Tech tip: How to quickly find and search photos you’ve sent

A friend sent you the name of a great hotel in Palm Springs, but you can’t find the message. Try searching your texts. Tap or click here for tips to find any message you’re looking for in seconds.

You can do the same with your photo album. Instead of scrolling forever, try searching for “sunset,” “Hawaii,” “dog,” or anything else you want to see. Tap or click here for pro tricks to hunt down any image in a snap.

Then there are the photos and videos you send out on your smartphone. Here’s how to find and search your shared media.

See a record of what you’ve sent and received

For better or worse, what we do online leaves behind digital clues. You can easily browse the photos and videos you’ve shared with a contract or group — and the ones they’ve shared with you. Here’s how: 

  • Open Messages.
  • Tap on a conversation, then tap on the contact/group name or profile photo.
  • Scroll down to the Photos section and tap See All to see your shared photos and videos.

You can also search for photos and videos you sent or received. Handy, right? Here’s how it works on an iPhone:

  • Open Messages.
  • Type in a word or search term in the Search bar.
  • Scroll down to Photos and tap See All.

Like messages, photos are searchable on your smartphone.


More phone smarts: Having a hard time sending videos from your Android to an iPhone? Use this app

Use an Android phone? Follow these steps to see all your shared media.

  • Open the Messages app.
  • Tap the search bar at the top. Select images or videos.
  • From here, you can scroll through all the photos or videos shared with you or that you have shared in text messages.

Did you lose an important text? Here’s how to get it back on your iPhone. Before that happens, make a backup of your messages. Tap or click for the easy options to get the job done.

Finding media in third-party messaging apps

Now that you know how to find shared media on your phone’s built-in messaging apps, here’s how to do the same with Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

The icons of Facebook and WhatsApp are seen on an iPhone.

The icons of Facebook and WhatsApp are seen on an iPhone.
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Browse the photos and videos you shared via Facebook Messenger:

  • Open Facebook Messenger.
  • Tap on a conversation, then tap on the contact/group name or profile photo.
  • Tap View media, files & links under the More actions section to see shared photos and videos.

While Facebook Messenger has a search function, it doesn’t work for the media you’ve shared in chats.

As long as you’re poking around Facebook, you might as well protect yourself. Hackers are after Google and Facebook accounts. Give yours this quick check now.


Browse shared photos and videos in WhatsApp:

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Tap on a conversation, then the contact/group name. Finally, tap the three-dot menu icon.
  • For an individual chat, select Media, Links, and Docs to see your shared photos and videos.
  • For a group chat, tap Group media.

You can also search your chats to find what you’re looking for. Here’s how:

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Type in a word or search term in the Search bar.
  • Tap Photos.
The Galaxy Z Flip3 on display in a store.

The Galaxy Z Flip3 on display in a store.
( Tang Ke / Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Elon Musk’s Twitter plan, TikTok car thieves, solar power vs. storms

Chinese super apps inspire Elon Musk’s Twitter plans, a solar-powered town kept power during Hurricane Ian, new phishing attacks, TikTok teaches car thieves, the world’s oldest webcam and how to use our phone to hang pictures the easy way. Plus, how to make money renting your car and stop websites from tracking you with URLs.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.


Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at