Searching Makes It Easier To Find Things
Hundreds of emails flood our inboxes every day. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to find a specific message when you need it. If you know how to filter emails in Gmail, you can use this to sort new incoming messages automatically… but what can you do to look through messages that are already in your inbox?
Understanding how to search for an email in Gmail will help you quickly locate messages or attachments you need so you can move on with your day. Unfortunately, learning how to use Gmail takes time. But, with this post as your guide, you can master all the nuances of Gmail search operators in no time at all.
Why Use Gmail Search Operators?
Gmail search operators are a keyword you simply add to the beginning of your search terms. This prefix tells the query to only perform the search based on the parameters of the operator. This limits the results that display, which makes it easier for you to locate the message you're looking for. Think of them like Gmail search filters that help you narrow the search based on very specific things, such as who the message was sent to or when it arrived in your inbox.
Many of the leading email providers offer this advanced feature, but many people do not know Yahoo Mail search operators or Gmail search operators even exist. However, knowing all about these more advanced features can help you track down emails in minutes, not hours.
How To Search In Gmail
Believe it or not, figuring out how to search on Gmail isn’t that difficult. You just need to know how to locate and find the search bar, which you can do by following these steps.
- Open Gmail from any web browser.
- Once you are logged in, locate the search bar at the very top of the page.
- Click in the search bar and start typing what you are looking for.
- Gmail will offer suggestions based on what you’ve typed so far, and you can either move down and click on one of them or continue typing and press Enter on your keyboard to go through all of the found items.
- Once you press Enter, Google will provide you with a list of all messages that meet the terms you specified. If you need to narrow the filter further, you can use the items under the search bar to specify the sender, date, whether it has an attachment, and whether the message is unread or not.
- Scroll through the list to find what you’re looking for, and click on the message to open it.
How To Use Advanced Search in Gmail
Performing an advanced Gmail search is a bit more complicated than the basic one, but it’s still a fairly straightforward process. You just need to take a couple of extra steps, which we’ve outlined below.
- Open your inbox.
- Locate the searching bar at the very top of the page.
- Instead of typing in what you’re looking for, click on Show Search Options (the three sliders on the right side of the bar). This will open the Advanced Search menu.
- Enter as many of the terms as you’d like, then press Search at the bottom of the box. (Alternatively, you can press Create Filter to turn this advanced search into a Gmail search filter you can use repeatedly.)
- Results will show based on the criteria you specified. Just like with the basic searching, you can narrow down the results further by using the options directly under the bar.
- Find the message you’re looking for, then click to open it.
How to Search Gmail Mobile App
- Open the Gmail app from your iPhone or Android device.
- Locate the searching bar at the top of the app and tap it.
- Start typing the information you are looking for and hit Enter when done.
- Results based on the data you entered will show. Scroll down until you find the email you’re looking for, then tap to open it.
Advanced Gmail Search Operators You Need to Know
In addition to using Gmail advanced search, you can also use advanced Gmail search operators to help narrow your search terms even further. These operators help you specify certain modifiers within the search. This is especially helpful if you can only recall one or two details about the message you’re looking for.
The most helpful Gmail advanced search operators include:
- -(term) – excludes emails that contain the specified term
- (term or phrase) – looking for emails that contain the specified word or phrase
- +(word) – looking for emails that contain the exact word you entered
- After:(date) – searching for emails sent after the specified date
- Before:(date) – searching for emails sent before the specified date
- Bcc:(name) – searching for emails where the name was listed blind copied
- CC:(name) – looking for emails where the name was listed carbon copied
- Category:(category name) – searching for emails in the specified Gmail categories
- Filename:(name/type of file) – looking for emails with a specific file attachment or type of file attachment
- In:(folder) – searching for emails in the specified folder
- In:(label) – looking for emails with the specified label
- Subject:(word/phrase) – looking for emails with the specified word or phrase in the subject line
- In:anywhere – searching for emails in any Gmail folder
💡 Note: Keep in mind that some of these operators will not work if you are looking for a message sent or received with Gmail confidential mode. This is because Confidential Mode removes data from the body of the message and any attachments so they aren’t visible from within the inbox.
Don’t Think Gmail Search Meets Your Needs? Try Clean Email!
Although Gmail search is helpful, it doesn't offer an entire inbox organization solution for you. Luckily, Clean Email is a mailbox management app not only helps you search for missing messages, but also gives you the tools you need to sort, organize, and automate your inbox in ways you never imagined.
Just like with Gmail, Clean Email lets you search for specific messages based on the sender's address or words and phrases in the subject line. Simply log in to your Clean Email app (or sign up for free), connect your Gmail account, and then use the searching function from your Inbox, All Mail, or any Smart Folder you desire.
Then, you can use advanced filtering tools to group messages or narrow down your results, e.g. filter emails by size.
Clean Email’s benefits go far beyond its searching function, though. You can use the app to clean up Gmail inbox and optimize Gmail far beyond its basic offerings.
For example, you can use the Unsubscriber tool to remove yourself from any mailing list — even if there’s no “unsubscribe” button within the messages themselves.
You can also use Smart Folders to review relevant messages from their folders, labeled based on commonalities Clean Email notices among your messages. Then, you can use the Auto Clean feature to automate routine email tasks, thereby saving you time.
All of these features (and more!) make it easy to customize Gmail and maximize your productivity. The app works with all mail service providers with IMAP.
How To Search Gmail - FAQs
How do I search for an email in Gmail?
You can use the searching bar located at the top of your inbox to look for emails based on the criteria you enter into the box.
Can I search my Gmail by name?
Yes, you can search by name, email address, or many other criteria. In fact, there are even advanced operators that make this incredibly easy.
How do I search Gmail on iPhone?
From your iPhone, you can find the search bar at the top of the Gmail app.
What are Gmail search operators?
Operators are Gmail search filters that help you narrow down the results based on the criteria you specify.
How do I use multiple search operators in Gmail?
Once you enter a single operator in the searching bar, you can start typing another one. Gmail will let you enter multiple ones in and then hit enter to give the most narrowed results.