The new Google Photos update makes it easier to find the exact picture you want

Google Photos on an iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

If you have a mountain of Google Photos that you struggle to sift through to find the one you want, then Google’s “more powerful” search tool could be a huge time saver.

Currently, if you want to search your Google Photos library you have to rely on pretty simple terms – such as “garden,” “beach,” or “sunset” – and tags and labels – such as names if you’ve labeled people, or locations if you’ve turned on location tagging. But even after filtering the results with your searches, you might still need to dig for a while to find just what you’re after.

This is where Google Photo’s new experimental search tool comes in. The updated version of search – which is currently only available on the web version of Google Photos – allows you to make your search queries more specific with qualifiers. For example, rather than simply searching for a “sunset” you can search for a “colorful sunset” and Google Photo’s new powerful search tool will serve up sunsets that are full of color.

If you’ve tagged faces in your photos you can add names to your search queries to filter results so that you’re only shown images with certain people. Rather than simply searching for a “beach at sunset” you could search for “Izzy at the beach at sunset,” and Google Photos will deliver the images you’ve requested – assuming you have some that fit the description.

Still an experiment

The new search tool – which was first spotted by 9to5Google – is currently being tested by Google, so you may not have access to it. To know if you’re part of the experiment, you need to go to Google Photos on the web, and you might see a blue box attached to the search bar saying “Try a more powerful search” – if you do, you’re able to use the new search option.

There’s no word yet on when this feature will roll out to all users, nor when it’ll make its way to the mobile version of Google Photos – but hopefully, we won’t be waiting for too long.

If this search update isn't enough of an improvement to Google Photos for you, why not check out our picks for the best Google Photos alternatives to find other cloud storage options for your snaps?

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.