Search on iPad with Spotlight on iOS

21 Oct

This post is also available in: Spanish

Several months ago I wrote an article about how to search on iPad. It mainly referred to iOS 6.
The main benefits of searching your iPad with iOS 7, 8 or 9 remain the same. With iOS 7, 8 and 9, you are able to locate things quickly and easily, whether it’s an App, a contact, song, email, book or appointment.

ipad-spotlight-search-ios7

There is a subtle change though and it boils down to how to access Spotlight (the search utility). In this post I will show you how to access, use and configure Spotlight on iOS 7, iOS 8 and iOS 9.


Applicable to:
iPad versions: iPad 2, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad Pro
iOS versions: iOS 7, iOS 8, iOS 9

Opening and using iPad Search (Spotlight)

To access the Search utility, swipe down from the middle of your Home screen.

accessing-ipad-search-ios7

The iPad search bar appears on top of your iPad screen and the keyboard on the bottom.


ipad-spotlight-search-bar-ios7

As you type any words, Spotlight will update the search results. Spotlight searches are not case-sensitive. Uppercase or lowercase inputs will generate same results. On this example I’m searching for a lunch appointment.

ipad-spotlight-lunch-example

Configuring Spotlight

Did you know you can choose what Spotlight searches for? Did you know you can set the order of the results?


That’s right you can choose to display results only for Apps, Music and Contacts and leave out the rest and/or you can configure which results to show first.

Tap on General > Spotlight Search

ipad-ios7-general-spotlight-search

This brings you to the Spotlight Search screen. Here you can select/deselect the type of results you want to see while performing a search and by dragging and dropping the tabs you can configure the order of the results.

ipad-ios7-spotlight-search-screen

Questions? Thoughts?

Did you ever have trouble finding an App or email? Try Spotlight, it will make your life easier from now on.
I look forward to hearing your comments.

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