Everybody has their own way of organising their e-mails. Some people are e-mail hoarders and keep every email ever received for a lifetime. Some prefer to keep an empty inbox and archive important ones away in folders. No matter how you organise your emails, it’s important to know the correct way how to search emails in Outlook.
With the introduction of search indexing since Outlook 2007, mastering how to search emails in Outlook will save you a lot of time and hassle when searching for that one particular email. Whether you received the email yesterday or last year, it can be time consuming finding an email if you’re not using the right search tools.
Here are a few basic search commands to get you started
Search all emails from John Smith
If you narrow down your search, you can drop the full name and include a subject:
What about all emails from John Smith before and including December 2015?
Does the email you’re searching for contain an attachment?
Conversely if you are searching for emails you have sent, you can search your mailbox replacing the From to To and Received to Sent.
These are just the basics but would definitely be worth mastering these queries to get the most out of your search index. Of course, if you do need to dig deeper, there are more advanced search options detailed on the Microsoft Office website. I will also include a list below.
|Type this||To find this|
|bobby||Items containing bobby, BOBBY, BoBby, or any other combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. Instant Search is not case sensitive.|
|bobby moore||Items containing both bobby and moore, but not necessarily in that order.|
|bobby AND moore||Items containing both bobby and moore, but not necessarily in that order. Note that logical operators such as AND, NOT, and OR must be in uppercase letters.|
|bobby NOT moore||Items containing bobby, but not moore.|
|bobby OR moore||Items containing bobby, moore, or both.|
|“bobby moore”||Items containing the exact phrase bobby moore. Note the use of double quotes so that the search results match the exact phrase within the quotes.|
|from:”bobby moore”||Items sent from bobby moore. Note the use of double quotes so that the search results match the exact phrase within the quotes.|
|from:”bobby moore” about:”status report”||Items sent from bobby moore where status report appears in the subject line, body, and attachment contents. Note the use of double quotes so that the search results match the exact phrase within the quotes.|
|hasattachment:yes||Items that have attachments. You can also use hasattachment:true to get the same results.|
|attachments:presentation.pptx||Items that have attachments named presentation.pptx or if the attachment contains presentation.pptx within its contents.|
|subject:”bobby moore”||Items whose subject contains the phrase bobby moore.|
|subject:bobby moore||Items with bobby in the subject line and with moore anywhere else in the document.|
|cc:”bobby more”||Items in which the display name bobby moore is on the Cc line.|
|cc:email@example.com||Items in which the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org is on the Cc line.|
|bcc:bobby||Items in which bobby is on the Bcc line.|
|messagesize:<10 KB||Items whose size is less than 10 kilobytes. Note the use of the “less than” comparison operator (<).|
|messagesize:>5 MB||Items whose size is larger than 5 megabytes. Note the use of the “greater than” comparison operator (>).|
|received:=1/1/2006||Items that arrived on 1/1/2006. Note the use of the “equals” comparison operator (=).|
|received:yesterday||Items that arrived yesterday. Instant Search also recognizes the follow date values:|
|received:last week||Items that arrived last week. Note that if you run this query again a month from now you will obtain different results because it is a time relative query.|
|due:last week||Items that are flagged for follow up a due date.|
|messagesize:tiny||Items whose size is less than 10 kilobytes|
|messagesize:small||Items whose size is between 10 and 25 kilobytes|
|messagesize:medium||Items whose size is between 25 and 100 kilobytes|
|messagesize:large||Items whose size is between 100 and 500 kilobytes|
|messagesize:verylarge||Items whose size is between 500 kilobytes and 1 megabyte|
|followupflag:follow up||Items that are flagged for follow up.|
|messagesize:enormous||Items whose size is larger than 5 megabytes|
|hasflag:true||Items that are flagged for follow up.|
|from:bobby (received:1/7/05 OR received:1/8/05)||Items from bobby that arrived on either 1/7/05 or 1/8/05. Note the use of parentheses to group the dates.|
|received:>=10/1/06 AND received:<=10/5/06||Items that arrived between 10/1/06 and 10/5/06.|
|received:>10/1/06 AND received:<10/5/06||Items that arrived after 10/1/06 but before 10/5/06.|
|sent: yesterday||Items that you sent yesterday.|
|to:bobby||Items that you sent to bobby when you are searching in the Sent Items folder.|
|read:no||Items that have not been read. You can also use read:false to get the same results.|
|subject:status received:May||Items received from anyone during the month of May (any year) where the subject contains status.|
|startdate:next week subject:status||Calendar items next week where the subject contains status.|
|is:recurring||Calendar items that are recurring.|
|organizer:bobby||Calendar items where bobby is the organizer.|
|category:business||Items that are categorized as business.|
|firstname:bobby||Contacts that contain bobby in the First Name field.|
|lastname:moore||Contacts that contain moore in the Last Name field.|
|nickname:bobby||Contacts that contain bobby in the Nickname field.|
|jobtitle:physician||Contacts that contain physician in the Job Title field.|
|pager:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Pager field.|
|businessphone:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Business Phone field.|
|homephone:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Home Phone field.|
|mobilephone:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Mobile Phone field.|
|carphone:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Car Phone field.|
|businessfax:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Business Fax field.|
|homefax:555-0100||Contacts that contain 555-0100 in the Home Fax field.|
|businessaddress:(4567 Main St., Buffalo, NY 98052)||Contacts that contain 4567 Main St., Buffalo, NY 98052 in the Business Address field. Note the use of parentheses to enclose the address.|
|homeaddress:(4567 Main St., Buffalo, NY 98052)||Contacts that contain 4567 Main St., Buffalo, NY 98052 in the Home Address field. Note the use of parentheses to enclose the address.|
|businesscity:buffalo||Contacts that contain buffalo in the Business City field.|
|businesspostalcode:98052||Contacts that contain 98052 in the Business Postal Code field.|
|street:(4567 Main St)||Contacts that contain 4567 Main St in the Business Address Street field. Note the use of parentheses to enclose the address.|
|homestreet:(4567 Main St)||Contacts that contain 4567 Main St in the Home Address Street field. Note the use of parentheses to enclose the address.|
|birthday:6/4/1960||Contacts that contain 6/4/1960 in the Birthday field.|
|webpage:www.contoso.com||Contacts that contain the URL www.contoso.com in the Web Page Address field.|
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I hope this quick blog post helped explain how to search emails in Outlook correctly.
Are there any Outlook tips you’d like to see in a future blog? Let us know in the comments!