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June 8, 2015

Search OneDrive by asking Cortana

Remember all those photos you’ve auto-uploaded to OneDrive from your Lumia? Cortana can now search through them all for you so you don’t have to.

The recent update to the OneDrive app (version 4.12) on Windows Phone delivered one key update: Cortana integration.

If you’ve been capturing your world by snapping away and uploading those photos to OneDrive automatically, sifting through them all can be time consuming.

Once you’ve updated the OneDrive app, launch it and accept the “Use Cortana to search your OneDrive files” message.


Now, anytime you activate Cortana (available in select markets) and say “OneDrive search for cat photos,” or “OneDrive search for people photos,” or even more cleverly, “OneDrive search for Hawaii sunset photos,” you’ll be presented in seconds with what you’ve asked for.

But how does OneDrive know what’s in your photos?

Thanks to very clever image-captioning technology, your photos are recognized and automatically tagged when they’re uploaded to OneDrive. So, when you take a photo of a cat and upload it, the technology identifies the characteristics of the cat and labels it as such.

The geographical data is already added the moment you take the photo; this is done by using the GPS on your device.

By making use of both of those features, OneDrive can find you photos of certain objects at specific locations. You can find more details about caption photos at the Next at Microsoft blog.

Be sure to update your OneDrive app today and take advantage of the Cortana integration.