How To's‎ > ‎

gmail search operators

At the top of your Gmail inbox sit the ominous search bar. It's a powerful tool that will allow you to find any email you like with ease. Outlook cannot hold a candle to these search functions:

subject: - Search the Subject line.
Example: "subject:bahamas" finds all messages with "bahamas" in the Subject.

from: - Search for sender name and email address. Partial addresses are okay.
Example: "from:heinz" finds all messages from "heinz@about.com", but also all messages from "your.heinz@tqn.com".

to: - Search the To line for names and addresses.
Example: "to:quertyuiop@gmail.com" finds all messages sent directly (not via Cc: or Bcc:) to quertyuiop@gmail.com.

cc: - Search recipients in the Cc field.
Example: "cc:quertyuiop@gmail.com" finds all messages that were sent to quertyuiop@gmail.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:heinz" finds all messages that you sent with, for example, "hein@example.com" in the Bcc field.

label: - Search for messages assigned a label. (Replace whitespace characters in label names with hyphens.)
Example: "label:toodoo-doll" finds all messages labeled "toodoo doll".

is:starred - Search for messages that are starred. 

    With Superstars enabled:

    has:yellow-star - Search for messages with a yellow star.
    has:red-star - Search for messages with a red star.
    has:orange-star - Search for messages with an orange star.
    has:green-star - Search for messages with a green star.
    has:blue-star - Search for messages with a blue star.
    has:purple-star - Search for messages with a purple star.
    has:yellow-bang - Search for messages with a yellow exclamation mark.
    has:red-bang - Search for messages with a red exclamation mark.
    has:purple-question - Search for messages with a purple question mark.
    has:orange-guillemet - Search for messages with two orange forward arrows.
    has:blue-info - Search for messages with a blue i.

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 "??", "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:2005/05/05" finds all messages sent or received after (and not including) May 5, 2005.

before: - Search for messages sent before a date.
Example: "before:2005/05/05" finds all messages sent or received on May 4, 2005 and earlier.
Operators and search terms can be combined with the following modifiers:

By default, terms are combined with (an invisible) "AND".
Example: "shepherd macaroni" finds all messages that contain both "shepherd" and "macaroni".

"" - Search for a phrase. Case does not matter.
Examples: "shepherd's macaroni" finds all messages containing the phrase "shepherd's macaroni"; 'subject:"shepherd's macaroni' finds all messages that have "shepherd's macaroni" in the Subject field.

OR - Search for messages containing at least one of two terms or expressions.
Examples: "shepherd or macaroni" finds messages that contain either "shepherd" or "macaroni" or both; "from:heinz or label:toodoo-doll" finds messages that either come from a sender that contains "email.guide" or appear under the label "toodoo doll".

- - Search for messages that do not contain a term or expression.
Examples: "-macaroni" finds all messages that do not contain the word "macaroni"; "shepherd -macaroni" finds all messages that contain the word "shepherd" but not "macaroni"; 'subject:"shepherd's macaroni" -from:heinz' finds all messages with "shepherd's macaroni" in the subject that were not sent from an email address or name containing "heinz".

() - Group search terms or expressions.
Examples: "subject:(shepherd macaroni)" finds messages that have both "shepherd" and "macaroni" somewhere in the Subject line (but not necessarily as a phrase); "from:heinz (subject:(shepherd OR macaroni) OR label:toodoo-doll)" finds all messages from a sender who has "email.guide" in their name that either have "shepherd" or "macaroni" (or both) in the Subject line or appear under the label "toodoo doll".
Comments