How to better search emails in Gmail
of late I've been running into problems locating the emails I am looking for.
Before I was able to type a keyword or two and I could easily find the emails I
was searching, but now the amount of similar emails has made search a more cumbersome
offers advanced search features that allow users to more easily find the emails
they are looking for. I particularly use a lot the search feature that allows searching
all emails with an attachment.
users begin to have gigabytes worth of emails in their mailboxes easy searches
won't do the trick any more. Hopefully Google will begin developing a search
method that weights many factors and displays relevant search results (sort of
like their web search).
is a list of advanced search operators available for Gmail for a quick easy
reference: (obtained from the Gmail'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
Search for messages matching term A or term B*
|Example – from:amy OR from:david
Meaning – Messages from Amy or from David
|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
||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|
|filename:||Search for an attachment by name or type||
Example – filename:physicshomework.txt
Example – label:work filename:pdf
|Used to search for an exact phrase*
*Capitalization isn't taken into consideration
Example – "i'm feeling lucky"
Example – subject:"dinner and a movie"
||Used to group words
Used to specify terms that shouldn't be excluded
Example – from:amy(dinner OR movie)
Example – subject:(dinner 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"
|Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or Spam||Example – in:trash from:amy
Meaning – Messages from Amy that are in Trash
|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
|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
|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".