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.

Advanced search

If you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, you can create a more specific search using our advanced search tool:

  1. Click on the search bar at the top of the page.
  2. Select the Advanced search… option from the menu that appears.

This lets you look for the keywords in specific places (for example the To: or 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.

Saving searches

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 by folder or label

By default, all folders will be searched except Spam and Trash. To search a specific folder/label, use the in: operator with the name of the folder/label, e.g. in:sent.

If a subfolder/sublabel has a unique name, you can use in: with that name directly. Otherwise, you'll need to give the whole path, including parent folders, like in:"Mailing Lists/Hiking".

You can search inside a label/folder and all its children by adding /* on the end, e.g. in:"Mailing Lists/*.

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 ' or "). For example: "buses" or from:"Joe Bloggs" or subject:'string with "double" quotes', but not buses or 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 \", \' and \\.

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 sender or recipient

You can search for messages from a specific address by using the from: operator with the email address, e.g. from:joe@example.com.

If you want to find everything from a particular domain, just start with the @, e.g. from:@example.com.

Similarly, you can search To/Cc/Bcc for an email using the to: operator, e.g. to:jane@example.com.

If you want to search just the To header and not Cc/Bcc, use tonotcc:, e.g. tonotcc:bob@example.com.

You can similarly search Cc/Bcc headers using cc: or bcc: operators. If you want to find messages that were sent to you via a specific alias, use the deliveredto: operator using deliveredto:me@example.com.

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 toin: operator. * fromin:contacts * toin:contacts * fromin:"Group name" * toin:"Group name"

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 in attachments

The search function finds matches inside attachments as well as in file names.

If you want to find a specific file or attachment, you can enter one or more keywords into the Search mail box at the top of your mailbox, and hit Enter.

Searching for attachments

You can find all messages with attachments using has:attachment. To search for a particular file name, use filename:<phrase>.

Attachments of particular type can be found with the filetype:<type> operator. You can specify a MIME type, or one of the following special values:

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 by message list

You can search for messages from a particular list id using list:foo.example.com.

Searching other headers

You can search for the existence of a particular header using header:<headername>.

You can also search for messages that include a particular string of text within the header using header:<headername>:<text>.

Searching for a specific ID

If you know the message id you are searching for, you can use the msgid:<id> operator to find it directly.

Searching by message size

A size is specified in bytes, with an optional suffix k, m, or g, e.g. larger:10m.

Combining searches

Operators to join search terms must be uppercase.

You can also substitute the characters + and - for AND and NOT, respectively. In this case, -subject:"Flight" will return all mail where the subject does not contain the word "flight".

Searching by message state

The following states can be specified with the has or is keyword:

For backwards compatibility, we also support writing a term in UPPERCASE without the has or 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.

You can search for a specific IMAP keyboard using keyword:<keyword name>.

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 toin: operator.

Searching by priority

If you want to search for messages marked as high priority by the sender, you can use the priority:high operator.

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.