How to Search Pic­tures by Faces in Google Photos

Pankil Shah

With constant updates and the introduction of new features, Google Photos has come a long way from being just a gallery alternative. One of those features is the ability to recognize group faces on its own.

How to Search Pictures by Faces in Google Photos

Face search is an incredible tool to find pictures of your loved ones in a few clicks. We'll show you how to enable Face Grouping and search pictures by face in Google Photos on mobile and PC. So, let’s get started.

How to Enable Face Grouping in Google Photos

To be able to search pictures by face, first, you need to enable Face Grouping in Google Photos. When enabled, Google Photos will automatically recognize faces and group them.

Read on to learn how to enable Face grouping on mobile and PC.

Enable Face Grouping in Google Photos on Mobile

Step 1: Launch the Google Photos app on your phone. Click on your profile picture in the upper right and select Photos settings.

Google Photos App
Settings on Google Photos

Step 2: Now tap on the 'Group similar faces' and toggle on the switch next to the Face grouping option.

Group Similar Faces in Google photos
Enable Face Grouping Google Photos

And that’s about it. Face grouping is now enabled on your account.

Enable Face Grouping in Google Photos on PC

Alternatively, you can also enable face grouping in Google Photos from its web version. Here's how.

Step 1: Open up your preferred web browser and navigate to Google Photos. Now click on the Gear icon at the top to open Settings.

Google Photos Settings

Step 2: Expand Group similar faces option and toggle on Face grouping from there.

Enable Face Grouping in Google Photos on PC

Likewise, you can repeat the same steps above on mobile or PC to turn off the Face Grouping feature at any point. Disabling it will delete all the face groups.

How to Search by Face in Google Photos

Once you’ve enabled Face Grouping, Google Photos will automatically group images of different individuals. From there, you can view photos of any person by tapping on their face.

Read on to learn how to search pictures by faces in Google Photos on mobile and PC.

On Mobile

Step 1: Launch Google Photos app on your phone and switch to the Search tab. Here, you’ll see a row of faces at the top. Click on the View all option to see all the faces.

Search Tab in Google Photos

Step 2: Now, from the available faces, tap on any face you’d like to search, and Google Photos will show you all the photos of that person. You can also label the face from here.

Face Search in Google Photos

On PC

Similarly, you can also use the web version of Google Photos to search pictures by face. Here's how.

Step 1: Open your preferred web browser and log in to your Google Photos account.

Step 2: In there, navigate to the Explore tab, and you’ll find a row of faces under People. Click on View all to see more faces.

Google Photos Explore Tab

Step 3: Now click on any face, and you’ll find all the photos of that person in your account.

That's all there is to it. Face grouping on Google Photos makes searching for pictures a breeze irrelevant to the platform you're using it.

How to Add a Face in Google Photos

For the most part, Google’s algorithm is great at finding and grouping faces on its own. Still, it’ll miss out on a few odd ones. To rectify that, Google Photos also allows you to tag such faces manually.

Here's how you can do the same on mobile and PC.

On Mobile

Step 1: Launch the Google Photos app on your iPhone or Android.

Step 2: Open a photo of the person whose face you wish to add. Tap on the three-dot menu icon in the top right.

Under People, you'll find the faces detected by Google Photos. You can also tap on the Pencil icon to add new faces to the photo.

Google Photos
Add Faces in Google Photos

Step 3: Here, you can remove the faces detected by tapping on the minus icon. Likewise, under Available to add, you can use the '+' icon to add a new face.

Next, to add a face, you can either use the search tool to choose from the existing ones or tap on the '+' icon to add a new face.

Add or Remove Faces in Google Photos
Select Face in Google Photos

Step 4: Now tap on the Face again to add a name. You can select one from your contacts or enter a new name.

Add a Name to Face

On PC

PC users can follow the steps below to add a face in Google Photos.

Step 1: Open up your web browser and navigate to Google Photos.

Step 2: Open a photo of the person whose face you wish to add. Click on the info button at the top and click on the ‘X faces available to add’ option.

Add a Face in Google Photos on PC

Step 3: Now select a face that you wish to add.

Edit Faces on Google Photos

Step 4: Next, use the Search option to add from the existing face or use the '+' button to add a new face.

Add Faces in Google Photos on PC

That's how you can add faces and follow the same steps to remove them using your computer.

How to Hide a Face in Google Photos

As good as Google's facial recognition is, not all the faces detected by Google Photos are going to be helpful. For instance, Google Photos will detect faces from photos of a statue, poster, or even people in the background. Luckily, you can hide unwanted faces from Google Photos on both mobile and PC. Read on to learn how.

On Mobile

Step 1: Launch the Google Photos app. In the Search tab, tap on View all to see all the faces.

Step 2: Now tap and hold on the face you wish to hide and click on the Hide button in the upper right corner.

Hide a Face in Google Photos

If you ever decide to unhide a face, click on the three-dot menu icon and select Show & hide faces from the list. Tap on the face you wish to unhide and tap on Done.

On PC

If you prefer using the web version to hide faces, here's how it works.

Step 1: Open the web browser and navigate to Google Photos. Switch to the Explore tab and click on Show & hide faces option on your right.

Show hide faces in Google Photos on PC

Step 2: Next, make a selection of faces you wish to hide and click on Done.

Hide Faces in Google Photos

You can also click on the hidden faces to unhide them.

That’s it. The face is now hidden, and you’ll no longer see the hidden face in your AI-generated memories, creations, and the search page.

Your Search Ends Here

Google Photos Face grouping is a really powerful tool. Searching people from their faces almost eliminates the need to create separate albums for your loved ones. And for those worried about privacy, unlike Facebook, Google says it doesn’t share this information between accounts. Plus, you can also disable this feature at any point using the steps mentioned above.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Pankil Shah

Written By

Pankil Shah

Pankil is a Civil Engineer by profession who started his journey as a writer at EOTO.tech. He recently joined Guiding Tech as a freelance writer to cover how-tos, explainers, buying guides, tips and tricks for Android, iOS, Windows, and Web.