might want to open.

You’ll also see quick links to find potentially useful nearby locations, for example, Dinner, Bars, Shopping, and Gas. This uses Yelp’s location database and takes you to Apple Maps. These also vary depending on the time of day. Suggestions also provide links to recent news stories, which will open in Apple’s News app.


Just tap the search field at the top of the screen and start typing to search, or tap the microphone icon and start speaking to search with your voice. Spotlight searches a variety of sources. Spotlight uses Bing and Apple’s own Spotlight suggestion service to provide links to web pages, map locations, and other things you might want to see when you search. Content provided by apps on your iPhone or iPad is also searchable, starting with iOS 9. Use Spotlight to search your email, messages, music, or just about anything else. It also searches for apps installed on your device, so you can start typing an app’s name and tap it to launch it without locating that app’s icon anywhere on your home screen.

Enter a calculation to get a quick answer without opening the Calculator app, or start typing a contact’s name to get options to quickly call or text them. There’s a lot more you can do with Spotlight, too—try other searches. Search for something, and you’ll also see links to “Search the Web,” “Search App Store,” and “Search Maps,” allowing you to easily search for something on the web, the Apple App Store, or Apple Maps without first opening your web browser, the app store, or Apple Maps.

Spotlight search customization

You can customize the Spotlight interface. If you don’t like the Siri Suggestions feature, you can turn off those suggestions. You can also control which apps Spotlight searches for, preventing search results from certain apps from appearing.

  • To customize this, open the Settings app, tap General, and tap “Spotlight Search.” Turn “Siri Suggestions” on or off, and select the apps you want to see search results for under “Search Results.”
  • You will see two types of “special” results buried in the list here. These are “Bing Web Search” and “Spotlight Suggestions”. These control web search results that are not provided by individual applications. You can choose to enable them or not.
  • Not all apps will provide search results – developers need to update their apps with this feature.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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