How To Search Email by Date in Outlook?

Last Updated on December 6, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Video: #How to search mail in Outlook by date

Searching a hard drive for information is a common time-saver, but when you are searching for something from several years ago and have a large archive of emails, it can be difficult to find something.

How do I view my email messages by date in Outlook? This question has puzzled millions of users across the globe. The answer lies in the advanced features of Microsoft Outlook.

If you want to view your emails by date, then read on.

You can easily move through your emails by using the arrow buttons at the top of your screen or by clicking on the dates at the bottom of each message.

But what if you wanted to look at your inbox by date? How would you go about doing that?

Well, you can click on the dates button located at the bottom of the window. Select the month, year, day, or week from which you want to view the emails.

Filter facility not only searches attachment types in Outlook but also searches emails by a specific date or date range if you want to find your e-mail between specific dates and it is hectic to just scroll your mouse roller down and reach that required date slot.

In this article, I would like to show you step by step guide on how you can find an email in Outlook search between dates.

The search feature helps you find emails by date range

Search Email in Outlook Within Date Group

When even you received a new email message in your inbox folder, you will get the message on the top of your folder, unless the emails are arranged by date.

In case the emails are not sorted by date in Outlook, Click on View >> Click Arrange from the Arrangement section >> Click date from the drop-down list.

Note: You can also use Keyboard Short Alt + V + AB + D

All your emails are arranged in a group with dates, it is difficult to find emails that fall under specific dates, you can simply collapse the folder which only shows you the dates and days.


It is very simple to find to expand the group, you are expecting the emails.

How to Find Emails from a Specific Date in Outlook?

You have the option to find e-mail messages with Instant Search from your Outlook application.

After Opening the Outlook application, navigate to the top of your screen, and you will get the instant search bar.

Alternatively, you can use some handy shortcuts to open this search tool. You can use F3 rather than CTRL+E or ALT+Q Keyboard Shortcut.

Let’s take an Example:

Suppose I need to search for emails received dated: – 28th of March 2022, Type “received:28-03-2022” in the search bar and hit enter.

Typing ‘received‘ text indicates that we are searching for an email message received and fetch your search results in the search field. To separate the keyword from the dates, you will have to add a colon in between.

Also, if you are entering more than two words in the date section, you will have to add quotation marks to make sure Outlook recognizes the data you have just entered.  

Here are some of the examples you can follow.  

  • Sent: “past month
  • Received: “yesterday
  • Received: “this week

When you remember the day of the week but not the specific date, the above narration must be entered.

How Outlook Search Date Range

The Search option instantly searches out your range of emails according to a specific date range.

For instance: If you like to search mail for a specific date range say – 25/03/2016 to 31/03/2016, Type [received:25/03/2016..31/03/2016] into the search bar and you will get the results instantly.

outlook search date range

Few more points~

  • You can input the date format either way (DD/MM/YYYY or MM/DD/YYYY) the result would be the same.
  • Don’t forget to put (..) between dates.
  • Not a single space is allowed while entering your input, which will disturb the comment and the result would be zero.

Outlook Advanced Search Date Range

Outlook Advanced Search Bar options are available for Outlook 365 and Outlook Web users.

Open Outlook Application.

Click the Search box, then click the Expander icon

Before entering your inputs, you must select the folder you like to search, for instance: Current FolderSubfolders, Current Mailbox, All Mailboxes, or search through All Outlook Items.

Next, use the received section, Enter the Start Date and End Date of the search date range. You can also enter other details like Attachment, Attachment contains, From, Body, To, Subject, and more options, which help in further filtration.

When you finish, hit the Search button. You will get the result of the email received only under the range band. You can also observe the exact text automatically appears in the search bar.

Keyboard Short to open Advanced Search: F3 + TAB + SPACEBAR

Find Email in Outlook Before or After Specific Date Range using (<=) Symbol

Everybody uses the filter function using [“<=” or “>=”] symbols in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook also makes your work simpler by searching an email for a specific date range.

Let’s understand How it works.

  • Open Outlook
  • Select your Email Account, in case you have multiple accounts in your Outlook application.
  • Then, click on the search box.
  • Next, in the “Search” ribbon, click on search scope, there are a few options in the dropdown list and select according to your requirement.
  • For instance: select the “Current Mailbox” button in the “Scope” group.
  • After that, input the criteria “received: <=2020/5/21” in the search box. you can change the date according to your requirements.
Find Email in Outlook for specific date range using symbol

The result is clear, you can find emails from the “specified date” till today.

How to Search for Email by (Date Range) with Advance Find Feature?

Outlook’s advanced search feature is a professional method to search emails with a specific date range, Before or after the date, you can easily arrange your filter according to your scope.

Keyboard Shortcut to Open Advance Find Feature – Alt + Shift + F

Let’s dive in with different steps:

  • Select your Email and the folder (like – Inbox) and click Search Tab >> Search Tools >> Advanced Find
Outlook advanced search feature
  • Advance find opens a separate dialog box, there are multiple options and features available for the user.
Outlook Advanced Find
  • Select Advanced
look for message

Every feature is important in advanced find advance find icon

  • First Select what are you looking for –
  • Secondly, you must select the folder (Inbox, Sent, Trash, Spam), you can select multiple folders at the same time, Click Browse and you must select the specific folder where you want your filter to work.
Select folder in advance find

You can also clear all to reselect your choice.

  • Now after selection, your folder says inbox Click OK
  • Select Field >> Received, Field option gives you tons of options where you want to arrange your search.
All Mail fields
  •  Select your condition, it consists of options but only four options allow you to punch specific dates (what we are learning in this article).
Condition and value
  • Now it’s time to enter the dates in the value area mentioned above in the snapshot, after selecting your condition.
  • Select the between from the drop-down condition.
  • In the Value column, you must enter the dates in particular format <date> and <date>, both the dates are separated by (AND) for instance – {<01/04/2019> and <30/07/2019>}.

Note: – You can input the date format either way (DD/MM/YYYY or MM/DD/YYYY) the result would be the same.

  • Finally, click Add to List.
outlook date search
  • Your Filtered criteria are added to the list, Outlook also allows you to add multiple criteria at the same time and all of them are added to the list.
  • Click Find Now
Search Emails By Date

A specified or filled list comes up, and you can easily scroll down and check the list of emails, which is between specific dates.

For the other access criteria like (on, on or after, on or before), the process is exactly, and you must enter a single date in particular format <date>.

How do I add a Search Tab in Outlook?

Most of the users are complaining that the search tab is missing in Outlook, don’t panic, here are a few steps to fix it.

  • Step 1 – Click file >> options >> customize ribbon >> Select All tabs from (choose commands from).
how to add search fields in outlook
  • You will find the search bar option, select it, and click the add button.
  • Now you can see the search option added to the main tab and click OK.
search tab is missing in outlook
  • Finally, the search tab is added to your ribbon.

Outlook Advanced Search Keyboard Shortcut

Simply click (Ctrl + Shift + F) from your keyword, Advance search ribbon appears.

Outlook search not working properly

There are a few adjustments required to improve the results outlook provided according to your input data.

Incomplete Search Results

Many Outlook users encounter issues with search by date not working, resulting in incomplete search results.

This issue generally occurs when the indexing of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office system data files (the search catalog) is not complete.

To resolve this issue, we recommend rebuilding your Instant Search catalog.

This action refreshes the search catalog, ensuring accurate search results are displayed when users search for emails by date.

It’s also helpful to update your Outlook software and use the Windows Search Troubleshooter to fix potential issues related to outdated programs or indexing errors.

By keeping your Outlook up to date and troubleshooting regularly, you enhance the overall search functionality and user experience.

Missing Emails in Search

Another common issue faced by Outlook users is the inability to find specific emails when searching by date.

In some cases, users might be looking for older emails that aren’t displayed in the search results.

To address this issue, try using filters to narrow your search and show older email messages.

Additionally, always double-check the configured indexing options and Indexed Locations to ensure that all relevant folders and mailboxes are included in the search.

Missing emails could be a result of incorrect indexing settings, which can be updated to include all necessary locations.

In conclusion, by following the above recommendations, you should be able to resolve common Outlook search issues related to incomplete search results and missing emails.

Update and Indexing Issues

Outlook Updates

We often find that issues with Outlook search by date not working can be due to outdated software.

It’s essential to keep your Microsoft 365 applications, including Outlook, up-to-date to ensure the latest features and bug fixes.

Make sure you have the most recent updates installed for your version of Outlook to prevent possible search issues.

If you notice that your search is not returning recent emails, especially after an update like Windows update KB5008212, it’s important to check for additional updates and install them.

Indexing Options

Another possible reason for search issues in Outlook can be the indexing settings. Incomplete or incorrect indexing can lead to partial or no search results.

To ensure optimal search performance, we recommend inspecting your Outlook Indexing Options.

  1. Open Outlook and click on ‘File > Options > Search’.
  2. Click on the ‘Indexing Options’ button.

Here, you can verify if the location of your OST file is included in the indexed locations. If not, add the OST file location by clicking on ‘Modify’ and including it in the indexed locations.

For a more comprehensive troubleshooting approach, you may want to try the Windows Search Troubleshooter to identify and resolve any potential issues with indexing.

In some cases, rebuilding the search index may be necessary to fix the search function. To rebuild the index, follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘File > Options > Search‘.
  2. Select ‘Indexing Options‘ and click on ‘Advanced‘.
  3. Under the ‘Index Settings’ tab, click on the ‘Rebuild‘ button.

Please note that rebuilding the index can take some time, especially if you have a large number of items to be indexed.

After the process completes, you should notice a significant improvement in your search results.

By keeping your Outlook updated and maintaining appropriate indexing options, you can ensure proper search functionality and minimize potential search issues.

Outlook Search Tools and Settings

Outlook provides various tools and settings to help users find the information they need.

In this section, we will discuss advanced search options, and IMAP and POP settings to improve your Outlook search experience.

Advanced Search Options [Outlook unable to find old emails]

Outlook’s advanced search options allow users to specify different criteria to find emails more efficiently.

To access these settings,

  • Go to File > Options > Search. Here, we can configure indexing options to optimize our search results.
  • Select the (Include messages from the Deleted Items folder in each data file when searching in All Items) checkbox
  • Also, select (Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown)
Include messages from the Deleted Items folder in each data file when searching in All Items
Improve search speed by limiting the numbers of results shown

Some fields we can search by include keywords, sender, subject, and date range.

Be aware that the search performance might be affected by the size and complexity of the indexed data.

If you’re facing issues with Outlook search, consider rebuilding the search catalog to rectify the problem.

IMAP and POP Settings

IMAP and POP are two common email protocols that impact how your emails are stored and retrieved.

Ensuring proper configuration of these settings is crucial for optimal search performance in Outlook.

  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): IMAP allows you to access your emails from multiple devices, as messages are stored on the mail server until deleted. To configure IMAP settings, go to File > Account Settings > Email > Change > More Settings > Advanced. Ensure that your incoming server (IMAP) and outgoing server (SMTP) settings are correct, as these can impact the search functionality.
  • POP (Post Office Protocol): POP downloads emails to your device and removes them from the mail server, thus restricting access to downloaded messages from other devices. To configure POP settings, follow the same steps as for IMAP, but choose POP instead. The search for POP accounts might be slower, as emails are downloaded to your local device.

By considering these advanced search options and IMAP/POP settings, we can ensure optimal search performance in Outlook and make it easier to find the relevant messages when needed.

Troubleshooting Outlook Search

Restarting Outlook

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. If you’re experiencing issues with Outlook search by date not working, we recommend starting by restarting Microsoft Outlook.

This can help to resolve any minor glitches or hiccups that may be causing search-related problems.

To restart Outlook, simply close the application and wait a few moments before relaunching it.

If the issue persists after reopening Outlook, you might consider restarting your computer as well to ensure a fresh system environment for the application.

Windows 11 Compatibility

With the release of Windows 11, some Outlook users may face compatibility issues, particularly when using the search function.

It’s essential to ensure that both your Windows operating system and Microsoft Outlook are up-to-date to maintain optimal compatibility between these applications.

Check for updates by going to Settings ➝ Windows Update. If you find any pending updates, install them and restart your computer.

Now, let’s address some specific entities that can affect Outlook search:

  • Registry Editor: Making changes to your system’s registry can have unintended consequences, so we recommend using the Registry Editor only when you have a clear understanding of the process. If you suspect an issue with the registry is affecting Outlook search, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable colleague or seeking assistance from Microsoft Support.
  • Microsoft Outlook: Ensure that your Outlook application is working properly and is not causing other issues, such as slow performance or crashing. This can help to rule out problems with the application itself rather than it being solely related to search functionality.
  • Value: Be mindful of the search parameters you’re using when trying to find items by date in Outlook’s search feature. Check your search function settings to make sure that they correspond to your desired search scope and targets.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that maintaining a clear and confident tone while troubleshooting can help create a better understanding of the issue at hand.

Keeping a neutral and knowledgeable perspective when working through potential solutions can enhance the overall experience and lead to a more effective resolution.

Modifying Registry and Group Policy

In this section, we’ll cover two possible solutions for resolving Outlook search-by-date issues: Registry Editor Tweaks and Local Group Policy Changes.

Follow the instructions carefully to ensure the proper functioning of your Outlook search.

Registry Editor Tweaks

To modify the Registry to fix the Outlook search-by-date issue, please follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box, type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows SearchIf the Windows Search key is not present, you can create it by right-clicking the Windows key, selecting New > Key, and naming it “Windows Search”.
  3. Right-click on the Windows Search key, choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and name it PreventIndexingOutlook.
  4. Double-click the PreventIndexingOutlook value and set its value data to 1. This disables Outlook indexing for Windows Search.
  5. Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer for changes to take effect.

After applying this tweak, check if the Outlook search by date function works as expected.

Local Group Policy Changes

Another approach to fix the Outlook search issue is to make changes in the Local Group Policy Editor. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box, type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
  3. In the right pane, locate and double-click the Prevent Indexing Microsoft Office Outlook setting.
  4. Set the policy to Enabled and click OK.
  5. Close the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

By altering these settings, you should notice an improvement in Outlook search performance related to date filtering.

Ensure you carefully follow the outlined steps to avoid any disruptions in functionality.

Outlook Filter by Year

Searching for Emails received in the current years is also quite simple, you can use the date and options, enter the Star date 01-01-2021 and End date 31-12-2021, and you will get the results of emails received in your inbox folder.

Apart from that, there is another option to find emails received and sent in current years quickly.

Click on the search Bar, Type ‘received:this year, you will get emails received within a date range from the year starts and till date or the end of the year.

You can also Type ‘send:this year‘ in case you are searching for emails sent in a current year.

Outlook Web Search by Date

The interface for Outlook on Windows is similar to that on the web, similarly, outlook web filters by date range or a specific date.

For instance: Like to find an Email received dated 28-07-2022, type ‘received:28-07-2022’ in the search bar, and you will get the results of emails received on 28-07-2022.

Final Words

In conclusion, Outlook search by date with this search option, your Outlook email search becomes very flexible.

You can search email by date, date range, date month, date week, date month year, date week year, and date quarter year. Your Outlook email search becomes extremely easy with this search option.

As a result of knowing the above information, you can now easily search email according to your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I find emails within a specific date range in Outlook?

To find emails within a specific date range, you can use Outlook’s built-in search feature. Click the search box at the top of the window and go to the Search tab.

Look for the Received filter field, where you can enter your desired start and end dates.

Alternatively, you can use the pop-up calendars to select the date range by clicking the arrow next to each date field.

What is the process of sorting emails by date in Outlook?

To sort emails by date in Outlook, simply click the “Arrange By” or “Sort by” option at the top of your email list, and choose “Date.”

This will arrange your emails chronologically, either in ascending or descending order, depending on your preference.

How do I resolve the Outlook search by date not working issue?

If you’re experiencing issues with searching by date in Outlook, you can try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check if you’re using the correct search syntax. Ensure that your query includes the proper keywords, such as sent or received, with the corresponding dates.
  2. Consider rebuilding the Outlook search index. This can be done by navigating to File > Options > Search and clicking on “Indexing Options”.
  3. Update Outlook to the latest version, as updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements.

What is the method to count emails within a date range in Outlook?

To count emails within a date range, first search for the emails within the specified date range using the search feature, as outlined earlier.

Once the results are displayed, simply check the status bar at the bottom of the Outlook window – it will display the total number of items found in the search.

How can I search for emails sent before or after a specific time in Outlook?

You can search for emails sent before or after a specific time using Advanced Query Search (AQS) in Outlook. In the search box, type the following syntax:

  • For emails sent before a specific date: sent:<date>
  • For emails sent after a specific date: sent:>date

Replace <date> and >date with the actual date in the format MM/DD/YYYY.

What are the steps to search by date range in Outlook 2016?

To search by date range in Outlook 2016, follow these steps:

  1. Click the search box at the top of Outlook.
  2. From the Search tab that appears, click on “This Week” or “Last Week” to see emails from a predefined period.
  3. To define a custom date range, use the Received filter field and enter your desired start and end dates.

Please note that the process for searching by date range in Outlook 2016 is similar to other versions of Outlook.

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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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