How Outlook Search Attachment Type?

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Microsoft Outlook provides the capability to send emails with attachments, regardless of the attachment type.

Need to locate an email or its sender based on a particular date or other criteria? This article will guide you on how to efficiently search for attachments by file type in Outlook.

There may be instances when you wish to locate a specific Outlook attachment. Even if all you recall is a vague memory of the file (without any knowledge of the sender, time, or even the file type’s name), Microsoft Outlook’s search tools are your answer.

Here we will discuss this common problem.

What is the Extension for Outlook Files?

A file extension is a crucial identifier used predominantly as a suffix to the name of a computer file within an operating system.

This extension typically consists of two to five characters, which stand after the last dot in the filename.

Its primary purpose is to dictate and inform both the operating system and users about the nature or format of the file’s contents.

By doing so, the system knows which application should be used to open the file, and users can get a quick idea about the file’s content type.

For instance, a “.txt” extension indicates a plain text file, which can be opened using a text editor, while “.jpg” refers to an image file.

By understanding and recognizing these extensions, both software applications and end-users can manage, categorize, and access files more efficiently and safely.

Type of Attachments Files (Extensions) used in Outlook

Microsoft Outlook allows users to send and receive a wide variety of attachment types.

While you can essentially attach any file type to an Outlook email, there are common file extensions that users frequently encounter.

Here are some of the typical file extensions (types) that might be used as attachments in Outlook:

  1. Document Files:
    • .DOC and .DOCX: Microsoft Word Document
    • .XLS and .XLSX: Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet
    • .PPT and .PPTX: Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation
    • .PDF: Adobe Portable Document Format
    • .RTF: Rich Text Format
    • .TXT: Plain Text File
  2. Image Files:
    • .JPG or .JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group format
    • .PNG: Portable Network Graphics format
    • .GIF: Graphics Interchange Format
    • .BMP: Bitmap Image
    • .TIF or .TIFF: Tagged Image File Format
  3. Audio and Video Files:
    • .MP3: Audio file format
    • .WAV: Waveform Audio File Format
    • .MP4: Digital multimedia format
    • .AVI: Audio Video Interleave format
    • .WMV: Windows Media Video
  4. Compressed Files:
    • .ZIP: Zipped File
    • .RAR: RAR Compressed Archive
    • .7Z: 7-Zip Compressed File
  5. Data and Database Files:
    • .CSV: Comma-Separated Values
    • .XML: eXtensible Markup Language
    • .MDB and .ACCDB: Microsoft Access Database
  6. Web and Internet Files:
    • .HTML and .HTM: HyperText Markup Language (web page file)
    • .MHT or .MHTML: Web page archive file format
  7. Others:
    • .PDF: Portable Document Format
    • .VCF: vCard File (contact information)
    • .ICS: Calendar file format used by various applications including Microsoft Outlook

Where to find attachments in Outlook?

The Search Bar available in Outlook is very user-friendly, the search bar in Outlook helps you find messages with attachments, with attachments of different file types or common files.

Find messages with attachments of one specified file type

How To Search for a Specific File Type in Attachment

If you want to search Outlook for attachment type or a specific file type having .docx, .pdf, .xlsx, or .zip files, etc. you have to type “ext:” in the Search Box.

The extension is your file type.

For instance: if I need to locate a zip or RAR file that a colleague sent to me via email, I can enter “ext:zip” or “ext:RAR” into the search box.

Search for attachments by file extension

Search for multiple attachment types in a single search

Sometimes you may receive emails with attachments of multiple file types. How can you find emails with two or more different file extensions?

The process is similar to the above example, you must search for multiple file types. The question is How?

For instance, if you are searching for [zip/RAR and docx] file mail, that means you are aware that you have received both types of files in a single mail.

Type: {ext: zip docx} or {ext: rar docx} in the search box.

Now you will find the list of emails containing both zip/rar + Docx files.

how to find lost attachments in outlook

How to find mail with the attachment of at least one file type from different file types.

Let’s understand in simple words.

My colleague sent me a draft for review, but I can’t locate it, and I’m also unsure about the file type.

In that case, I have to use both the file type (OR function)

Type: {ext: pdf or docx} in the search box.

Few Examples

  • ext: (pdf or docx)
  • ext: (xlsx or pdf)
  • ext: (text or zip or HTML)

How Do I Search for Files Containing a Specific Word or Words?

If you want to find the attachment containing specific content, in that case, the [attachment: <specific content>] search command finds out your mail.

You can also instruct Outlook to search specific content (word or words) from the attachment of a particular type.

For instance: [attachment: <specific content> ext: docx]

You can also search by multiple words [attachment: <specific content> <specific content> <specific content> ext: docx]

This command combines the search for specific words inside docx attachments.

How to Find Messages Without Attachments of Specified File Types in Outlook

This is the kind of reverse search that is rarely used by the user. In easy terms, if you want to exclude your search with a specific extension type, you have to type [ext: Not extension]

For instance: –

  • Type input [ext: NOT pdf]
  • Type input [ext: NOT pdf NOT docx NOT text]

Another type in the same category

If you want to include a specific file type and parallelly exclude a specific type, you can follow the command in search of Outlook

  • Type input [ext: docx NOT doc]
  • Type input [ext: xlsx NOT xlx]

How Outlook Search for the sender along with specific file type attachment

We all are familiar with Outlook with the sender names, and the result reveals all the mail sent by the sender, but if you want to search for a specific file type sent by the specific sender, here are a few examples.

Finding a list of emails from your sender is very easy either you can type the complete email address in the search bar or type some initials of the email or just his/her name.

Now along with that Type input [from: <name of sender> ext: <extension>]

Quick Tips to Search for Email Attachments with Specific File Types in Outlook

Typing from before name filter search of emails received directly to you (no CC and no BCC) is included. also, add an extension type and you will get your perfect result on your screen.

There are several multiple search patterns like finding or searching emails with PDF/Excel attachments or other types of attachments in Outlook the user can try according to their search criteria.

This article is very helpful for the reader, please comment below and add your suggestion for more transparency.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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