How to search whatsapp chat messages

December 13, 2017, 8:00am EDT

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Trying to find a specific message in your huge WhatsApp chat log? There are two ways to search, so you can find what you’re looking for quickly.

If you aren’t sure who the conversation was even with, you can search your entire archive from the main Chats window. Just pull down, and a search bar will appear along the top. Plug in what you want to search for and it will show up.

How to search whatsapp chat messagesHow to search whatsapp chat messages

This is great if you don’t know where the message is, but it doesn’t give you much context to the results.

There’s a better search tool built in, if you know which contact’s messages you want to search. First, open the chat you want to search.

Then, if you’re on an iPhone, tap the name at the top of the chat—for me, that’s Justin Pot—and then tap Chat Search.

How to search whatsapp chat messagesHow to search whatsapp chat messages

On Android, tap the three dots and then select Search.

How to search whatsapp chat messagesHow to search whatsapp chat messages

Now enter whatever word or phrase you’re looking for. WhatsApp will tell you how many times it appears. Myself and Justin have collectively mentioned “Birthday” three times. You can tap the up and down arrows to move through each mention of your search term. This way you can see the full context for each message.

Looking for something in particular on WhatsApp? Do you have so many contacts that it’s difficult to find the one you want without scrolling through pages of names? Was there something important that someone said in a group chat or private message, but you just can’t remember where? Have no fear! Searching on WhatsApp is fairly simple, and you can do it in a variety of ways.

To search on WhatsApp:

Turn on your phone and launch WhatsApp. Then, tap Calls, Chats, or Contacts. Tap the magnifying glass icon, and type in message text, a group name, or a contact’s name or phone number. You can also search for messages within a chat by opening the chat, tapping the three white dots, and then tapping Search.

Not enough to go on for you? No problem! Keep reading for an expanded set of instructions, complete with screen captures that illustrate how it’s all done.

Detailed instructions for how to search WhatsApp

Turn on your phone and tap WhatsApp to launch it.

Tap the Calls, Chats, or Contacts category. Then, tap the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Use your phone’s (virtual) keyboard to type in something to search for. For example, you can type in words that you’re looking for in a text message that you sent (or was sent to you), or the name of a contact or group. You can even search for a contact by typing in their phone number.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Note that all three categories will allow you to search for contacts by name or phone number (as long as you have called them at least once or have an active chat with them), but only Chats will allow you to search for groups or text messages.

Tap a result to see more information about it. You can also tap the “X” beside the search box to clear your current search terms, or tap the arrow icon beside the search box to cancel your search.

You can also search for all instances of certain letters or words within a particular chat (individual or group). To do so, tap the Chats category, and then tap the individual or group chat that you wish to search inside.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Once you have the chat window open, tap the “More Options” icon (the three white dots) in the top-right corner, and then tap Search.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Use your phone’s (virtual) keyboard to type in the words or letters that you are looking for within this chat. As you do so, they will be highlighted in the main chat window. You can use the up and down arrow icons to the right of the search box to look for other instances of your search terms within the chat. You can also tap the back arrow icon to the left of the search box to cancel your search.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

(NOTE: WhatsApp will only search for your terms from the beginning of words, which means that it won’t pick up on characters or terms in the middle of words. For example, in the screenshot above, if I searched for “st”, WhatsApp would pick it up as the beginning of the name ‘Steve’, but not in the middle of the word ‘test’.)

That’s a wrap for our lesson on how to search in WhatsApp!

How to search whatsapp chat messages

  • WhatsApp could soon let you search messages by date.
  • The platform is also reportedly adding new tools to manage storage.
  • The storage management tool is rolling out this week.

Update: November 3 2020 (3AM ET): WhatsApp has announced that it’s pushing out a new storage management tool this week to users worldwide. As WABetaInfo reported in the original article below, the new tool shows you frequently forwarded files, large files, and more. You can visit the article over here for more on the new tool.

Original article: June 12 2020 (4:08AM ET): Some handy new features are headed to WhatsApp for Android and iOS. As reported by WABetaInfo — a website that tracks new and upcoming changes to WhatsApp — the platform could soon make searching messages and managing storage even simpler.

The first new feature — Search by date — will reportedly allow users to quickly search for WhatsApp messages by picking a date. WhatsApp already has an in-chat search functionality and with the addition of the new feature, tracking older messages will become even easier.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Best alternative messaging apps to WhatsApp

According to WABetaInfo, the Search by date function is currently in the early stages of development so it’s not yet available to WhatsApp beta users. However, images shared by the tipsters show that when it goes live, you’ll see a new calendar icon when you use the in-chat search feature. Tapping on the calendar will let you select the desired date for message searches in a particular chat. Check out the images below to get a sense of how the new feature will work.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Next up is a new feature to manage file storage on WhatsApp. The platform is reportedly testing a bunch of new storage tools and will soon add them to a redesigned storage usage section. For instance, there will be two new default filters to find different types of messages. One lets you search for forwarded files, while the other lets you segregate large files. The sort button will also apparently offer some new default actions: Newest, Oldest, and Size.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

WABetaInfo notes that these storage features are currently in development and will receive some improvements before becoming mainstream. We’ll keep you informed as and when WhatsApp starts rolling out all these new features out to the general public.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

WhatsApp has grown into a byword for texting, particularly if pictures, video clips and silly GIFs are involved. It’s the undisputed messaging app of choice for smartphone users, and because it contains so much of our social life, it’s crucial to be able to search WhatsApp history quickly for older messages.

Luckily, this isn’t hard to do, and we’re here to guide you through the process.

Search WhatsApp History on Android

The simplest and most all-encompassing way to search your chat history is to use the magnifying glass at the top right corner of the Whatsapp home screen. Tap it, enter the word or phrase you want to search for, and it will automatically filter messages as you type to display only those with the relevant terms.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Alternatively, if you want to search for something within a specific Chat or Group, open the conversation, tap the three-dotted menu icon at the top right, then tap “Search” and enter your query.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Search WhatsApp History on iPhone

The WhatsApp search works a little differently on iOS/iPhone. From the WhatsApp home screen, tap “Chats” at the top, then in the Chats screen listing all your conversations, swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the hidden Search bar.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Type what you want to search for into the search bar, and WhatsApp will filter conversations as you type until you’re just left with what you’re looking for … if indeed it’s actually in your WhatsApp history.

That’s it! Using the above methods you should be able to find everything you’re looking for. If you’re wondering how to do the same on Blackberry or Windows Phone, we suggest you switch platforms, as Whatsapp recently announced that it’s no longer supporting its app on either of those.

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

You can transfer your WhatsApp data to a new phone by restoring from Google Drive or a local backup.

Restore from a Google Drive backup

In order to successfully restore a Google Drive backup, you need to use the same phone number and Google account used to create the backup.

To restore your backup:

  1. Uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp.
  2. Open WhatsApp and verify your number.
  3. When prompted, tap RESTORE to restore your chats and media from Google Drive.
  4. After the restoration process is complete, tap NEXT. Your chats will be displayed once initialization is complete.
  5. WhatsApp will begin restoring your media files after your chats are restored.

If you install WhatsApp without any prior backups from Google Drive, WhatsApp will automatically restore from your local backup file.

Restore from a local backup

If you want to use a local backup, you’ll need to transfer the files to the new phone using a computer, file explorer or SD Card.


  • Your phone will store up to the last seven days worth of local backup files.
  • Local backups will be automatically created every day at 2:00 AM and saved as a file in your phone.
  • If your data isn’t stored in the /sdcard/WhatsApp/ folder, you might see “internal storage” or “main storage” folders.

Restore a less recent local backup

If you want to restore a local backup that isn’t the most recent one, you’ll need to do the following:

Searching for a specific WhatsApp message can get tiresome, especially if you are looking for an old WhatsApp messsage. Luckily there are ways to search for WhatsApp messages in WhatsApp, as well as search for messages in a conversation using the “WhatsApp Chat Search” feature. We will explain how to search WhatsApp messages and how to search in WhatsApp chats, son you can use the tool you need.

There are ways to search WhatsApp messages without scrolling through your entire chat history. Looking through an entire chat by scrolling would be quite inefficient and very annoying. But to find a specific message you need to know at least one keyword that was used in the message to find it fast.

How to search in WhatsApp Chats

The easiest way to find messages in WhatsApp is using the Search bar at the top of the screen. If you do not see it right away, just swipe down on your WhatsApp screen and it should appear.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

There you can enter your search term and all WhatsApp messages containing your keywords will appear with the keyword marked bold.
If you are looking for a message from a specific WhatsApp contact, you should use the “Search Chat” feature that searches a specific chat with a contact or a group.

How to use the WhatsApp Search Chat feature

The “Chat Search” feature comes in very handy when you are looking for a chat message from a specific contact or a WhatsApp group chat message. To use the Search Chat feature just open a chat with a contact or WhatsApp group and tap on the name at the top. Now tap on “Search Chat” and type a keyword in the message you are looking for.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

After you entered your search term WhatsApp will show all messages containing the keyword and highlight the keyword bold. Now you should find the WhatsApp message you have been looking for.

Use Starred Messages in WhatsApp to find messages

If you know, that a message will be important in the future you can also use the “Starred Messages” feature on WhatsApp to mark the message as a favorite. This works for WhatsApp messages and photos as well as videos and your favorites will be saved and easy to find. Learn more about how to star WhatsApp messages in our article.

WhatsApp users can look for old messages through the search button by typing in a phrase or word they are looking for in the search field. This makes it convenient for them to find old messages. Users can also find old photos, videos, GIFs, links, and documents.

How to search whatsapp chat messages


  • WhatsApp users can look for old texts by typing in a word or a phrase in the search field.

WhatsApp is used for various purposes that include exchanging documents, important information, photos or videos. At times WhatsApp acts like a directory to finding old but important texts like login passwords for streaming apps or instructions from your office. Many texts also serve the purpose after years or months since they were first sent. It is easy to find old messages on WhatsApp through the search button given that you remember at least one word from the chat or conversation. The search button serves the function of Control + F when you are looking for a particular line in a multiple-page document.

To find old text messages on WhatsApp follow the given steps:

— Go to the contact where your conversation took place.

— Tap on the three dots on the right-hand side.

–Type in a word from your conversation, example — medicine or address.

— Click on the Top arrow to find the old conversation related to the word you typed in.

— Keep tapping on the upward arrow till you find the old chat. Users can access chats till the time they are backed up on their phones.

To find media with filters on WhatsApp

You can also search your chats for media such as photos, videos, links, GIFs, audio, and documents, by using filters in the search feature.

— Type the word or phrase you are looking for in the Search field.

— Select the media type you want to search.

— Tap a result to open that message in the chat.

Alternatively, users can click on the three dots on the right-hand side

–Tap on Media, Links, and Docs.

— Get Media, Docs and Links as per their requirement.

To filter media by content type

Users can view all photos, videos, links, GIFs, audio, or documents.

— Tap Photos, Videos, Links, GIFs, Audio, or Documents to view media in that category.

Users can also star-mark a message if they feel it is useful as they can look for it easily later.

To star-mark a message on WhatsApp:

— Open the contact of the message that you want to star mark.

— Long press on the message or the media file you want to star mark.

— Press on the star on the toolbar.

To look for starred messages, users can follow the given steps:

–Tap on the three dots on the right-hand side.

— Tap on Starred messages.

— If you have too many starred messages, you can look for a particular message by typing in a phrase in the search bar and tapping on the top arrow.

Today I was looking for an old message in my WhatsApp chat history, and I couldn’t find any option straightforward on my iPhone. I have to go through few steps to search past messages. I thought I would share this with your guy that one of your might has the same problem. In this guide, you will learn to search WhatsApp chat messages on your iPhone, Android, Web-based or Mac / PC desktop versions.

How to Search threads on WhatsApp

Whatsapp is one the most popular messaging and conversation app for the iPhone, Android, and Desktop as well. WhatsApp is free to allow you to chat, send or receive pictures, videos, audios, and documents as well. If you are using desktop or web version of WhatsApp on your computer, then you can search a conversation in Whatsapp very easily. But, to search through WhatsApp messages on iPhone or Android method is bit hidden. Remeber you can’t search any message If it already deleted. Otherwise, you can search through all archived and other chat thread easily. Let’s learn one by one on all platform.

Table of Contents:

Search Whatsapp messages iPhone

You can quickly search through the whole messages database by using the main search box. If you want to find something from a selected conversation, contact or group, then the method is bit different, and I would say hidden.

To search for all WhatsApp chats:

  1. Just open up the WhatsApp on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Chats icon, pull-down on the screen to see the search bar.
  3. Type anything that you want to search for all the conversation, chats, contacts and messages.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages

To search messages for specific chat or group conversation:

  1. Run WhatsApp and tap the Chats icon to see all the chats.
  2. Select the specific person or group name to search from.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages
  3. On the top of the screen tap the contact or group name to see the info.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages
  4. On the next screen select “Chat Search” option.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages
  5. This will reveal the search bat on the top. Type the word that you want to find. If its found more than on matches then use the up and down arrows to navigate through all matched searches.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages

Search WhatsApp Chat Messages Android

The main search box and to search within specific contact is straightforward. Search options are not hidden as compare to on iOS devices.

Search all the conversations, groups, contacts in Whatsapp:

  1. Tap the WhatsApp icon to open it.
  2. Select the Chats tab at the top.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages
  3. Now, tap the search icon on the top-right corner enters the search term. All the matched results will be listed, tap on anyone to see details.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages

Search within any conversation or group chat:

  1. While you are running WhatsApp, select the Chats tab.
  2. Now, select on chat from the list to search anything within that group or contact conversation.
  3. When you are on conversation screen, tap the verticle dotted icon on the top-right corner and select “Search” option.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages
  4. type the words that you want to find in that specific conversation. This will show you the matched results.
    How to search whatsapp chat messages

Search WhatsApp web/desktop messages

If you don’t know how to use WhatsApp Web or desktop version on your computer, then follow this link. WhatsApp web/desktop for Mac and PC version are very convenient. You can answer messages when you are working on Windows or MacOS computer without touching your mobile phone.

To search for chats, contacts or messages:

  1. When you on the WhatsApp Web/Desktop version there is a search bar right above the chats list. This universal search bar can look for chats, contact or messages.
  2. Type the text that you want to search in this box and this will search for you all the matched results in all chats, contact or messages.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

To search for selected chats, contact or group:

  1. On WhatsApp Web/Desktop, select the specific contact, conversation or group from the list on the left-side.
  2. On the top-right corner, you will see a Search icon. Hit this icon and type the keyword that you want to search.

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Ever wondered that who is the contact with whom you have talked the most on WhatsApp? You might be thinking how can you count the total number of messages for each contact to determine that? No need to do it manually as WhatsApp for Android and iPhone both have a Storage feature using which you can do so.

This feature is useful if you want to know about the number of messages you have exchanged with a particular contact or group. It also gives you a detailed breakdown of images, audio, videos, etc. you have exchanged with each other.

Moreover, with this feature, you can find out who are your favorite contacts in WhatsApp by looking at the number of messages you have sent to each other. In this article, we will take you through this feature and let you know you can use it.

You can also pin chats of your favorite contacts on WhatsApp so that they always remain at the top in the list of conversations for quick access.

Find Number Of Messages For Each Contact Or Group In WhatsApp

With storage usage feature you can only not only check the number of messages for a particular contact or group but also the size occupied by them which can help you out to delete chat of contact which you doesn’t require and clear up space on your smartphone. Follow the steps given below to find the storage usage option.


  • Open WhatsApp on your phone.
  • Tap on the Settings tab at the bottom right corner of the screen.How to search whatsapp chat messages
  • Under Settings select Data and Storage Usage.
  • Now, tap on Storage Usage. It should be somewhere at the bottom.

If you are using the feature for the first time then it will take a few seconds to load the details. Once the details are loaded, the list will show the contacts listed in decreasing order of the size of the conversation.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

To know the detailed breakdown of the number and type of messages for a particular conversation, tap on the contact or group name in the list. The details will show the number of images, videos, audio, location shares and contacts shared along with the number of text messages.

The contacts which you see on the forward screen also come from here. Ones with a higher number of messages with show up in the Frequently contacted section. If you wish you can always hide the contact from Frequently contacted by deleting the messages from here.


  • Inside the WhatsApp application, tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the screen, then from there select Settings.
  • Next, tap on Data and storage usage.How to search whatsapp chat messages
  • After that, under Usage, select Storage usage.
  • Now it will show you the list of contacts and the storage consumed by them. Tap on any contact or group.How to search whatsapp chat messages

It will then show you all the details including the count of text messages, photos, and other media a particular conversation has.

How to search whatsapp chat messages

Here are a few more useful WhatsApp tutorials for you.

  • How To Get WhatsApp Icon On Lock Screen
  • How To Change Font Size And Style On WhatsApp
  • How To Convert WhatsApp Voice Messages To Text
  • How To Set Auto Reply On WhatsApp

Wrapping Up

Having a look at the storage usage of particular chats you get an idea about the chats that are occupying more space so that you can go ahead and delete them to clear some space on your phone.

We wish that the storage usage feature in WhatsApp helped you to know about your favorite or best contact in WhatsApp. And was also useful in figuring out the size occupied by each chat and how many texts you have shared with them till now. Share your thoughts about storage usage feature via the comment section below.