6 Reasons Visual Look Up Might Not Be Working on Your iPhone


Visual Look Up allows your device to recognize objects found in photos and gives you additional information about them. Apple released it for the iPhone with the iOS 15 software update, and it’s great…if it’s working.

Are you having trouble using Visual Look Up on your iPhone? Listed below are reasons why Visual Look Up might not be working, and what you can do to fix it.

iPhone Models Supporting Visual Look Up

First off, be sure to check if your device is running iOS 15. To check, head to Settings > About, then check the Software Version. To download and install the latest iOS update, go back to Settings > Software Update, then look at the bottom to see if iOS 15, or later, is available for your device.

If your device’s software is up to date and Visual Look Up still isn’t working, it may be because your device doesn’t support the feature. Visual Look Up only works on devices with the A12 Bionic chip or later. The following models support Visual Look Up:

  • iPad mini, 5th generation, and later
  • iPad, 8th generation, and later
  • iPad Air, 3rd generation and later
  • iPad Pro 11-inch, all generations
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch, 3rd generation and later
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max

Related: Features in iOS 15 That Don’t Work on Older iPhones

If you have a compatible device, but Visual Look Up is still not working, here are some possible reasons and workarounds.

1. You Are Outside the US

Currently, the feature is only available for folks in the US. However, you can still use Visual Look Up even if you’re outside the US by simply changing a few settings on your iPhone. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings > Language & Region.
  2. Tap Region, then select United States.
Image Gallery (4 Images)

2. Siri Look Up Is Not Enabled

Visual Look Up is much like a new skill your virtual assistant Siri has learned. No content will show up if you don’t allow Siri to use on-device learning to suggest relevant information based on your device usage. To enable this:

  1. Head to Settings, then scroll down to Siri & Search.
  2. Under Content from Apple, toggle the switch on for Show in Look Up.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

3. There Is a Problem With the Image

Visual Look Up doesn’t work well when there are too many objects in the picture, but it usually works fine when only a single object is in the photo. When you take a photo, make sure it’s centered in and focused on a single object.

However, Visual Look Up is generally a powerful tool that can detect an object in a photo despite an incomplete view of the object. You can see this in the example below. Even with some obstruction, it was still able to detect the object.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

Sometimes, Visual Look Up may detect more than one object in the photo, causing an error retrieving results. You can see this in the example below.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

If you’ve taken a photo of the object on its own and your device still can’t detect the object, the quality of the image may be a culprit. Check for lighting issues and glare before taking a photo.

4. You Aren’t Connected to the Internet

Siri requires an internet connection to fetch relevant data whenever you tap the Visual Look Up icon. You’ll know that your issue is a lack of internet connection when your device shows a Visual Look Up icon but you get a No Content Found displayed in the results.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

5. The Object Is Not Yet Supported

Visual Look Up is still in the early stages and depends largely on machine learning. While it’s bound to get better over time, it doesn’t recognize everything yet. You can verify each object by searching a similar photo online to see whether your device will be able to detect the object from a different image.

6. There May Be a Glitch

Like other features on the iPhone, Visual Look Up may get stuck for whatever reason. Restart your iPhone and check for new updates to clear up most issues that may be causing an error.

Ready to Look Up Some Photos?

Visual Look Up may not work on your device for a variety of reasons. Be sure to check out each workaround. Since Visual Look Up is pretty new, there may still be some more improvements coming our way for the feature soon. Who knows what Apple is cooking up!


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