How does Outlook Search for Emails with Attachments? [Example + Shortcut]

Last Updated on May 7, 2023 by Amit Bansal

In the inbox of Microsoft Outlook, you can see the message with an attachment.

For convenience, Outlook has incorporated toolbar buttons to display or hide the attachment.

However, if you want to delete or move to a folder all attachments from the inbox, you cannot do it from Outlook’s tools bar.

You can only select one attachment and delete it from messages received.

In this article, you will learn the method “How does Outlook Search for Emails with Attachments?

Search for Emails with Attachments

Looking through your emails for that one message you need–the one with an attachment?

Tired of searching through your inbox for that document or picture?

There is now an alternative that gives you the ability to search through your email for attachments.

There is a couple of smart methods you can sort and find out if the emails have attachment. Outlook consists of built-in search filters that will show you messages that contain attached files.

Use Search Bar to Find attachment Emails

The outlook Search bar helps users to find emails available in the Current Mailbox (By default) or you can change the folder before entering the Search Keyword.

Click on the search bar and place your cursor in that box, type ‘hasattachments:yes‘, and then click Enter.

All emails having attachments are filtered and have been listed.

You can find out buried emails from the list having attachments very easily.

Use Search Tab to Find Attachment Emails

Search Bar and Search tab both are interlinked with each other, the result would be the same. Click on the search bar and place your cursor in that box, which Enables Search Bar Tab in the ribbon.

The next step is to select the mailbox, under the scope section, you can select All Mailbox, Current Mailbox, Current Folder, Sub Folder, and All Outlook Items to find attachment emails.

Once you selected the folder, click on ‘Has Attachments’ under refine.

Again, all emails having attachments are filtered and have been listed, the result would be similar to the above example.

Keyboard Shortcut to Find Emails with Attachment:

Step 1: Click Alt + Q1, then JS2.

Step 2: Click ‘A’ to All Mailbox, ‘C1′ to Current Mailbox, ‘CF’ to Current Folder, ‘SU’ Sub Folder, and ‘OL’ to All Outlook Items.

Step 3: Click ‘JS1‘ to select Has attachment.

Discloser: If you have not observed, when you type ‘hasattachments:yes‘ in the search bar, Has Attachments’ under refine is also selected automatically.

Once you sorted all your attachment emails under one roof, you should further filter the result emails into various outcomes.

  • Search for Large size Attachment
  • Search Attachment from a specific person
  • Filter Attachments with Extension

Arrange Large Size Attachments in Outlook

Search Tab brought all your emails having attachments in your folder, now if you want to arrange large-size attachment emails both in (Largest of Top or smallest on Top) in Outlook. Here is the step-by-step method.

By default, all the emails are arranged by date, the latest email on top, and so on, all have attachments, and the emails that don’t have attachments are hidden.

Click on the expander and Click Size from the drop-down list.

You already have emails with attachments in the folder, now email messages have large size attachments arranged on the top and small on the bottom.

You can also reverse the sequence by clicking on the small upward arrow, which results in small size emails on the top and bigger size emails on the bottom.

How to Find Emails received from Specific person from List of Emails with Attachment

Once you get all the email messages having attachments on your screen, you can further easily find out or filter the emails received from a specific person.

Go to the Search tab, folder, and Has attachment button been already clicked (the color difference is clear) Refer to the image below:

Click on the ‘From’ tab, which will add a new phase in the search bar [from: “Sender Name”] along with [hasattachments:yes], Now you need to replace the Sender Name text with the email address or the name of a person.

You will get the list of emails having attachments that are received from the sender “Ahrefs“. You will reverse the search first from “Ahrefs” and then “has attachment” the result would be the same.

Filter Email having attachments with Extensions in Outlook

You have a list of numerous emails having attachments, but still, there is a problem,

How can I search for a specific type of attached file?

For instance, search for emails having .docx, .pdf, .xlsx or .zip files etc.

There is a catch!

You can search for specific attachment file formats by entering the extension command in the search box.

For example, you need to further filter the email message having attachments by [.pdf file].

Type ext:pdf along with ‘hasattachments:yes

Emails having attachments are further filtered with extensions having PDF Files. There are numerous varieties to find out attachments with extensions, these articles cover all the different ways to use extensions.

That’s the beauty of Microsoft Outlook.

Bonus Tip: In case you are willing to find an email having attachments with a specific extension like a PDF file, there is another short route to find those email messages, you can use type ext: extension in the Search Box.

For Example: Replace pdf with the extension “ext: pdf”, all the emails having PDF files attached with the email is sorted in the selected folder, that way you can search emails having attachments only with the extension.

There are multiple ways to find attachment extensions.

Advanced Sorting Feature to Find Emails with Attachments

Under the Advanced Sorting feature, you can narrow down the filter and find a specific group of emails having attachments.

Step 1: Open Outlook >> Click on View

Step 2: Click View Setting >> Click Sort from the advanced view setting.

Step 3: Sort Dialog Box appears, which consists of multiple filters to get results, to begin with, the attachment you can further filter three more times and adjust the results in (Ascending and Descending) order according to your choice.

Step 4: Finally, Click OK, and you will get the sorted list according to the specified criteria in (Ascending /Descending order).

How To Use Sort Feature to Find Emails with Attachments

Sometimes, when you are looking for emails with specific attachments, the search can land you with emails without attachments.

How can you find emails with attachments using the Sort feature?

There are a few different ways to search using attachments, but the Sort feature allows you to find emails with attachments.

Here’s how to use this feature.

Step 1: – Open Microsoft Outlook and select your folder (for instance inbox) in which you like to sort emails having attachments from the left navigation section.

Step 2: – Click View Tab >> Arrange by under arrangement section.

Step 3: – From the drop-down list select ‘Attachment’, or you can use Keyboard Shortcut – Alt + V + AB + C

You will get your desired results, all emails listed in a queue having attachments.

There is a shortcut approach to repeating the above method.

  • Select your Folder.
  • Go to the expander on the top right corner where the email list started.
  • Click on the attachment, Emails are sorted with attachments only.

All emails listed below are attachments.

Find Emails with Attachments using New Search Folder

Under New Search Folder you can separate your required email message into a folder that only contains a copy of those emails you filtered.

There are multiple criteria available in Outlook’s new search folder while using it, under this, you will learn step by step method ‘How to Find Emails with Attachments using New Search Folder’.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook, Select your folder (for instance: Inbox).

Step 2: Click Folder Tab >> New Search Folder icon.

(Use Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + P) or Alt + O + SF

Step 3: New Search Folder Dialog Box appears, which consists of multiple options, Select Mails with an attachment from the organizing mail section.

Step 4: Select your email address in case you have multiple email addresses added in your Outlook and Click Ok.

Step 5: With the attachments folder having emails with attachments added under the Search Folder section, you can check in the left navigation section.

Whenever your inbox is hit with an email message having an attachment a copy of that email will be added to this folder also.

How to Search for Emails with Attachment in Outlook having specific keywords.

A regular inbox is flooded with emails on daily basis, and finding a specific email is very difficult, all the above methods are really helpful, but sometimes you only remember the attached file name received in your inbox.

No worries, you can find it very easily, the only thing is the perfect method of approach:

Enter this command in Outlook’s email search box: attachment:<keyword>. Outlook will list emails with attachments that include the keyword.

For instance: “attachment: convert

Outlook will list out emails with attachments that include the keyword “attachment: convert“.

There are multiple combinations for instance: attachment:(my search words) ext:docx to find your buried email message.

Find Emails With Attachment containing <Keyword> in Outlook using Advanced Search Bar

Another method to search Email attachments in the folder using Attachment contains <Keyword> in the advance search bar.

You can find emails with attachments containing specific keywords from the advanced search bar very easily.

Click on the expander arrow in the search bar, and enter the keyword or phrase under Attachment Contain, if the entered name matches the attachment file name, you will get the result of emails.

When sending an email with an attachment, remember to name your files appropriately so that the recipient knows what they are getting. Use short and concise file names before attaching the file to your email. 

That will help both you and your recipient to search the file by its name.

How to Find Email with Attachment using Filter in Outlook?

Sometimes when dealing with a large volume of emails, you might need to find a specific email with attachments.

Outlook filter is another way to find emails with attachments:

Step 1: Open Outlook.

Step 2: Select the folder you like to filter emails with attachments.

Step 3: Click Home Tab >> Under Find group >> click the Filter Emails group.

Step 4: Select ‘has attachment’ from the drop-down list.

You will get all the emails having attachments, at the same time text ‘hasattachments:yes‘ is automatically added to the search bar. Technically this option opens the search bar options, which you have learned in the above option.

Keyboard Shortcut: – Alt + H + L + H

Manually Search Email with Attachment

The Oldest traditional method is searching for the required email manually, selecting your folder, and using the Up and Down arrow key to find that email.

Final Words

In conclusion, Outlook search is not as good as Gmail. When I search for emails with attachments in Outlook, Outlook often will not return any emails even though I do have such emails on my computer.

And I cannot tell Outlook which emails with attachments to return.

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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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