How to use filters in the Photos app on iPhone and iPad

Apply Filter in Photos iPad

The Photos app offers a decent search feature for finding specific photos and videos. But when you’re inside an album, that search option isn’t very helpful. With iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple implemented a filter feature.

With filters in Photos, you can narrow down the items you see by media type or if they’ve been edited or added to your favorites. You can use filters in premade collections, Shared Albums, and albums that you create. Here’s how to use filters in Photos on your iPhone and iPad.

Filters in Photos on iOS

Locations you can use filters

The easiest way to find out if you can use a filter in a particular Photos location is to see if the option is there. But to give you a helping hand, here is a summary of where you can apply filters.

You can use filters in premade collections such as Library (formerly called Photos), Places, Favorites, and Recents. You’ll also see the filter feature in the Imports folder, each Media Types folder, Shared Albums, and My Albums. Additionally, you can apply a filter to Search results when looking for a photo or video.

Basically the only spots in Photos where you cannot currently use filters are For You, People, and Recently Deleted.

Types of filters

There are four filters you can use, depending on the location you’re in, in Photos. These include Favorites, Edited, Photos, and Videos.

Filter Types Photos iPad

With this in mind, the filter options will vary depending on the location you’re applying the filter. For example, if you’re viewing your Favorites, then Favorites obviously isn’t going to be a filter option. And if you’re in a Media Types folder, you’ll only see Edited and Favorites for your filter options.

How to use a filter in Photos

Now that you’ve got the basics of how filters work, it’s time to use one. Pick a collection or album that you’d like to apply a filter to in Photos. Then, follow these steps.

1) Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the location.

2) Choose Filter.

3) Select your filter type(s) and note that you can apply more than one filter at a time to narrow down your items if you like. Tap to select or deselect a filter type.

4) Tap Done.

Filter Favorites in Album iPad

When you receive your results, you’ll also see the number of items you received using the filter and the filter type you selected at the bottom.

To remove the filter and view all items within that collection or album, follow the same steps above, pick Change Filter, and for the filter type, choose All Items.

Change Filter in Photos iPad

Note: In addition to removing the filter, you can use this process and change the filter to add or removed filter types.

Wrapping it up

The filter feature in Photos can come in handy for many situations. For large albums that include many items, you can filter to  see only videos. Or in your Recents folder, you might only want to view items you edited.

Are you glad that Apple brought filters to Photos? Is this a feature you see yourself using? Let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!