The latest WhatsApp for Android beta has hinted at a revamp of the search option within the cross-platform messaging app.


[Update 08/06]: After a little wait, it looks like the Advanced Search option is now rolling out to beta testers of the messaging platform. According to WABetaInfo, those running WhatsApp beta version 2.20.197.7+ should now get access to the enhanced search controls within chats.

It’s a server-side switch so you might not see the option right away but it has expanded quite substantially already. For those wondering just what Advanced Search is within WhatsApp, it’s simply a way to quickly find specific file types — like images, video or audio.

This feature has already been partially rolled out to beta testers but is now becoming more widely available. Some are noting that after updating they are unable to see the option but reinstalling WhatsApp brings the adding search options. If you have the app and want to try this, it’s worthwhile backing up before trying.


According to code digging by WABetaInfo, the 2.20.117 update of WhatsApp includes major hints that we’ll see an Advanced Search Mode that will let you search for specific file types including documents, videos, images, and audio files.

The Advanced Search feature has already rolled out for those on the iOS beta program but it’s unclear when the enhanced search options might come to the Android version. With it being under development it’s nice to see that it will be coming at some point in the future.

For those wondering how it might work, when you search for a particular file type, you’ll be able see your unique colour-coded search filter within the search bar. Corresponding results will appear beneath in the results panel.

As you’ll notice from the screenshots, you can search for common filetypes such as photos, audio, GIFs, videos, documents, and even web links. Being able to search for specific filetypes will undoubtedly make it easier to find all the things shared within group chats and individual message threads.

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