How to locate Google Photos via text

The Google Photos AI received an update recently that allows you to search for text in photos. Find out how.

How to locate Google Photos via text

Did you know that you can now search Google Photos by way of text? I don't mean texting, I mean actual letters and words. Here's how it works. 

Let's say you have a massive collection of photos and you happen to need to locate only photos that contain specific words in them. With Google Photos, you can now do that. Even better, Google Photos can then parse the text in the photos and give you details about the text or copy the text, so you can then paste it elsewhere.

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

How to search for text in Google Photos 

  1. Open Google Photos and type the text you're looking for in the search bar. Google Photos will then display the results. 
  2. Tap the photo in question to open it. 
  3. Tap the Google Lens button and Photos will begin parsing the text. 
  4. Once the text has been detected, tap the magnifying lens icon and then tap the text button. 
  5. Photos will indicate text has been found, at which point you can tap the Select All button to copy the text. 

I will say that Google Photos doesn't always get the text 100 percent correct. This is especially true if the text is in a non-standard font. If the font is clear and standard, Google Photos will do an outstanding job of recognizing it and copying the text for you. 

You will also need to give Google Photos' AI ample time to scan the photo for text. In other words, don't take a photo and assume the text will be immediately searchable--it takes time. But once the AI has done its job, that text will be ready to search and copy/paste.

Also see


Image: Google Photos