How To Search Emails In Outlook? [Find a Buried Message Instantly]

Searching for an email message in Office Outlook consist of various criteria.

Some like to search by date, some by the specific word, some are interested to find the specific attachment name in the folder, or some want to search in the sent folder.

Frankly speaking, the list will go on and on.

Here in this article search an email in outlook considering different aspects are covered.

Searching an email in the folder (like Inbox, Sent, Outbox, Draft, delete) by date, word, sender name, receiver name, message type, specific email, or parent email required different actions.

Let’s begin with:

Find Email in Outlook (Instant Search)

There are multiple options to find an email in Outlook. The instant search option is the easiest and fastest way to find an email. Instant search works as a filter to find a specific word message from the bulk message in the folder, you can use the “Instant Search” feature of Office Outlook to quickly find your messages.

How does it work?

To search for a new term, enter the text for which to search in the search bar is just above the email inbox list.

Find Email in Outlook

Enter your keyword and hit enter, in the above search tab there is a magnifying glass button at the right end of the field.

You can select or review previous search terms.

recent search history

Then select a previous search term from the drop-down menu that appears. Either way, Outlook then shows any items that match the search criteria.

How To Refine Search?

Refining the results from emails in your inbox is really the game-changer for the user, there are multiple options and categories available in Office Outlook (search tools), which help to grab your required result very easily.

How To Refine Search In Outlook

You can filter the emails through the following categories.

  • From – You can search from the specific “from” for instance – Name of the sender.
  • Subject – User required to find a specific keyword in the subject line from the mail folder, for instance – Account statement.
  • Has attachment – Can bring attachment results in a row.
  • Categorized – Categorized is the color separation of the particular message, you can easily filter the mails by selecting the specific color.
  • This week – This option is specifically designed to search an email by dates in Outlook. You can select according to your preference and the result is on.

search mail week in outlook

  • Sent to – This option is slightly tricky, there are three options in this category. (Sent To: Me or CC: Me, Not Sent Directly to Me, Sent to Another Recipient)

search mail sent to in outlook

  • Flagged/Important – These two categories are rarely used, but useful for the user.refine more category
  • More: More option contains tons of other variety of options.
  1. Attachment contains
  2. Bcc
  3. Categories
  4. Cc
  5. Due Date
  6. Expiration Date
  7. Flag Status
  8. From
  9. Important
  10. In Folder
  11. Body
  12. Modified
  13. Read
  14. Received
  15. Sensitivity
  16. Sent
  17. Message Size
  18. Start Date
  19. Subject
  20. To

Some of the search options are really great and are popular among users, the majority of users still facing search problems and unable to get the results as expected. I have randomly selected some major options and provide you step by step guide to execute your actions. 

Search from Subject Line

Searching a specific keyword from the message box Instead search box is a toll, have you ever take a real shot.

I like to search for the ‘Progress’ keyword in the subject line.

Most of the users simply enter the word progress in the subject line, which is not absolutely wrong, you can find your findings from the hey.

For searching a specific keyword from the subject line, here is the solution to convert from search into a magnet to just drag those messages having that particular keyword in the subject line.

How to Search Emails in Outlook (subject line)

Here is the step by step guide to finding email using Instead search bar for specific keywords on the subject line.

  • Open Office Outlook >> Click on the search box above the email, it will automatically open up the search tab option for you.
  • Find the refine group and click on the subject.

outlook advanced search

  • You will get the auto-filled message in the search bar [subject:”keywords”], all you have to do is replace the word “keyword” with your search specific.
  • Finally, you can get your results, with the keyword landing in the subject line.
  • Must try ~

For instance:- I enter ‘Closure Keyword’, and what I found from the folder, let’s have a look.

search in subject outlook

You can clearly see the list of mails pop out with that keyword, That how it works.

Search From Attachment

Bring all emails having attachments, easy to find you required to follow simple steps as earlier, the result will bring you a list of emails with attachments.

Here are the steps:

  • Open Outlook >> Click on the search bar above the email, it will automatically open up the search tab option for you.
  • Find the refine group and click on the ‘Has Attachments’.
  • You will get the auto-filled message in the search box [hasattachments:yes], in that case, you don’t have to do anything.
  • Finally, you can get your search results, with the attachments.

Search Email by Date in Outlook

To find an email by the date it is recommended to read this article Search Email by Date in Outlook.

You can also use the refine section (this week). Under this option, your search is not limited to the week, but there are multiple search options.

search mail week in outlook

Selecting any one from the given options, you can observe a specific message appears in the Instant Search field like – received:today, received:yesterday, received:this week, received:last week, received:this month, received:last month, received:this year, received:last year.

Not only that you will get the result accordingly.

Search using sent to option

This is the way to search for emails based on who they were sent to.  search mail sent to in outlook

Clicking on the first option [sentTo:Me or CC:Me] will give you a message in the Instant Search field, which is (to:”Amit Kumar Bansal” OR cc:”Amit Kumar Bansal”). 

You can get the list of emails that are directly in the TO form addressed to you or in carbon copy form.

Clicking on the second option [Not sent Directly to Me] will give you a message in the Instant Search field, which is NOT (to:”Amit Kumar Bansal” OR cc:”Amit Kumar Bansal”) 

The result is quite different you will get the search results of emails that are not directly or in carbon copy form sent to you. The result must be those emails that are sent to you in Bcc form.

Search by Attachment Contains in Outlook

I personally love this feature in Microsoft Outlook search by attachment contains, the only reason is finding those emails having specific keyword name in the attachment.

Naming your attachment file sometimes is the only thing you remember, digging with this toll will attract only those emails having that specific keyword.

How to use search attachments contain?

It is very simple to use, here is a few steps tutorial:

  • Open Outlook >> Click on Instant Search field >> Search Tab appears
  • Click to more in ‘refine section’ >> select attachment contain from the drop-down list.
  • You can see an additional search bar appears just below the Instant Search field, which contains two sections.[ 1. Attachment contains & 2. blank section]
  • The Black section required your keyword, what you want to search.
  • Enter the “keyword”,  Instant Search field automatically filled with (attachment:”your keyword“).
  • Finally, you will get your result if the form of an email with the attachment of your entered keyword.
  • Refer to below snapshot.

Search by Attachment Contains in Outlook

Search Specific Word/Content in Outlook Body

Technically if you want to search a specific word or content or phrase in the body of your email, this section will help you out.

Search attachments contain and search content in Outlook body are almost similar.

How To Search In Email Messages Body/Text In Outlook?

Search in email messages body narrow your search scope for specific keywords in the message body. Without wasting more time drive straight – How To Search In Email Messages Body/Text In Outlook?

  • Open Outlook >> Click on Instant Search Field >> Search Tab appears
  • Click to more in ‘refine section’ >> select body from the drop-down list.
  • You can see an additional search bar appears just below the Instant Search field, which contains two sections.[ 1. Attachment contains & 2. blank section]
  • The Black section required your keyword/text, what you want to search.
  • Enter the “Text”,  Instant Search field automatically filled with [contents:(TEXT)]..
  • Finally, you will get your result if the form of an email with that text available in the body.
  • Refer to below image.

How To Search In Email Messages Body In Outlook

Message Size Sensitivity are some more major filter requirements uses usually require.

Bonus Search Ideas in Outlook 2019

Before repping up the article, one more search idea in outlook, which really turns me crazy. Have you ever realize if you want to filter your search with more than one criteria.

Is it possible Outlook?

Yes, it is.

Here are some search ideas with multiple criteria.

  • What to search for an email with a specific subject and has attachments.

You can select both of them simultaneously and the result is clear in the Instant Search field, you will get the list of emails having closure keywords in the subject, and all emails have the attachment. Refer image.

some search ideas with multiple criteria

  • Another example is if you like to search for email received this week with attachment and also having specific “Text” on the body.

All three commands are easily viewed in the search bar and the results are also clear.

Bonus Search Ideas in Outlook 2019

The Power of Outlook Search

There are multiple permutations and combinations you can try to get your result crystal clear. Most experts even don’t know the things outlook behind it back. Use this as a springboard into learning what else Outlook can do for you.

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