There will always be a time in your life when you'll need to search for a previous text message. But until now, the Search feature in the Messages app left something to be desired, and that's a mild way of putting it.

However, with iOS 17, that's no longer the case. With Search Filters in the Messages app, the newest software has made it easier to find what you're looking for. It works with both messages and attachments.

How do Search Filters Work in iOS 17? Search Filters enhance the search functionality in the Messages app by allowing you to use a combination of search queries to filter and quickly find any specific messages. For example, if you want to search for links from a particular person, you can use the person's name and "links" as search filters to narrow down your search.

Using Search Filters in Messages in iOS 17

Short Guide.
To use search filters, go to the Messages app, tap the Search Bar, and type one of these things in the search bar: 'name of a contact', 'photo', 'document', 'link', 'location', 'wallet' (for passes), etc. Then, select the filter from below the search bar.

Using the Search Filters in the Messages app is a straightforward task, as it should be. There's no use in making something complicated that's supposed to make your life easier, after all.

  1. Open the Messages app and swipe down to access the search bar. It does not matter which folder (All, Known, Unknown, etc.) you're in; the search functionality will work for all your messages.
  1. Then, start typing what you're looking for. While you can directly start searching for a phrase, to take advantage of the Search Filters, you should start with one of these things: name of a contact, photo, document, link, location, wallet (for passes), etc.
  2. As you start typing, corresponding filters will appear below the search bar; tap the one you want to use. For example, we'll start with the name of a person. The different search filters for them include 'Messages with: [Person]' or, if you're in a group chat with this person, 'Messages in: [Group Name]'.
  1. Then, you can start searching for the message by typing a phrase, or you can combine it with another search filter, say 'Photos' or 'Documents'. Tap the filter below the search bar to use it. For example, we used the 'Photo' filter here.
  1. Photos you've sent or received from this contact will appear. Tap 'See All' for more results.
  1. Tap a result to jump to the message in the conversation.

With Search Filters in iOS 17, it'll become easier to narrow down your search when you're on the hunt for a particular message. Unfortunately, it's still not as flawless as it ought to be. It would be easier if you could also start with a keyword and then add search filters to it, as you don't always remember who you received a particular text from when you're looking for it.