Search Tips for Gmail

Google GmailSearch Mail in Gmail

It goes without saying that Google is a very powerful search engine.    Search is included as a key component with in the Gmail application.  The issue is, just like using regular Google search to find something specific, you may get hundreds of results back.  Google has included may helpers within Search in Gmail.  Below is a list of helpers with examples on how to use them within Gmail.

To find messages in Gmail use the following operators:

subject: – Search the Subject line.

  • Example: “subject:campgrounds” finds all messages with “campgrounds” in the Subject.

from: – Search for sender name and email address. Partial addresses are okay.

  • Example: “from:smith” finds all messages from “smith@hotmail.com”, but also all messages from “your.smith@yahoo.com”.

to: – Search the To line for names and addresses.

  • Example: “to:enduser@email.com” finds all messages sent directly (not via Cc: or Bcc:) to enduser@email.com.

cc: – Search recipients in the Cc field.

  • Example: “cc:bobjones@zipiditdo.com” finds all messages that were sent to bobjones@ziditdo.com as a carbon copy.

bcc: – Search for addresses and names in the Bcc field. Note this only works with emails you sent to Bcc recipients from Gmail.

  • Example: “bcc:henderson” finds all messages that you sent with, for example, “henderson@example.com” in the Bcc field.

label: – Search for messages assigned a label. (Replace whitespace characters in label names with hyphens.)

  • Example: “label:technology” finds all messages labeled “technology”.

is:starred – Search for messages that are starred.

is:unread – Search for new and unread messages.

is:read – Search for messages that have already been opened.

is:important – Search for messages that are marked important for Priority Inbox.

has:attachment – Search for messages that have files attached to them.

filename: – Search within file names of attachments. You can also search for file name extensions to restrict your search to certain file types.

  • Example: “filename:.doc” finds all messages with word processing attachments.

is:buzz – Search for Google Buzz posts.

is:chat – Search for chats

lang: – Search for messages in a particular language. (Specify the language in English; “Chinese” works, but “中文”, “Putonghua” or “Mandarin” do not, for example.)

  • Example: “lang:French” returns all emails that contain at least un peu de Français.

in: – Search in a standard “folder”. You can search in Drafts, Inbox, Chats, Sent, Spam,Trash and anywhere (for everything, including Spam and Trash).

  • Example: “in:drafts” finds all messages in your Drafts folder.

after: – Search for messages sent after a date. The date must be given in YYYY/MM/DD format.

  • Example: “after:2009/06/02” finds all messages sent or received after (and not including) June 1, 2009.

before: – Search for messages sent before a date.

  • Example: “before:2009/06/02” finds all messages sent or received on June 1, 2009 and earlier.

Operators and search terms can be combined with the following modifiers:

By default, terms are combined with (an invisible) “AND”.

  • Example: “dog hair” finds all messages that contain both “dog” and “hair”.

“” – Search for a phrase. Case does not matter.

  • Examples: “dog hair” finds all messages containing the phrase “dog hair”; ‘subject:”dog hair” finds all messages that have “dog hair” in the Subject field.

OR – Search for messages containing at least one of two terms or expressions.

  • Examples: “dog hair” finds messages that contain either “dog” or “hair” or both; “from:smithor label:technology” finds messages that either come from a sender that contains “email.guide” or appear under the label “toodoo technology”.

– Search for messages that do not contain a term or expression.

  • Examples: “-dog” finds all messages that do not contain the word “dog”; “hair-dog” finds all messages that contain the word “hair” but not “dog”; ‘subject:”dog hair” -from:smith finds all messages with “dog hair” in the subject that were not sent from an email address or name containing “smith”.

() – Group search terms or expressions.

  • Examples: “subject:(dog hair)” finds messages that have both “dog” and “hair” somewhere in the Subject line (but not necessarily as a phrase); “from:smith (subject:(dog OR hair ) OR label:technology)” finds all messages from a sender who has “server.info” in their name that either have “dog” or “hair” (or both) in the Subject line or appear under the label “technology”.

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