Change the background of UISearchBar's textField

I'm struggling with this for a while now. Have searched everywhere but the solution provided only works with objective-c. Which consists in

UITextField *txt = [_searchBar valueForKey:@"_searchField"];

Although some might say that this is protected API and Apple might refuse an app with such code.

So, now I've tried so many ways to work this out and it's not working at all. My code is this:

searchBar = UISearchBar(frame: CGRectMake(0, 0, 320.0, 30.0))
searchBar.autoresizingMask = UIViewAutoresizing.FlexibleWidth
searchBar.searchBarStyle = UISearchBarStyle.Minimal
searchBar.layer.cornerRadius = 15
searchBar.delegate = self

searchBar.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor()

if floor(NSFoundationVersionNumber) <= NSFoundationVersionNumber_iOS_6_1{
    // Load resources for iOS 6.1 or earlier
    searchBar.placeholder = "Search";
} else {
    // The following "hack" (if we can call that) breaks the UI for different size devices.
    // Load resources for iOS 7 or later
    searchBar.placeholder = "Search                                         ";

This gives me the bizarre result:

While what I want is just the textfield inside the UISearchBar to have a white background and the SearchBar itself have a cornerRadius of, say, 15.

How can I do this?

Thanks so much in advance


You have to access the UITextField inside the UISearchBar. You can do that by using valueForKey("searchField")

var textFieldInsideSearchBar = yourSearchbar.valueForKey("searchField") as? UITextField

textFieldInsideSearchBar?.textColor = yourcolor
textFieldInsideSearchBar?.backgroundColor = backgroundColor

there you can change any parameters like textColor or backgroundColor of the UITextField

In Swift 3:

if let txfSearchField = searchController.searchBar.value(forKey: "_searchField") as? UITextField {
        txfSearchField.borderStyle = .none
        txfSearchField.backgroundColor = .lightGray

Adding to the above answer. If you want to keep the search bar style UISearchBarStyleMinimal and change the background of UISearchBar's textField, set the textField's borderStyle to UITextBorderStyleNone

Objective C:

self.searchBar.searchBarStyle = UISearchBarStyleMinimal;

UITextField *txfSearchField = [_searchBar valueForKey:@"_searchField"];
    txfSearchField.borderStyle = UITextBorderStyleNone;
    txfSearchField.backgroundColor = yourColor;

Add an extension to UISearchBar to access its UITextField:

import UIKit

extension UISearchBar {

    var textField: UITextField? {
        let subViews = subviews.flatMap { $0.subviews }
        return (subViews.filter { $0 is UITextField }).first as? UITextField

Then you can set its properties as you'd expect:

searchController.searchBar.textField?.backgroundColor = .red
searchController.searchBar.textField?.tintColor = .yellow

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