Important: UISearchDisplayController is deprecated in iOS 8. (Note that UISearchDisplayDelegate is also deprecated.) To manage the presentation of a search bar and display search results in iOS 8 and later, instead use UISearchController.


@interface UISearchDisplayController : NSObject


A search display controller manages the display of a search bar, along with a table view that displays search results.

You initialize a search display controller with a search bar and a view controller responsible for managing the data to be searched. When the user starts a search, the search display controller superimposes the search interface over the original view controller’s view and shows the search results in its table view.

In addition to managing the searchable data, the original view controller typically plays four more roles you need to fill when using a search display controller. Those roles are the following:

  1. Data source for the search results table view (searchResultsDataSource), which provides the data for the results table.

  2. Delegate for the search results table view (searchResultsDelegate), which responds to the user’s selection of an item in the results table.

  3. Delegate for the search display controller (delegate), which responds to events such the starting or ending of a search, and the showing or hiding of the search interface.

    As a convenience, this delegate may also be told about changes to the search string or search scope, so that the results table view can be reloaded.

  4. Delegate for the search bar (delegate described in UISearchBar), which responds to changes in search criteria.

Typically, you initialize a search display controller from a view controller (usually an instance of UITableViewController) that’s displaying a list. See the Simple UISearchBar with State Restoration sample code project for an example of how to configure a search display controller in Interface Builder. To perform configuration programmatically, set self for the search display controller’s view controller and search results data source and delegate, as shown here:

searchController = [[UISearchDisplayController alloc]
                         initWithSearchBar:searchBar contentsController:self];
searchController.delegate = self;
searchController.searchResultsDataSource = self;
searchController.searchResultsDelegate = self;

If you follow this pattern, then in the table view data source and delegate methods you can check the methods’ table view argument to determine which table view is sending the message:

- (NSInteger)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView numberOfRowsInSection:(NSInteger)section {
    if (tableView == self.tableView) {
        return ...;
    // If necessary (if self is the data source for other table views),
    // check whether tableView is searchController.searchResultsTableView.
    return ...;

Starting in iOS 7.0, you can use a search display controller with a navigation bar (an instance of the UINavigationBar class) by configuring the search display controller’s displaysSearchBarInNavigationBar and navigationItem properties.


Initializing a Search Bar

- initWithSearchBar:contentsController:

Returns a display controller initialized with the given search bar and contents controller.

Displaying the Search Interface


The visibility state of the search interface.

- setActive:animated:

Displays or hides the search interface, optionally with animation.

Configuring a Search Bar


The controller’s delegate.


The search bar.


The view controller that manages the contents being searched.


The table view in which the search results are displayed.


The data source for the table view in which the search results are displayed.


The delegate for the table view in which the search results are displayed.


The title for the search results view.


Specifies that the navigation bar contains a search bar.


Represents the search display controller in a navigation controller’s navigation bar.


Inherits From

See Also

Deprecated Classes


A preview action, or peek quick action, that is displayed below a peek when a user swipes the peek upward.


A group of one or more child quick actions, each an instance of the UIPreviewAction class.


An instance of the UIAcceleration class, called an acceleration event, represents immediate, three-dimensional acceleration data. To receive accelerometer events, register an application object as a delegate of the shared UIAccelerometer object, as described in UIAccelerometer.


The UIAccelerometer class lets you register to receive acceleration-related data from the onboard hardware. As a device moves, its hardware reports linear acceleration changes along the primary axes in three-dimensional space. You can use this data to detect both the current orientation of the device (relative to the ground) and any instantaneous changes to that orientation. You might use instantaneous changes as input to a game or to initiate some action in your application.


Important: UIActionSheet is deprecated in iOS 8. (Note that UIActionSheetDelegate is also deprecated.) To create and manage action sheets in iOS 8 and later, instead use UIAlertController with a preferredStyle of UIAlertControllerStyleActionSheet.


In apps that run in versions of iOS prior to iOS 8, use the UIAlertView class to display an alert message to the user. An alert view functions similar to but differs in appearance from an action sheet (an instance of UIActionSheet).


A list of all the available document providers for a given file type and mode, in addition to custom menu items that you add.


Important:UILocalNotification is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationRequest instead. A UILocalNotification object specifies a notification that an app can schedule for presentation at a specific date and time.


Important: UIMutableUserNotificationAction is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationAction instead. A UIMutableUserNotificationAction object represents a modifiable version of the UIUserNotificationAction class.


Important: UIMutableUserNotificationCategory is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationCategory instead. A UIMutableUserNotificationCategory object encapsulates information about custom actions that your app can perform in response to a local or push notification. Use instances of this class to customize the actions included in an alert when space onscreen is constrained.


Important: UIPopoverController is deprecated in iOS 9. In iOS 9 and later, a popover is implemented as a UIViewController presentation. To create a popover, use an instance of UIPopoverPresentationController and specify the UIModalPresentationPopover style.


The UIStoryboardPopoverSegue class defines a specific type of segue for presenting content in a popover. For popover segues, the destination view controller contains the content to be displayed in the popover. This class provides an additional popoverController property so that your custom code has access to the popover controller object. For example, you might want to store the popover controller elsewhere in your code so that you can dismiss the popover programmatically.


Important: UIUserNotificationAction is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationAction instead. A UIUserNotificationAction object represents a custom action that your app can perform in response to a remote or local notification.


Important:UIUserNotificationCategory is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationCategory instead. A UIUserNotificationCategory object encapsulates information about custom actions that your app can perform in response to a local or push notification.


Important: UIUserNotificationSettings is deprecated in iOS 10. Use UNNotificationSettings instead. A UIUserNotificationSettings object encapsulates the types of notifications that can be displayed to the user by your app.