Search Mail and People in Outlook.com

Search for messages and people in Outlook.com by using the Search Mail and People box at the top of the page.

Search for an email message or contact

  1. Enter your search keyword in the Search Mail and People box.

    Note: If you're using the Outlook.com beta, enter your keyword in the Search box at the top of the page.

    A screenshot of the Search Mail and People box

  2. Exact matches appear under Top results, and other suggestions appear under All results. Select one of the suggested messages or contacts.

    Tips: 

    • If you're searching for a contact, choose the Search People link at the bottom of the list of suggestions to limit the search to your contacts and your organization’s directory. To learn more, see Search in People.

    • To see which folder a message resides in, click the message, and then in the reading pane, look just above the body of the message.

    After you enter your keyword, you can refine your search to only include messages in a certain folder, from a specific sender, with attachments, or within a certain date range. To learn more, see "Refine your search" below.

  3. To clear your search results, select Exit search.

Refine your search

After you enter your search keyword, you can use the navigation pane on the left to refine your search results:

  • In folders: Only search for messages in a specific folder, such as Inbox, Sent Items, and Archive.

  • From: Only search for messages from a specific sender.

  • Options: Click With attachments to only search for messages with attachments.

  • Date: Only search for messages within a certain date range.

Note: If you're using the Outlook.com beta, you may not see the search results navigation pane. For refined search options, you can switch back to classic Outlook.com by clicking Try the beta in the upper right corner.

Use Advanced Query Search to refine results

Use Advanced Query Search (AQS) to refine your search results. In the search box, type an AQS keyword from the table below, followed by a colon and what you want to search for. For example, to find messages with a subject that contains “report,” enter subject:report in the Search Mail and People box.

AQS keyword

Description

Example

From

Searches the From field.

From:JerriFrye

To

Searches the To field.

To:JerriFrye

Cc

Searches the Cc field.

Cc:JerriFrye

Bcc

Searches the Bcc field.

Bcc:JerriFrye

Participants

Searches the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.

Participants:JerriFrye

Subject

Searches the subject.

Subject:report

Body or Content

Searches the message body.

Body:report

Sent

Searches the date sent. You can search for a specific date or a range of dates separated by two dots (..). You can also search for relative dates: today, tomorrow, yesterday, this week, next month, last week, past month. You can search for the day of the week or month of the year.

Important: Date searches must be entered in month/day/year format: MM/DD/YYYY.

Sent:01/01/2017

Received

Searches for the date received. You can use the same search terms as for Sent.

Received:01/01/2017

Category

Searches the Category field.

Category:reports

HasAttachment:yes

A search for HasAttachment:yes returns only emails with attachments.

To further specify the emails you want to search, use words or names from the mail in conjunction with the search keyword. For example, blue hasattachment:yes returns only emails containing the word "blue" that include attachments.

report HasAttachment:yes

HasAttachment:no

A search for HasAttachment:no returns only emails without attachments.

report HasAttachment:no

IsFlagged:yes

A search for IsFlagged:yes returns only emails that are flagged.

report IsFlagged:yes

IsFlagged:no

A search for IsFlagged:no returns only emails that are not flagged.

report IsFlagged:no

When you use AQS, you can search on multiple search terms, including any, all, or an exact phrase.

  • Subject:product plan will find any message with “product” or “plan” in the subject.

  • Subject:(product plan) will find any message with both “product” and “plan” in the subject.

  • Subject:“product plan” will find any message with the phrase “product plan” in the subject.

You can also use AND or OR to search on multiple search terms. For example, you could search for messages from Jerri that include "report" in the subject by entering From:Jerri AND Subject:report in the search box.

Search tips and tricks

Use these tips and tricks to define more precise searches.

  • Keyword searches are not case sensitive. For example, cat and CAT return the same results.

  • When searching on a property:value expression, don't put a space after the colon. If there is a space, your intended value will just be full-text searched. For example, to: JerriFrye searches for "JerriFrye" as a keyword, rather than for messages that were sent to JerriFrye. To search for messages sent to JerriFrye, enter to:JerriFrye.

  • A space between two keywords or two property:value expressions is the same as using AND. For example, from:"Jerri Frye"subject:reorganization returns all messages sent by Jerri Frye that contain the word reorganization in the subject line.

  • When searching a recipient property, such as To, From, Cc, or Recipients, you can use an SMTP address, alias, or display name to denote a recipient. For example, you can use JerriFrye@contoso.com, JerriFrye, or "JerriFrye".

  • You can use only suffix wildcard searches—for example, cat* or set*. Prefix wildcard searches (*cat) or substring wildcard searches (*cat*) aren’t supported.

  • When searching a property, use double quotation marks (" ") if the search value consists of multiple words. For example, subject:budget Q1 returns messages that contain budget in the in the subject line and Q1 anywhere in the message or in any of the message properties. Using subject:"budget Q1" returns all messages that contain budget Q1 anywhere in the subject line.

  • To exclude content marked with a certain property value from your search results, place a minus sign (-) before the name of the property. For example, -from:"Jerri Frye" will exclude any messages sent by Jerri Frye.

Search in People

When you enter a name in the Search Mail and People box in Mail, a Search People option appears. Selecting this option lets you search in People, where your search results will be limited to your contacts and your organization's directory.

To search in People:

  1. In the Search Mail and People box, type the name of the person, group, or resource you want to search for, and press Enter.

  2. At the bottom of the search results, select Search People.

  3. Refine your search by searching only in Your contacts or Directory.

  4. To clear your search results, select Exit search.

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