Monday, November 27, 2023

How to Master Microsoft Outlook Search

Have you ever found yourself sifting through hundreds of emails in your Microsoft Outlook inbox, trying to find that one important message? 

Ever wished there was a quicker way to locate specific emails?

Here's a Cool Back-to-Work-Monday Tip.  Use Microsoft Outlook Search Operators.

Here's how to do it.
  • Open Microsoft Outlook.
  • Navigate to the Search Box, located at the top of the Outlook window.
  • Type in the specific search operator you wish to use. 
    • For example, from:(sender) will show all emails from a specific sender.
  • Press Enter to display all emails that match your search operator.

But wait...  

There's a even Cooler Cool Tip.  Use the Outlook Search Filter screen.
  • Press and Hold the Filter icon to display search screen.

Outlook Search Screen
fig. 1 - Outlook Search Screen

  • Use the screen to enter your search criteria in one or more fields.
  • Then press Search to see the results.
But if you want to enter your own search operators, there are a number of operators that you can manually enter in the main search box.

Enter your search criteria in the Search box at the top of screen.

fig. 2 - Outlook Search

Using search operators can drastically reduce the time spent looking for specific emails, making your work more efficient.

Here are a few examples of search operators you can use:

Shows all emails from a specific sender.

Shows all emails with a specific keyword in the subject line.

NOT operator: 
This operator is used to exclude emails that contain a certain word.

OR operator: 
This operator is used to include emails that contain any of the specified words.

[ ] operator: 
This operator is used to search for empty fields.

This operator searches the To line for emails addressed to a specified recipient.

This operator searches the Cc line for specified email recipients.

This operator searches for emails sent or received before the given date.

This operator searches for mail sent or received after the given date.

This operator searches for mail sent or received on the given date.

This operator searches for mail in the specified folder.

This operator searches mail messages that have at least one file attachment.

Remember, by default, you will be searching with the AND operator which you do not have to specify in your search. 

You can use the OR operator if you want your search results to also include items for which only a single condition is met. 

You can combine this field with the NOT operator to find items for which any value is selected.

For a full list of search operators, check out this Microsoft Support page.

That's it.


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