How to Navigate the Photos App on Your iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

The Photos app stores all the photos you take with your device, and if you're like me, you have hundreds of photos to scroll through to find the ones you want to share. Here's a general guide to navigating the Photos app, so you'll be able to find, organize, and share your photos with ease. In this article, I'll simply show you the different tabs and their uses in the Photos app. If you have location services enabled on your iPhone, your photos will have a location tag. This will help identify photos you took on vacation, for example, and can also help you find certain photos as you'll be able to search by location in the Photos app. 

Related: iPhone Photo Saving & Sharing Guide: Text, Email, AirDrop, Shared Albums & Social Media

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First, here's how to navigate photos you've taken and saved on your iPhone:

Photos

Open the Photos app and tap on the Photos tab in the lower left corner. You'll see your photos are grouped by days (Today, Yesterday, weekday, then the date as you scroll up).

  • Tap on the arrow at the top left corner.

  • Now your photos are grouped by weeks.
  • You can tap a cluster and browse the photos from that timeframe.
  • Tap the arrow again.

  • Here, your photos are grouped by the year. You can tap a cluster to see photos from a certain year.
  • You also navigate to a timeframe of photos this way: tap the clusters to go from year, to week, to day.
  • To get back to recent (Today) photos, tap the clusters to get to the day's timeframe and then tap the Photos tab, the app will scroll from whichever date you're at to your most recent photos. 

For You

The For You tab curates albums of photos and suggests which ones may be your "best pics" either by sharing activity via your iPhone or amount of photo-taking during a day or span of days.

  • For example, I have curated albums of a weekend trip and an office holiday party, and my most-shared photos that I posted online.

  • Open an album and you'll see a Play icon on the top photo. The album's photos have been made into a slideshow video accompanied by music. You can edit the video in multiple ways and then share the finished slideshow. This is a nice way to share photos with other people, and I plan to take advantage of this feature to share the photos I'll take at my friend's wedding next spring.

Albums

The Albums tab holds all the albums you've created in a section called My Albums as well as albums that Apple has created for you: Shared albums, People & Places, Media Types, and Other Albums.

People & Places

Here, you can browse photos that include a certain person, or by location.

Media Types

Your photos are also divided into Media Types. So if you're wanting to just browse the videos, screenshots, live photos, or media type that you've saved in Photos, scroll down to Media Types and tap the media category you want to view. 

Search

The Search tab uses location, scene, and object recognition to help you find what you're looking for. Some photos are organized into Categories including events like Graduation, or just by recognition like Flowers:

  • In the search bar at the top, type a location, a scene (like "beach" for example), or an object present in the photo and scroll the search results.
  • You can also browse photos by which people are in them.

With these tips, you can navigate the Photos app and enjoy all the photos you have saved on your iPhone or iPad!

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Hallei Halter's picture

Hallei is a 2018 graduate of Maharishi University of Management with a BFA in Creative & Professional Writing. She's currently working on a novel about people using witchcraft to clean their houses.