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Google Photos tests new search function to let you find people by their face

Only some users are seeing the new function.

Published onDecember 5, 2022

Google Photos Search logo close
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Some people are finding that the Google Lens button within the image viewer in Google Photos has been replaced by a new search button.
  • When looking at images with faces, the search button detects the face to find other photos with that face.
  • It seems the new button is just enhancing the features of Google Lens.

The Google Photos app appears to be testing out a new handy search function. The function has replaced the Google Lens button on the app for some people.

When looking at photos in the image viewer in Google Photos, you may have noticed the Google Lens icon among the share, edit, and delete options at the bottom of the screen. Tapping it allows you to do everything from translating words to finding similar images on the web. However, that doesn’t exactly help with searching for people through your own photos.

But, as discovered by Android Police, it seems Google is testing out a new search function that should make searching for people a little easier. When using the function on an image with a face on it, search will reportedly detect the face and do a reverse search to find other photos with that face in it.

Although the Google Lens button has been swapped out with the new search button for some, it doesn’t seem like it’s replacing Google Lens. In fact, it’s more like just an enhancement of what was already there.

Apparently, if you tap on a face, the app will show you other photos with that person. But, if you tap on a different part of the photo away from the face, the app seamlessly switches back to Google Lens.

Since it seems the button has only appeared for some Android users, it’s likely just a limited test. So if you’re not seeing it in your Google Photos app, then you’re not alone.

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