In Shortcuts, I added a PHOTOS / Find Photos action and I want it to select a certain specific photo. I see there is a filer "Name is something", but it does not seem to work.

I tried to enter the filename (IMG_123.PNG), but it does not find the correct photo.

Is the "Name" filter referring to some other name of the photo? The Caption (in shortcuts "Caption" is not offered as a filter) maybe?

Using iOS 14.3

  • Look at this official docu from apple. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 23:04
  • @SwissCodeMen Don't see there anything that I dont already know. Is not very verbose. I expected each search/filter option explained, searched for it before I posted this question, but found nothing. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


Individual photos can be selected by their (file)names. But without the dot part.

So: Name is IMG_123

The letter case must also match!

The following will not match the photo named IMG_123.JPG:

  • IMG_123.JPG
  • img_123.jpg
  • img_123

To find out the filename of a photo in the Photos app:

  • open the photo
  • tap the action/sharing icon: enter image description here
  • in the menu select Save to Files

The file name will be shown at the top, next to the file icon. No need to actually save the file.

PS: There does not seem to be a way to filter by photo caption.

  • A note: selecting photos like this is super slow. A workaround is to create a new album, add the desired photo to the album, and then in Shortcuts select the photo by the filter"Album". That is much faster. There is a question/answer where I read this, but can't find it right now. Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 21:32
  • I found it to be slow also. It seems like it's doing a linear scan of every photo to find it by name, rather than having some kind of index, which is curious. However, it does seem to be smart enough to use the album first, so if you use both, it's still fast. In my case, I have a Wallpaper album I already keep my best wallpaper photos in, and Shortcuts to set them automatically. Rather than have an album for each photo I want to use in Shortcuts, I can filter by the album (yielding a handful of photos) and then by name (giving me the exact one I want, faster).
    – Peeja
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 17:58

The only way I found to do this is save the specific photo into files. Then add a shortcut where the action is simply Open File [filename] in Files. To me it's a bit of a cludge but it works.

  • Is it faster than selecting from Photos (like in my answer)? Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 8:45

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