Searching your mail
To find a message, type one or more keywords into the
Search mail box at the top of your mailbox, and hit Enter. By default, all folders except shared folders, Spam, and Trash will be searched. If you are currently in one of those folders, then just that folder will be searched instead.
If you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, you can create a more specific search using our advanced search tool:
- Click on the search bar at the top of the page.
- Select the
Advanced search…option from the menu that appears.
This lets you look for the keywords in specific places (for example the
Subject: fields), set the date range you want to search, specify whether the email must be unread or pinned, or have a particular type of attachment.
After performing a search, the search term appears in the sidebar on the left of the screen. Click the Save button next to the search to save it, so you can easily search the same thing another time. You can build detailed searches directly in the mail search box by combining options.
Searching particular folders
By default, all folders will be searched except Spam and Trash. You can include these folders as well by ticking off the option that says
include Spam and Trash in search.
If you'd like to search in specific folders, you can use the
in keyword to narrow your search, such as
in:Inbox OR in:Drafts. To specify a subfolder when using the
in keyword, use a
. to separate the subfolder's name from the parent folder, such as
Searching for a phrase
Phrases are matched using stemming: all different forms of the same word match to take into account plurals (fox, foxes) and tenses (fish, fishing, fished). This means, for example, that a search for "bus" will match "buses" but not "business".
If you want to disable stemming and search for an exact word or phrase, surround it in quotes (either
"). For example:
from:"Joe Bloggs" or
subject:'string with "double" quotes', but not
from:Joe Bloggs or
subject:"must end with same'. If you want to search for quotes or a backslash
\, put a backslash before the character: use
You can also search for any word that matches a prefix by putting an asterisk (
*) on the end, e.g.
bus* would match "buses", "business", "bust" etc.
Searching by date
By default, searching looks for all messages, regardless of how old they are. If you'd like, you can narrow your search for a specific date or date range.
Searching by message size
A size is specified in bytes, with an optional suffix
Operators to join search terms must be uppercase.
AND— doesn't do anything, since this is the default.
from:rob OR from:richard.
NOT— applies to the term it comes before. For example,
since:"1 week ago" from:rob NOT subject:"new web interface"would find any messages from Rob in the last week that are not about the "new web interface".
()— grouping, e.g.
(from:rob subject:"new web interface") OR subject:urgent. This finds any mail from Rob with "new web interface" in the subject line, as well as mail from anyone with the subject "urgent".
You can also substitute the characters
NOT, respectively. In this case,
-subject:"Flight" will return all mail where the subject does not contain the word "flight".
Searching by message state
As an alternative to
flag:<flag name>, you can search using
keyword:<keyword>. This will search IMAP keywords.
The following states can be specified with the
For backwards compatibility, we also support writing a term in UPPERCASE without the
in keyword prefix. For example, the searches
UNSEEN HASATT or
is:unread has:attachment are the same, and will both show all unread messages with attachments.
The filetype keyword finds emails with attachments of the given type. It does this by looking at the MIME type of the attachments. Some systems may generate emails with attachments with the wrong or "missing" MIME types, in which case the search may fail to find the expected emails.
Searching for contact mail
If you want to search for mail from contacts, or even members of a particular contact group, you can use the
fromin: operator. For messages sent to contacts, you can use the
fromin: "Group name"
toin: "Group name"
Searching for a specific ID
If you know the message id you are searching for, you can use the
msgid operator to find it directly.
Making a rule from search
Want to move all messages from a search to a folder, mark them as read, or pin them? You can - by making a rule from search.
To take make a rule for emails meeting a search term, click on the Create rule button to the right of the search box. This will pull up our rules creation menu, so you can quickly build a rule based on your search query.
For more information on rules, take a look at Organizing your inbox with rules.