How to Use Spotlight Search in iOS 7

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Even if you love the flattened, minimal look of iOS 7, you might find a few things confusing and working very differently. Many common iOS features have been slightly tweaked, requiring users to re-learn a new way of accessing them. The popular Spotlight Search function is one of them, but you can get right back to the search bar you need most with one simple swipe.

MORE: iPhone 5s: Full Review

1. Enter the home screen.

2. Swipe down from the center of the screen. Be careful not to swipe from the top, as that action will pull up the new Notification Center.


3. Use the on-screen keyboard to search your iPhone. As with previous iterations, Spotlight Search browses your apps, notes, contacts and any other content saved on your phone. Searching the Web requires Safari or Siri. 


MORE: iOS 7: Full Review

How to Customize Spotlight Search

Apple's built-in search functionality can be tailored to your needs with a few basic taps of the screen.

1. Select Settings.


2. Select General.



3. Select Spotlight Search. This will allow you to enable or disable any searchable content, including videos, music, events and mail.


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Author Bio
Michael Andronico
Michael Andronico, Associate Editor
A devout gamer and tech enthusiast, Mike Andronico joined the Laptop team in July 2013. With a B.A. in Journalism from Purchase College and experience at GameNGuide, Examiner and 2D-X, Mike tackles everything from iPhone rumors to in-depth hardware reviews.
Michael Andronico, Associate Editor on
Add a comment
  • Lina Says:

    Oh my gosh! THNAK YOU! I thought i was going insane. Every time i pulled down from the top I got the notification center.

  • Ron Cubed Says:

    I want to disable the spotlight search. I never use it and it is a pain if my swipe to other screens has any slight downward direction in it, that the search pops up and I have to stop and close it. I went into settings/general/spotlightsearch and unchecked everything in there. But any slightly downward swipe and it still comes up. PITA.

  • misbah Says:

    does anyone knows how to find videos on iphone 5

  • Anne scott Says:

    Does this work on older ipad

  • Mike Thomas Says:

    Just add a link to googles website on your Home Screen. You'll be searching with one tap, just as easy as before.

  • Jerry Coccoli Says:

    I just loaded IOS7 on my IPAD2 and IPHONE4S. I then tried to look for something on the Web.

    Prior to downloading, I always searched the Web fm Spotlight by entering "Search Web" or "Search Wikipedia." I never had a problem.

    Aft the IOS7 download I COULDN'T access the Web. Spotlight was just searching the Pad or the IPhone. I called Apple AND THEY COULD NOT HELP ME. THE REP COULD NOT RESOLVE MY PROBLEM.

    It seems that the only way to access the Web is to hit "Safari" and then ask a question fm the Google Field. It just seems to me that this TAKES MUCH LONGER. It used to be so simple. Everything was done on one damn page.

    AM I RIGHT OR AM I MISSING SOMETHING? Also is the above way the correct way to access the Web on IOS7? I believe in leaving things SIMPLE and I think Apple has made things harder.