How and why to customize Spotlight search in iOS

Spotlight Search results order iOS 7

[gallery type="rectangular" columns="2" ids="5282,5283"] Spotlight in iOS is surprisingly useful. It also became even easier and faster to use in iOS 7 since Apple moved it from being a "page" on the left of your first home screen to a simple swipe-down gesture you can use on any of your home screens.

You can customize Spotlight so you can find things faster by disabling results for features you don't use or reordering its results for the apps and items you use most. Unlike a search engine, Spotlight has a default order for displaying results like applications, contacts, podcasts, and notes.

To change Spotlight's results and the order in which it lists them, go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search. Everything Spotlight understands should be enabled by default (hence the blue check marks), so tap any results you don't want it to show. You can also tap-and-drag the anchors on the right side to reorder results.

Note that disabling items in Spotlight Search doesn't turn off search within those apps. If you disable Notes, for example, you can still open the Notes app and search your notes directly there (just pull down in any notes list, but not in the Folders list).