How to Make the Most of Smart Search Filters in iPhone Messages

The Messages app on iPhone has always had a search function, but it was a basic one. You could type in some keywords or numbers, and Messages would try to find messages containing those phrases. However, with the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced smart filters to the Messages app, making it even easier to search for specific messages. In this article, we will explore how to use these new smart search filters in the Messages app on your iPhone.

Default Smart Filters in iPhone Messages

The Messages app now comes with a range of smart filters that are created by default. You don't have to do anything to activate them. Simply open the Messages app and swipe right to reveal a hidden menu with both old and new ways to filter messages.

filters in messages app on iPhone

Under the “Filtered by SMS Filter” section, you will find the following smart filters:

  • All Transactions: This filter displays all messages related to finance, orders, reminders, and promotions.
  • Finance: This filter shows messages that involve monetary transactions, such as credit card bills, transactions, cashback, and stock purchases.
  • Orders: This filter displays messages confirming your orders for products or services, such as clothing or food.
  • Reminders: This filter shows messages that remind you of tasks, such as payment reminders from your bank.
  • Promotions: This filter displays messages sent by advertisers and spammers who are marketing and promoting products and services.

In addition to these smart filters, the Messages app still includes some filters that have always been there, such as:

  • All Messages: This filter displays all messages without any filters applied.
  • Known Senders: This filter shows messages from contacts that are saved on your iPhone or with whom you have communicated before.
  • Unknown Senders: This filter displays messages from contacts that are not saved on your iPhone.
  • Unread Messages: This filter shows messages that you haven't read yet.

Using Smart Search Filters in iPhone Messages

Now, let's take a look at how to use the search function and smart filters to quickly find what you are looking for in your messages.

  1. Open the Messages app and swipe down to reveal the search bar at the top.

open search bar in iPhone Messages app

  1. To search for messages from a specific friend and filter the results, type their name in the search bar, select their name from the search results, and then choose either “Photos” or “Links” from the available options.

search messages in iPhone using smart filters

  1. When you choose the “Photos” smart filter, all the photos shared by that person will be listed in the search results. Similarly, choosing “Links” will list all the URLs that contact has shared with you.

search for images or links using smart filters in iPhone Messages app

You can also search for other types of content, such as documents or locations. The smart filter options you see listed are dynamic and may change depending on the contact and your messaging history with them. If a specific smart filter is not listed, you can type it manually, and it will appear as an option automatically. For example, typing “Documents” will display the smart filter option and show recently shared documents in the search results.

search for documents using smart filters in iPhone Messages

Smart Filters for Smart People

Smart Filters are a great addition to the iPhone's Messages app. They make it much easier to find the messages you're looking for and cover almost everything you usually share using iMessage. If you want to explore more features, you can also check out other recent additions like creating Live Stickers from any photo or the StandBy mode.

Remember, using smart search filters in iPhone Messages can save you time and effort when searching for specific messages or types of content. Give them a try and see how they can enhance your messaging experience on iPhone!