How to Search WhatsApp Messages

Search Whatsapp Messages Features

WhatsApp conversations can become quite lengthy, but what if you need to revisit a particular segment of the discussion? Fortunately, WhatsApp offers a search functionality so that you can easily find messages, as well as media, documents, etc. that were shared during your chats. This tutorial demonstrates how to search WhatsApp to retrieve relevant information from previous text exchanges.

Good to know: if you suspect someone may have blocked you on WhatsApp, check our guide for tips on how to know the truth.

How to Search in a Specific WhatsApp Chat or Group

If you need to search for a specific keyword in a private or group conversation, you can do so from mobile, as well as your PC.

Mobile

Open the chat in question on your Android, tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner, and select Search.

Finding the Search button in WhatsApp for Android.

Type the keyword at the top, and press the upward arrow on the right of the search bar.

Searching for keyword in chat using WhatsApp for Android.

You will be directed to the most recent instance of using this keyword in the conversation. To continue searching the chat, tap on the upwards arrow again.

On iOS, open the conversation, then tap the recipient’s name (or the group’s name) at the top.

Tapping on profile picture in chat in WhatsApp for iOS.

Press Search on the Contact info page.

Selecting Search button in Contact info page.

Type your query at the top, and you’ll immediately start seeing matches in your conversations.

Searching for keyword in WhatsApp for iOS.

FYI: you can also search Starred messages using the bar at the top. On Android, tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner, and select Starred messages. For iOS users, you’ll find them by tapping Settings in the lower-right corner of the display and selecting Starred Messages. On PC, click on the tiny star on the lower-left side.

PC

If you’re using WhatsApp on your PC, go to the conversation you want to search.

Click on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner, and type in your keyword. Click the upward icon next to the search bar to see the matches in the conversation.

Searching using a keyword in conversation in WhatsApp on PC.

WhatsApp does not save your search queries, so you don’t need to worry about the privacy aspect.

Tip: check out how to change your WhatsApp profile or group photo.

Want to locate a funny meme that you remember sharing with a friend some time ago in a WhatsApp chat or group? You could try scrolling through the conversation and, hopefully, spot the thumbnail. However, the easier method would be to look up all the media, links, etc., that you’ve shared with someone.

Mobile

Open the conversation in question on your Android, and press the three dots in the upper-right corner. Select Media, links, and docs from the drop-down menu. Or, if you’ve opened a group, tap Group media.

Clicking on

You can easily scroll through all the media you’ve shared with this person or group, sans the messages. This should allow you to quickly find the photo or video you’re searching for, as these are organized per month.

Browsing media shared via conversation in WhatsApp for Android.

Tap on Docs or Links to switch to viewing all the documents (including PDFs) and direct links you shared with this person or group.

Browsing docs  shared via conversation in WhatsApp for Android.

On iOS, after you’ve opened a chat or a group, tap on the person’s name at the top. Then, press Media, Links, and Docs to view everything you’ve shared.

Tapping on

PC

In the WhatsApp client for desktop, go to a chat. Click on the person’s name at the top to reveal a menu.

Clicking on profile picture in WhatsApp conversation on PC.

Click one of the options, including Media, Files, or Links. The shared items will show up on the right.

Clicking on Media to view all media shared in WhatsApp conversation on PC.

Good to know: learn how to send high-quality videos on WhatsApp.

How to Search for a Keyword, Media and More in All Chats

You may need to check for a keyword across all your WhatsApp chats. Alternatively, you may want to see all the images you’ve shared with others (and vice versa).

In the Android app, press on the magnifying icon in the upper-right corner.

Tapping magnifying glass icon in WhatsApp for Android.

Type in your keyword at the top.

Typing keyword to search all chats in WhatsApp for Android.

A list showcasing all the messages that feature the keyword will show up, starting with the most recent ones.

Note: you won’t be able to find keywords in locked WhatsApp conversations.

Alternatively, tap on an item you want to search for, such as Photos, Videos, Audio, or Polls.

Search Whatsapp Messages Android Filters

For instance, if you select Photos, you’ll see a complete list of all the images you’ve shared with others and others shared with you. To view who sent what, tap on the small hamburger menu in the search bar.

Tapping on small hamburger menu in WhatsApp for Android all message search.

You’ll get a detailed view of all your interactions that feature a photo. Tapping on one of the photos will redirect you to the precise spot in the conversation that it was initially shared.

Thumbnail view of all photos shared in all conversations in WhatsApp for Android.

On iPhone, open the WhatsApp app, and look for the search bar underneath Chats.

Using the search bar at the top of WhatsApp for iOS to search all chats.

Type your keyword, or tap the search bar to select a type of media, links, etc., to search for.

Searching all chats for keyword in WhatsApp for iOS.

PC

In WhatsApp on PC, find the search bar for all your chats on the left, on top of all your conversations.

Searching all chats for keyword on WhatsApp for PC.

Note that you can’t search for photos, videos, etc., while using the WhatsApp desktop client.

Tip: if you want to protect your privacy, you can hide your status on WhatsApp.

How to Search for Someone on WhatsApp

You can also use the global search function to look for people on WhatsApp. Instead of typing a keyword, just input their name, and the results will appear underneath.

Remember that you need to have previously saved the numbers of these people to your phone so that they can pop up in your WhatsApp. Once you tap on the person’s name, you’ll be able to see all the messages you’ve exchanged so far if you have previously chatted.

You can also add a second filter, such as photos, to view photos you have shared by the people you’ve searched for.

Searching for people on WhatApp for Android.

Tip: check out how to send a WhatsApp message without saving the recipient’s number.

How to Search by Date on WhatsApp

WhatsApp for iOS has an additional feature that lets you search by date. To take advantage of it, open a WhatsApp chat, tap the person’s name at the top, and select Search, as previously explained.

Tap on the calendar icon at the bottom.

Tapping on calendar icon in chat in WhatsApp for iOS.

Input the date, and press the Jump to Date button. You’ll be immediately taken to the messages (and additional exchanges) from that day.

Setting date to view messages from that date in WhatsApp for iOS.

Tip: you can send WhatsApp messages to yourself.

Finding Everything Quickly

With a robust search feature, WhatsApp remains one of the most popular messaging apps for both Android and iOS users. The app recently introduced channels – a feature reminiscent of Telegram – that you may want to try. You can also use WhatsApp to share your location by checking out our guide.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *