How to stop photos from appearing in Spotlight search on iPhone and iPad

How to stop photos from appearing in Spotlight search on iPhone and iPad

While Spotlight is a great feature to have, it does comes with a slight cone. Whenever you search for something, you will also see images related to the term. Sometimes, it is embarrassing especially if it pulls up an image like that. Well, now there is an option to stop your photos from appearing on Spotlight search on iPhone. Read along.

How to remove photos from Spotlight Search on iPhone

The best way to delete photos in Spotlight search is by completely removing its access to the photos. For that, you have to first:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Siri & Search.
  3. Scroll and tap Photos.
  4. Toggle off Show Content in Search.

    turn off photo suggestion in spotlight on iPhone

Instead of stopping the entire images from showing up on the Spotlight search, you can prevent specific images from appearing in the Spotlight search results. All you have to do is:

For hiding a single photo:

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Select the photo you want to hide.
  3. Tap three dots on the top right corner.
  4. Select Hide.
  5. Confirm again by tapping Hide Photo.

    hide photos on iPhone

To hide multiple photos:

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Tap Select and choose the photos you want to hide.
  3. Then, tap the three dots on the bottom right corner.

    select the images to hide on iPhone
  4. Now, tap Hide.
  5. Confirm again by tapping Hide X Photos.

    hide multiple photos on iPhone

Note: If you are using an iPhone running iOS 15, the steps to hide photos or videos are different.

How do I turn off suggested Photos on my iPhone

Other than removing from Spotlight search, you can also make sure your iPhone won’t be suggesting any photos based on your behavior, location, or any other factors. When iPhone gives you suggestion like these, you can prefer to not to get them. Or, you can turn them off permanently by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings → Siri & Search → Photos.
  2. Under SUGGESTIONS, select the options accordingly:
    • Show on Home Screen: This will prevent your iPhone from suggesting photos on your Home Screen.
    • Suggest App: Turn it off to prevent the Photos app from automatically suggesting photos under For You section.
    • Suggestion Notifications: Disabling this will block your iPhone from you notifications such as memory albums and all from the Photos app.

      change Photos suggestion

You can turn on/off any of these or entirely disable these options according to your choice.

Edit Spotlight Search on iPhone

Other than preventing Spotlight from suggesting photos, you can also make changes to the contents displayed in Spotlight search results. For that:

Go to Settings → Siri & Search

change siri and search settings on iPhone

Here, you can scroll down and see all the apps to which Spotlight has access. Select each of them and make changes accordingly.


Q. Clear Spotlight search history on iPhone 

To clear Spotlight search history, open Spotlight, and when you see the search history, swipe the history from left to right.

Q. How do you turn off Spotlight on iPhone?

You can turn off Spotlight search on your iPhone by going to Face ID & Passcode → and toggle off Today View and Search.

Q. Where is spotlight search on iPhone

You can access Spotlight on iPhone by swiping down from the Home Screen. On iOS 16, you can also tap the Search button appearing on the Home Screen to access Spotlight.

That’s it!

Even if its your iPhone, it’s best to prevent some of your pictures appearing on the search results. That’s why I have prepared this guide so that you can enjoy Spotlight on iPhone without being afraid of any photos appearing in the search results. Have any doubts? Let me know in the comments.

That’s not all, here are some more tips and tricks for your iPhone:

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Anoop loves to find solutions for all your doubts on Tech. When he's not on his quest, you can find him on Twitter talking about what's in his mind.

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