How to Search Emails in Gmail?

Gmail LogoAre you searching for an email in your gmail inbox by scrolling the pages? No need of such a tedious task…You can search emails by just entering a word (or multiple words) that appears anywhere within the message you want to locate. If you’re looking for a message that contains the word shopping, simply type shopping in the search field and press Search Mail. Your results will be displayed with your search terms highlighted in yellow.

Gmail doesn’t recognize special search characters like square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, the ampersand, the pound sign, and asterisks. It also doesn’t recognize partial or similar matches, so a search for travel will find travel, but not travels, traveler, or travle.

Gmail Search

If you’re having trouble finding the result you want, you can refine your query by clicking Show search options next to the search box, and entering your criteria in the appropriate fields.

Using advanced search

[advt]Advanced search operators are query words or symbols that perform special actions in Gmail search. These operators allow you to find what you’re looking for quickly and accurately. They can also be used to set up filters so you can organize your inbox automatically. Some of the most useful operators are listed below.

You can also use advanced search operators by clicking on Show search options beneath the Gmail search box.

Operator Definition Example(s)
from: Used to specify the sender Example: from:amy
Meaning: Messages from Amy
to: Used to specify a recipient Example: to:david
Meaning: All messages that were sent to David (by you or someone else)
subject: Search for words in the subject line Example: subject:dinner
Meaning: Messages that have the word “dinner” in the subject
OR Search for messages matching term A or term B*
*OR must be in all caps
Example: from:amy OR from:david
Meaning: Messages from Amy or from David

(hyphen)
Used to exclude messages from your search Example: dinner -movie
Meaning: Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain the word “movie”
label: Search for messages by label*
*There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages
Example: from:amy label:friends
Meaning: Messages from Amy that have the label “friends”Example: from:david label:my-family
Meaning: Messages from David that have the label “My Family”
has:attachment Search for messages with an attachment Example: from:david has:attachment
Meaning: Messages from David that have an attachment
list: Search for messages on mailing lists Example: list:[email protected]
Meaning: Messages with the words [email protected] in the headers, sent to or from this list
filename: Search for an attachment by name or type Example:filename:physicshomework.txt
Meaning: Messages with an attachment named “physicshomework.txt” 

Example: label:work filename:pdf
Meaning: Messages labeled “work” that also have a PDF file as an attachment

” ”
(quotes)
Used to search for an exact phrase*
*Capitalization isn’t taken into consideration
Example: “i’m feeling lucky”
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase “i’m feeling lucky” or “I’m feeling lucky” 

Example: subject:”dinner and a movie”
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase “dinner and a movie” in the subject

( ) Used to group words
Used to specify terms that shouldn’t be excluded
Example: from:amy (dinner OR movie)
Meaning: Messages from Amy that contain either the word “dinner” or the word “movie” 

Example: subject:(dinner movie)
Meaning: Messages in which the subject contains both the word “dinner” and the word “movie”

in:anywhere Search for messages anywhere in Gmail*
*Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default
Example: in:anywhere movie
Meaning: Messages in All Mail,Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”
in:inbox
in:trash
in:spam
Search for messages in InboxTrash, or Spam Example: in:trash from:amy
Meaning: Messages from Amy that are in Trash
is:important
label:important
Search within messages that Priority Inbox considers important. Example: is:important from:janet
Meaning: Messages from Janet that were marked as important by Priority Inbox
is:starred
is:unread
is:read
Search for messages that are starred, unread or read Example: is:read is:starred from:David
Meaning: Messages from David that have been read and are marked with a star
cc:
bcc:
Used to specify recipients in the cc: or bcc: fields*
*Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied
Example: cc:david
Meaning: Messages that were cc-ed to David
after:
before:
Search for messages sent during a certain period of time*
*Dates must be in yyyy/mm/dd format.
Example: after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18
Meaning: Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18, 2004.*
*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) April 16, 2004 and before April 18, 2004.
is:chat Search for chat messages Example: is:chat monkey
Meaning: Any chat message including the word “monkey”.
deliveredto: Search for messages within a particular email address in the Delivered-To line of the message header Example:deliveredto:[email protected]
Meaning: Any message with [email protected] in the Delivered-To: field of the message header (which can help you find messages forwarded from another account or ones sent to an alias).

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