A Guide to Spotlight Search On iOS

Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

In this guide, I will be teaching you about using the Spotlight Search function on your Apple device.

What Is Spotlight Search

Spotlight Search allows you to search for results within apps, on the web, and more! It can even search for Mail, Contacts, Calendar Events, Notes, Reminders, the App Store, etc. And if you would like, it can search Wikipedia.

Changing Spotlight Search Settings

If you need to toggle some things off that you don't want Spotlight Search to search for, you can customize Spotlight Search Settings.

  1. Go to Settings and tap General.

  2. Under General, tap Spotlight Search. This will bring up a list of apps that can be toggled on or off. Spotlight Search, as I mentioned before, can search within apps. An example would be Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You have some other settings that can be adjusted here too, so just customize them to your liking. When done tap the General Back Button.

Bringing Up Spotlight Search

You can bring up the Spotlight Search only at certain times if you are only using your device without a Bluetooth Keyboard, but with a Bluetooth Keyboard you can activate whereever.

If you only use your device alone without a BT Keyboard or braille display, you can activate the Spotlight Search option or bring it up by going to the first page of your home screen and swiping right with three fingers. You can also activate Spotlight Search by performing a three-finger flick down from any page of the home screen.

If you have a braille display, you can activate it by pressing Space with Dots 3 4 5 6. Or if you go to the first page or homescreen on your device, you can press Space with Dots 2 4 6.

And to activate it on the BT Keyboard press F1 or Command Space.

Searching The Web and App Store

To search for something tap on the text field and type in what you want to search for on the web or in the App Store. If you get Results you should hear VO say how many results were received. You can tap the Search Web button, taking you to Safari, or the Search App Store button, taking you to the App Store, and it will automatically copy your search from Spotlight Search in to the Address/Search field.

Searching for Mail, Contacts, Calendar Events, Notes, Reminders, Etc

When you search for Mail, Contacts, Calendar Events and more, headings will pop up, displaying those results under them. This also works with Maps, and if you didn't know that you could search maps using Spotlight Search, you can. Using the Headings setting in your rotor, you can easily navigate between different results that popped up for different things like Maps, Notes, Contacts and more!

Other then searching for those things, Spotlight Search can also search for music and videos in your music library and video library. Search for Photos, Videos, and more, right from Spotlight Search!

Search within Apps

Spotlight Search can search within apps, but only if the app has the ability for Spotlight Search to have integration with it. One appthat is integrated with Spotlight Search is Google Maps or Firefox. But don't worry, most apps have the ability for Spotlight Search to look within them.

Hope this guide helped. Questions? Contact me any time via e-mail .



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Submitted by TJT 2001 on Thursday, April 14, 2016

You can also activate Spotlight Search by performing a three-finger flick down from any page of the home screen.