How to Search Text Message Conversations on iPhone or iPad


Over time text message threads in the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad can become long and winding, and what you discussed with who and when can also start to get fuzzy. Thankfully, Apple makes it relatively easy to search for specific words across all of your text message discussions to try and dig out either a specific item, like an address or phone number, or a specific discussion.

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Steps to Search Text Message Conversations on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad to open your Messages home screen.
  2. Swipe down from top to bottom on the screen. You’ll notice a Search bar is now displayed across the top.
  3. Enter the text you want to search for across all of your iPhone or iPad text message conversations. You’ll immediately see search results displayed as you type. The results will be displayed in the Conversations and Links sections. The Conversations section shows results found in the text of your messages, and the Links section shows results found associated with links you’ve either been sent or received in the Messages app.
  4. Tap “See All” associated with either of these sections to see the full list of results for that option.
  5. Tap any of the individual results you want to see within the context of the larger conversation the text you were searching for appears in. If this isn’t the specific conversation you were looking for, you can tap “Back” at the top of the screen to return to the list of search results and continue looking through other results.

Reasons to Search Text Message Conversations on iPhone or iPad

1. Recalling Specific Information

Searching text message conversations on an iPhone or iPad can help you recall important details like phone numbers, addresses, dates, and plans. The feature enables quick access to relevant information without going through each conversation manually. This saves time and effort and helps you find the information you need without delay.

2. Checking Deleted Messages

Accidentally deleting a text message can be frustrating. But with the search function, you can check if a message you thought was gone is still recoverable. Simply type in keywords or phrases related to the missing message and then review the results.

3. Keeping Track of Conversations

Searching text message conversations on your iPhone or iPad can help you keep track of important discussions for personal or legal reasons. Whether you want to review plans for a future event or have a record of interactions for reference, the search function provides quick and easy access to the information you need.

4. Assessing Relationships

Reviewing text message conversations can give you insight into personal relationships or professional interactions. By searching for specific keywords, you can get a clearer picture of the dynamics of your relationships. From there you can identify any patterns or trends in your conversations.

5. Finding Particular Threads

With a large number of text message conversations, finding a particular thread can be challenging. The search function enables you to quickly find the thread you’re looking for by typing in a keyword or phrase related to the conversation.

6. Providing Proof

In some cases, iPhone and iPad text message conversations can provide crucial evidence for disputes or legal proceedings. The search function allows you to find and present the messages you need as proof. This saves you time and helps you strengthen your case.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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