Search Outlook Email by Sender, Date, Keyword, Size and More.
Where did my email go? He just disappeared. ” It’s shocking how many times I’ve heard this in my career. But not as shocking as how many people don’t realize they can easily find a specific email in Outlook.
After reading this guide on how to search Outlook email by date, sender, keyword, etc., you will also be able to find any email in Outlook. We will give you all the tips for finding email in Outlook that you can master.
Are your emails indexed?
For the best email search results, make sure Outlook has indexed everything.
What is Indexing? Just as a book index lists all topics and their locations, Outlook Indexing creates a similar database. It is easier for programs to search a database than a heap of free text.
- Place your cursor in the Search Current Mailbox box, also known as the Instant Search box. The search toolbar will open.
- Click the Search Tools button and then Indexing Status. A small window will open showing how many messages remain to be indexed.
If the number of items being indexed is nonzero, wait a few minutes. This will provide the most complete search possible.
Indexing requires certain resources. If you find that it slows down Outlook or your computer too much, you can turn off indexing to improve computer performance.
Permanently Add Search Tab
Wouldn’t it be great if we could easily get to the search tab without having to click on the search bar every time? Let’s do that.
- Click File.
- Click Options on the left, about halfway down.
- In the Options window, click Customize Ribbon.
- In the Customize Ribbon panel, click the drop-down menu under Select Commands From: and select Tool Tabs.
- Find the search tools and select them. Then click the Add >> button.
- Search tools will appear in the main tabs area. Use the up and down arrows next to this area to determine where it will appear on the ribbon, or leave it where it is. Then click “OK” to confirm the change.
- Find the Search Tools tab. We can now easily access all the search tools at any time.
Set search scope
On the Search Tools tab, we can easily set the search volume. On the left side, we will see that we can set the scope: All mailboxes, Current mailbox, Current folder, Subfolders, or All Outlook items.
All Mailboxes – Select this area if we have shared mailboxes or other accounts in Outlook. Some people in Outlook may have both work and personal email accounts.
Current mailbox – select this area to continue the search in only one mailbox. Make sure the mailbox is selected in the left pane of Outlook.
Current Folder – This scope restricts the search to the folder that is currently selected in the left pane of Outlook.
Subfolders – This limits the scope to folders in any folder selected in the left pane.
All Outlook Items – In the most open area, the search will apply to all emails, contacts, calendar items, and tasks. Due to the large amount of data, searches in this area can be slow and produce unnecessary results. Use this scope sparingly.
Outlook Search Operators
Search results can be made more specific using search operators.
To find a specific phrase, enclose it in double quotes.
Example: “TPS Report”
Use the AND operator to find items that must contain two or more words, but not necessarily next to each other or in the specified order.
Example: work & weekend
Use the NOT operator to find items that contain a keyword and exclude items that contain a different keyword.
Example: Saturday is NOT great
Looking for something that could contain a particular word? Try the OR operator.
Example: giraffe OR product
All of these operators can be combined to make your search as specific as possible. We might have something as complex as the TPS Report OR the weekend OR GIRAFFE IS NOT great.
Search Outlook by keyword
The easiest search in Outlook email is keyword search. The easiest way to do this is in the Instant Search box at the top of your mailbox.
- Set the scope in the drop-down list next to the Instant Search box or on the Search tab.
- Enter a keyword or words in the search field and press Enter. Here you can use search operators to make your search more specific.
Search Outlook by Sender
To search Outlook email by sender:
- Click the Search tab and click the From button.
- This will enter from: Sender Name in the instant search box.
- Remove the sender’s name between the double quotes and enter the name of the person we’re looking for. We can also just type the entire term straight into the instant search. Press the Enter key to search.
Search Outlook by Subject
To search your Outlook email by subject:
- On the Search tab, click Subject.
- This will put the subject: â€keywordsâ€ in the instant search box.
- Replace the keywords with the one we are looking for. The entire phrase can also be entered into instant search. Press the Enter key to search.
Search Outlook by date
To search Outlook email messages by date:
- On the Search tab, click This Week. It will show the options; Today, yesterday, this week, last week, this month, last month, this year, last year.
- Whatever is selected will be entered into the instant search field, for example: received: today, received: yesterday, received: this week, received: last week, received: this month , received: last month, received: this year, received: last year Press Enter to search.
We can also use the receive: statement with calendar dates ( Received: dd / mm / yyyy ) or day names ( Received: tuesday ). When a day name is used, Outlook will only look for the most recent day of that day. So only last Tuesday, not all Tuesdays.
Search Outlook for Items with Attachments
To search Outlook email attachments:
- On the Search tab, click Has Attachments.
- This will enter hasattachments: yes in the instant search box. This should be combined with another search type to narrow down the field. Press Enter to search.
We could also enter hasattachments: no to exclude results with attachments from the results.
Search Outlook by Category
The category tool for organizing emails is underutilized.
- We can search by category using the “By Categories” button under the search tab.
- category: = “Color Category” will be entered in the instant search box. Press Enter to search.
It can also be entered manually. Just change the color according to the category. For example, to search in a red category, we type category: = “Red Category” . For blue, we type category: = “Blue Category” and so on.
Search Outlook Email by Recipient
This is a way to search for emails based on who they were sent to.
- Clicking the Submitted button will show us the options; Sent to: me or CC: me, not sent directly to me, but sent to another recipient.
- Search text will be entered, for example (to: “[email protected]” OR cc: “[email protected]“> [email protected] ” ). Press Enter to search.
- If we select “Sent to another recipient”, we need to edit the text in the search bar. It will look like to: “Recipient Name” .
- Remove part of the recipient’s name and enter the name we are looking for. Press Enter to search.
Search as read or unread
You can search Outlook emails by whether they’ve been read or unread.
- Clicking the Unread button on the Search tab will find all messages that have not yet been read.
- It types isread: no into the search bar. Press Enter to search.
- To find a read email, change it to isread: yes and press Enter to search.
Search by tag
Using flags to flag important emails helps you stay on top of things.
- To find email messages that are flagged, click the Flagged button on the Search tab.
- It will search with tracking flag: tracking flag . Other options are followup flag: flagged and followupflag: completed . Press Enter to search.
Search by importance
View only important emails in Outlook as follows.
- Under the checked button on the Search tab, there is an Important button. Clicking on it will return all items marked as important.
- The search term looks like importance: high . We can also change the high level to low or normal. Click the magnifying glass or press Enter to search.
Combine Search Options
All of the above search options can be combined. For example, if we are looking for important and checked items, we can enter the important: high followupflag: followup flag in the search bar.
You can enter it or simply click the Important button and then the Flagged button.
More Search Options
Click the More button on the Search tab and we’ll see over 20 more ways to search.
In most cases, a drop-down menu will be placed below the search bar with options supported by a particular search type.
Advanced Search Options
We have access to over a hundred different search options, far beyond what we have considered. We may never use this, but it’s nice to know he’s here.
- Click Search Tools, then Advanced Search.
- An advanced search window will open.
Take some time and look around here. It’s amazing how much you can do. We can search by any field of any Outlook item. We can search across hundreds of different things.
Outlook Search Power
Aren’t you surprised how rich and powerful Outlook’s search capabilities are? Did you even know that all this is possible? Most people probably never use even a tenth of all Outlook features. Use this as a springboard to find out what else Outlook can do for you.
You can create your own Outlook shortcuts for email tasks Configure Outlook rules to organize email into folders Or even schedule an email to be sent at a specific time! If Outlook just reads emails, it’s a bit like using a Ferrari to shop for groceries.