Searching through iMessage history can be a pain in the butt. The search function can only look through present messages, which means if you’ve swiped left to delete a previous text message, it will not show up when you search your history.
However it can look through the history of the messages in your list. For instance, I was able to pull up all the Merry Christmas texts I received enough though it’s been months, and I’ve chatted with those people since.
Another nice feature iMessage search has is the ability to go directly to the phrase I’m looking for within the message. It’s worth noting my iPhone is running on iOS 10, but this will work with an iPhone running at least iOS 9.
To look up a specific imessage,
- Open the Messages app.
- At the very top is the Search bar. (If you scroll down, it will disappear. Just scroll back to the top and you’ll see it.)
- Tap the search bar and type either the person or phrase that you’re looking for.
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- For example, “Happy” or “Merry” showed me all the old Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas messages I had from friends as well as any other text message wherein “happy” or “merry” appeared.
- Click on the specific message you were looking for and it will take you into the message at the place of that conversation.
If you need a more extensive search of iOS messages, check out Chatology for Mac. You can focus on a specific date range or search by images and links. It can also search through more than just iMessages, linking multiple accounts for easy searching in one place. If it’s something you think you might like, there’s a Free Download to try it out on their website.
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