iOS 4: Organize Spotlight Searches

The iPhone and iPod touch can hold lots of apps and the data that goes along with them, which can make using the built-in Spotlight search feature just a little cumbersome. If hiding certain types of data results would make your life easier, iOS 4 can help out.

The Home Button settings include Spotlight Search controls

iOS 4 includes the ability to hide search result categories and lets you rearrange the category order, too. Here’s how:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap General, select the Home Button option on the iPhone 3G or iPod touch, and then tap Spotlight Search.
  • Tap General, then select Spotlight Search on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.

Organizing Spotlight Search results

From here you can tap items to remove them from Spotlight searches, and tap and drag to change the order your search results appear in. Items with checks appear in your search results, items without checks won’t.

For example, if you tend to search for songs more often than contacts, tap and drag Music to the top of the list. I rarely listen to music or watch movies on my iPhone, so I unchecked the Music and Video categories.

This is a great way to trim down Spotlight’s search results to show just the info you’re most likely hunting for.