How To Search Emails In Gmail Easily

How long have you been using your gmail? If you’re using it for years, then most probably, you have the same dilemma as most of gmail users—having trouble finding past emails.

This is true and understandable. Imagine that you have received an important file weeks ago, but the problem is you can’t remember the exact date or month you have received it. Labeling your email works, but if you have receive hundreds of email from that person, you’ll ended up scanning the entire emails.

If you know how to use the gmail advance search, you can simply skip this article. For the benefit of those who don’t, then this can be a great help.

Truth is, Google knows about our sentiments and figured out a way to make it easier for us to find the mail we are looking for. They have the advanced search operators, the query words or symbols that perform special actions in Gmail search. Now, the only thing you need is—learn to use it.

How to Use Gmail Advanced Search Operators

It is easy to use. You just have to type the operators in Gmail search. Below is the list of the common useful operators that you can use.


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

Example: from:amy OR from:davidMeaning: Messages from Amy or from David
Used to exclude messages from your search
Example: dinner -movieMeaning: Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain
the word “movie”
Search for messages by label**There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages

Example: from:amy label:friendsMeaning: Messages from Amy that have the label “friends”Example:
from:david label:my-family

Meaning: Messages from David that have the label “My Family”

Search for messages with an attachment
Example: from:david has:attachmentMeaning: Messages from David that have an attachment
Search for messages on mailing lists
Example: list:info@example.comMeaning: Messages with the words in the headers, sent to
or from this list
Search for an attachment by name or type
Example: filename:physicshomework.txtMeaning: 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 wordsUsed 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”

Search for messages anywhere in Gmail**Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default

Example: in:anywhere movieMeaning: Messages in All Mail, Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”


Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or Spam
Example: in:trash from:amyMeaning: Messages from Amy that are in Trash
Search within messages that Priority Inbox considers
Example: is:important from:janetMeaning: Messages from Janet that were marked as important by Priority


Search for messages that are starred, unread or read
Example: is:read is:starred from:DavidMeaning: Messages from David that have been read and are marked with a star











Search for messages with a particular star
Example: has:purple-star from:DavidMeaning: Messages from David that are marked with a purple star
Used to specify recipients in the cc: or bcc: fields**Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon

Example: cc:davidMeaning: 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:2004/04/18Meaning: 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.

Search for chat messages
Example: is:chat monkeyMeaning: Any chat message including the word “monkey”.
Search for messages within a particular email address
in the Delivered-To line of the message header
Example: deliveredto:username@gmail.comMeaning: Any message with 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).

More on this page Gmail advancedsearch