Recently, I covered 13 tips to enhance searching on Google, and this time we will talk about searching in Gmail and finding the right email you are looking for. I have complied some Gmail search operators and some other tips that will give you the most precise and exact results.
1. Find Emails With The Sender’s Name
You can find emails from a particular person using the from: operator. Just add from: in front of the person’s name, like from: Mstoic, which will return all the emails sent by Mstoic.
You can also use the email address in place of the name of the sender. It will display results only from the exact email address (more precise).
from: [email protected]
2. Finding Email Messages By Size In Gmail
If you are unfortunately nearing the Gmail account limit of 15 GB, then try deleting some emails with larger size (with big attachments). But doing that can be very difficult if you receive tons of emails. This is where the larger: operator comes into play. Just perform a search in Gmail like larger:30M which will return only the emails that are greater than 30 MB.
Similarly, you can also use smaller to find messages that are smaller than a certain size.
3. Find An Email That Does Not Have A Particular Word
If you want to find an email that does not contain a certain word, then try adding the (-) sign before the word that needs to be eliminated. Searching for Google -Search will list all the emails that have the word Google but not the word Search.
4. Filter Emails By Date
If you know the date of the email you are looking for, then you can filter out the emails by date using the after and before keywords.
Searching with the above phrase will give you all the emails that were received before April 16, 2014. You can also use both after and before operators together to get the emails between a specified time period, as in the example below.
after: 2014/04/16 before: 2014/04/24
5. Searching The Emails Containing The Exact Term
Adding a plus (+) sign before a string will show the emails containing the exact term. Like searching for +force will give the results that have force in them and not forces or forcing.
6. Get Only The Emails That Have Attachments
If you are looking for an email that you remember has an attachment, then try searching for has:attachment to get only the emails with attachments. You can also combine multiple operators together to get more precise results in Gmail.
from: John has:attachment
7. Get Emails That Have All The Words You Specify
By default, Gmail returns all the messages that match any word you search for. If you want to get emails that have all the words in the search box, then wrap them in round brackets ().
The above query will return only the emails that have both Google and Search in them.
8. Search For An Exact Phrase In Gmail Emails
If you are looking for an exact phrase in Gmail, then try wrapping the phrase in double quotes(“phrase”) and search that in Gmail.
"Schedule an interview"
The query will give you only the emails that have the exact phrase that you specify.
9. Search Emails Everywhere
When you do a search in Gmail, it searches in all the folders except the trash and the spam folder. If you want to include these folders too, then try adding in:anywhere in your search query.
in:anywhere Searching Everywhere
Similarly, if you want to search in specific Gmail folders, then use the “in” in your query as stated below.
- Search in the Inbox – in:inbox
- Search in the trash folder – in:trash
- Search in the SPAM folder – in:spam
10. Get Only The Starred Messages
If you are looking for a particular message from someone that you know was starred by you, then try adding the is:starred string to your search query.
11. Use The OR Operator To Get Messages That Match Either Of The Query
You can use the OR operator to get results that match the query at either side of OR operator.
from:Steve OR from:John
The above search query will return all the emails from both the senders – John and Steve.
12. Finding Emails With The Name Of Attachment
If you are searching for an email that had an attachment, and you remember the name of the attachment, then you can search like so.
If you just know the format of the file, then try typing the extension only.
These were the most useful search operators for Gmail. To see the full list, check out Google’s official page on Gmail search operators.