How to Use Visual Look Up in iOS 17

Visual Look Up is an exciting new feature in iOS 17 that allows you to identify objects, landmarks, plants, pets, art, and more in your photos. With just a tap, you can get detailed information on what you’ve photographed.

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Visual Look Up harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and computer vision to analyze your photos and provide informative identification. This can be incredibly useful for learning more about the world around you.

Some key things to know about Visual Look Up:

  • It can identify plants, animals, food, landmarks, artwork, books, and more, providing information from trusted sources.
  • The feature draws from Siri knowledge, so you may see links to relevant web pages or Apple Maps locations.
  • It works on photos you’ve already taken in your Photos app, as well as in real-time when taking photos.
  • Visual Look Up requires iOS 15 or later.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to use Visual Look Up on your iPhone running iOS 17 to identify objects in photos, get context, and learn more.

How to Use Visual Look Up in the Photos App

Visual Look Up integrates directly into the Photos app, making it easy to identify objects in photos you’ve already taken. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Locate a photo in your library that you want to identify something in. Tap the photo to view it.
  3. In the upper right, tap the (i) icon to bring up the photo information overlay.
  4. At the top, tap “Look Up” to trigger Visual Look Up.
  5. Visual Look Up will scan the photo. Identification badges and information will appear over any recognized objects, animals, locations or art.
  6. Tap any badge to expand it into a full card overlay that provides enriched information, links and related photos.
  7. Swipe up on the photo or tap the arrow icon in the upper right to view even more Visual Look Up information. This can include related Siri Knowledge information.
  8. Tap the X in the upper left when you’re done to close the Visual Look Up overlay.

It’s that straightforward to use Visual Look Up to learn more about photos you’ve already taken! The intelligence works locally on your device to analyze photos and provide information.

How to Use Real-Time Visual Look Up

In addition to identifying objects in existing photos, you can also use Visual Look Up in real-time as you’re taking photos or videos:

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Frame your photo or video as usual. Visual Look Up automatically scans the viewfinder looking for recognizable things.
  3. When Visual Look Up recognizes something, a small icon will pop up at the bottom left corner of the viewfinder.
  4. Tap the Visual Look Up icon to trigger it. Identification badges will appear.
  5. Take your photo or video as normal. The identifications will be saved as overlays in the photo.
  6. Once you’ve captured the photo, tap it in the lower left to open it in Photos.
  7. Tap the badge overlays for more information just like in the Photos app.

Real-time Visual Look Up is perfect for when you want to quickly identify something as you’re capturing it. The icon appears almost instantly as you point your camera, making it easy to take advantage of the technology.

Useful Things Visual Look Up Can Identify

The artificial intelligence behind Visual Look Up is sophisticated enough to recognize a wide variety of objects, scenes and more in your photos:

  • Landmarks: The Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, etc. You’ll get historical facts and links.
  • Artwork: Visual Look Up can identify famous artwork and paintings. You’ll get details on the artist, era, and museum locations.
  • Books & Media: Point your camera at a book cover, movie poster, CD, or game, and Visual Look Up will identify it and provide reviews and other information.
  • Plants & Flowers: Houseplants, trees, bushes, and flowers growing in the wild can be identified by species. You’ll get descriptions, growing tips, and more.
  • Pets: Recognizes dog and cat breeds and provides information on temperament, origin, and health conditions.
  • Food: Identify that delicious dish in your photo and you’ll get tips on ingredients, recipes and where the cuisine is from.
  • Wine Labels: Point your camera at a wine label and you’ll get tasting notes, food pairings, price and origin.
  • Places: Identifies points of interest, historic sites, buildings, restaurants, hotels, parks and provides information on them.
  • Text: Select text in your photos to copy and paste it into another app for convenience.

The ability to identify such a wide array of things makes Visual Look Up an incredibly useful photography tool.

How Visual Look Up Suggests Actions

In addition to providing information, Visual Look Up will make smart suggestions on actions you can take based on identified objects. Here are some of the things it may suggest:

  • Translate text into another language.
  • Lookup identified plants in the App Store for gardening apps with care tips.
  • Open an identified location in Apple Maps to get directions or explore more.
  • Lookup movies, music or books in the App Store to read reviews and more.
  • Share photos of a product to suggest shopping sites to purchase them.
  • Get suggestions for editing photos or applying filters based on the scene.

Tap the pop-up action bubbles to perform these suggestions. This tight integration of Visual Look Up into iOS 17 makes it easy to do useful things with the identified objects.

Useful Visual Look Up Tips

Here are some handy tips to get the most out of Visual Look Up on your iPhone:

  • The more of an object that is visible, the better Visual Look Up can identify it. Move closer for clearer recognition.
  • Identification works best on well-lit objects with distinguishing visible features. Low light or blurry photos may result in no recognition.
  • Look Up works locally on your device using the Apple Neural Engine. No photos are sent to Apple servers.
  • Faces cannot be identified for privacy reasons. Focus the camera on other objects.
  • Visual Look Up data comes from Apple, Wikipedia, botanical gardens, museums, animal welfare organizations and more.
  • If Visual Look Up doesn’t recognize something, you can tap the (i) icon in Photos to suggest identification for future updates.
  • Turn off Visual Look Up in Settings if you don’t wish to use the feature or want to limit potential mobile data usage.


Visual Look Up is an incredibly handy built-in tool in iOS 17 for identifying things in your photos. Whether you want to snapshot something in the moment or research items in your existing photo library, Visual Look Up provides useful details and intelligence. With its tight system integration, you can easily leverage Look Up suggestions to take actions like getting directions, making purchases or translating text. If you upgrade to iOS 17, be sure to try out Visual Look Up to enhance your photography experience.

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