How to Use Outlook Search Syntax?

Last Updated on May 7, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Enter your search keywords in the Search box of Outlook if you want to search for specific emails using search operators in the email search. 

It is easy to find the search box in Outlook Online because it is located at the top of the page, in the header.

Whenever a search with a clock icon is suggested, it will return a list of all messages containing the search string in the subject, the body, and even any attachments that are associated with that message.

What is Outlook Search Syntax?

The outlook search syntax is popularly known as Advanced Search, there are different inputs to find the email message/s you are looking for.

Syntex is based on the specific types of resources and keywords you can use and combine the operators and create your search query.

If you are looking for messages from a certain date, the commands before and after can be quite helpful. Here are some examples of search queries and their syntax:

Type thisTo Find ThisExamples
from:“HDFC bank”Searches the From line for emails from a specified sender or domain. It is important to note that double quotes are used so that the search results match exactly what was entered.
In addition, you can also type from: and then the first few letters of a contact’s name, and Outlook will suggest a list of contacts for you to choose from based on the first few letters.
subject:“Keyword”Searching for email/s having a target subject, enter the keyword, double quotes are not mandatory.subject:“bill”
subject:“Keyword” AND subject:“Keyword”It combines terms in the search so that both must be present in the Subject. If there is no combination operator, this is the default.subject:“bill” AND subject:“Nov”

subject:bill AND subject:Nov
subject:“Keyword” OR subject:“Keyword”That will list out all emails whose subjects contain a keyword of bill or nov that are now listed in the mail list.subject:“bill” OR subject:“Nov”

subject:bill OR subject:Nov
has:attachment:Searching for emails having attachments use “Yes” or “True”. Use No and False only for those messages that have no files attached.has:attachment:Yes
size:You can use the size: command to find items based on their size. Make sure you include the unit of size, such as KB or MB when using this command.Size:10MB
messagesize:You can use the messagesize: command to find items based on their size range.messagesize:tiny for message less then 10KB.
messagesize:small for message less then 10KB25KB.
messagesize:medium for message less then 25KB100KB.
messagesize:large for message less then 100KB500KB.
messagesize:verylarge for message less then 500KB1MB.
messagesize:enormous for message whose size is larger than 5MB
received:Searching for emails received in your inbox, there are numerous methods, if you want to find using date, size, name, and specified time (Natural Language)

You can use the same search terms as for Sent.
received: this week
received: last week
received: last month
received: last year
received: Sunday
received: January
received: tomorrow
received: today 

received: January 2017
Find messages flagged for follow-up.hasflag:yes
followupflag:followup flag
ext:Searching for email messages having a specific extension of the attachment.
You can use this directly or in combination with other searches.
ext: pdf or docx
ext: (text or zip or HTML)
ext: zipattachment: <keyword> ext: docx
body:Searching for email/s having a target keyword in the body, entering the keyword, and double quotes are not mandatory.body:“bill”
about:Wondering to find the email for specific text anywhere in the subject, body, or attachment.about:mail
about:mail smartly

You can also use the “and” operator to combine multiple criteria, for example, and subject:”meeting schedule” and received:>01/01/2021

Please note that the syntax may vary depending on the version of Outlook you are using. Also, the above examples are just a starting point, and you can combine these operators and keywords to filter your search.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, Outlook search syntax is a powerful tool for quickly finding the messages you need.

Whether you’re searching for a specific keyword, a specific sender or recipient, a particular folder, or a certain date, Outlook’s search syntax makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

With the ability to search emails with more precision and accuracy, Outlook’s search syntax makes it easier than ever to find the messages you need.

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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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