A picture is worth a thousand words, and now your images uploaded to OneDrive can be just that with our new intelligent detection and search functionality.


Taking notes is much harder than snapping a photo with your phone. It's a great way to document a meeting or site visit; the whiteboard image tells the story of shared construction and development.


With that in mind, the product team have been hard at work on a feature which we hope helps you every day, to work smarter, faster and with better recollection. We're excited to share some of the steps on the journey with you. We are starting small at first, but have a goal to grow the capability based on your feedback and needs.


Releasing this month (July 2017) is the ability to search for photos using the objects that are in them. When you upload an image into OneDrive, whether a snap of a whiteboard, a receipt, a screen shot, a vector graphic, line drawing or even x-ray film, OneDrive will automatically detect it, and make it available in search, without you having to do anything other than upload the image.


(Some example of things you can search for include screenshot, whiteboard, blackboard, business card, text and sign.)


But that is just the beginning. If there is even location data on the photo, we make it searchable. All this data is just yours in OneDrive.


Later in the year we plan to extract text out of images, whether they were originally printed on paper or digital. Handwritten text won't be extracted just yet, but we know you would like that feature too!


We are using intelligent services behind the scenes, so your search experience does not change in OneDrive. Upload your images through your iOS or Android phone or PC, and they will become searchable soon after.


Experience on iOS:


Experience on Android:


OneDrive is the one place for digitizing the world around you. We are working on features that streamline your productivity by establishing connections between you, your network, the objects in your photos and your files in OneDrive.


We are listening to your feedback, so let us know what you want through Uservoice.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will the service roll to Office 365 for my organization?

We are rolling out right now, so it will take until the end of the month to reach all commercial customers globally.


How do I send feedback on making the service better?

We are glad you asked! You can use the idea submission tool on Uservoice


Can I opt out of the service?

There is no administrator switch to opt out.


Isn't this the same service that I have in my consumer OneDrive?

The object detection technology is tailored to organizational needs. It finds objects specific to work with the goal of enhancing your productivity in business.

Valued Contributor

Good stuff, though I'd much more appreciate if my organizational users could AutoUpload their Camera Roll photos to save on local storage (and for AutoBackup of course).


Agreed Ivan. We are working on it :)

Valued Contributor
Great work Stephen! Is this capability coming to SharePoint and Delve?
Not applicable

Great feature.

What keywords can I use by Japanese for search "Whiteboard", "Scanpshot", etc ?

Can I use search keywords ホワイトボードスナップショット ?


Yoshihiro Kawabata


Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the update Stephen and great work.  We look forward to more photo and video features with enterprise security in mind.

Senior Member

Search still shows *.png files with alpha channels/transparency with a black background (because image resize is done with jpg's). Is this something that is known/being addressed?


@Stephen Rose, my apologies as my question is somewhat off topic.


I am curious to understand where Windows search and OneDrive for Business heading. More specifically, I am trying to track down the roadmap direction for addressing searching of OneNote 2016 notebook content stored on OneDrive for Business from Windows 10. Do you know? Do you know who would know?


Thank you so much





And, given the sunsetting of OneNote 2016, I should have said "searching within OneNote (the Windows 10 app)"

Occasional Visitor

Any idea when this will roll out to the Government tenant?