Create or delete a search folder

Use advanced criteria

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You can perform just about any kind of email search you want, from very simple to very complex. Watch this video to learn how.

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Video: Use Instant Search to find messages and text

Create a Search Folder

With a custom search folder you have many options for entering criteria on the Messages and More Choices tabs.

But if you can’t find what you need there, check out the Advanced tab.

Here you can perform just about any kind of email search you want, from very simple to very complex.

To see how it works, let’s go back and create a new Search Folder.

Right-click Search Folders in the folder list, and click New Search Folder.

Scroll down the list and click Create a custom Search Folder. Then, click Choose.

Type a name for the search folder. Click Browse to determine the scope of the search.

We’ll check just Inbox to narrow the scope. And finally, click Criteria and the Advanced tab.

Let’s start by setting up a simple search. First, you need to define the criteria down here.

Click Field, and let’s look in All Mail fields and choose Importance. Next, we’ll define the criteria.

In Condition, make sure equals is selected. And for Value, select High. Then, click Add to List.

The list contains the active criteria that Outlook will use to perform the search.

So, our search folder will show all mail with an Importance field that equals High. Click OK.

And there are the results. Outlook found three messages in our Inbox with high importance.

Let’s take a closer look at the Advanced tab.

To edit the criteria, right-click the new search folder, and click Customize This Search Folder.

Click Criteria and the Advanced tab. Then, click Remove to move the criteria to the definition area.

Now we can edit the definition or add one over the top of it.

The field list contains just about every type of information in your mailbox, including fields for appointments and contacts.

However, the scope of search folders is limited to your mail, so you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for if you choose a field that’s not related to mail.

So let’s look in All Mail fields, and choose Received.

After you select a field, the list of conditions changes to reflect your choice.

Received is a date, so we can search for mail received yesterday or today, for example. Let’s choose between.

Now because we chose between, we need to enter a value – the two dates between which we want to search. Click Add to List.

And we get a message. Outlook is telling us we need to use this format. No problem. Click OK.

And type a lowercase “and” between the dates. Now click Add to list.

Next click Field again and we’ll add more criteria. All Mail fields and From.

We’ll keep the Contains condition. And in Value type Lesley capital OR Murray.

This criteria will search for mail that contains Lesley or Murray in the From field.

Capital OR is recognized by Outlook as type of criteria connector. Other connectors include capital AND and NOT.

Notice that the first criteria contains a lowercase and.

Because it’s lowercase, Outlook doesn’t recognize it as a connector.

In this case, lowercase and is used by Outlook to separate values when you use the between condition.

If you want to know more about connectors, check out the links in the course summary. Click Add to List.

As you can see, the Advanced tab requires more typing, but on the other hand, you have a lot more flexibility.

If you want to change criteria, select it and click Remove.

Let’s add OR patti, and click Add to List.

Now Outlook will search for mail that contains Lesley or Murray or Patti. Click OK.

So whether you use a predefined search option, or set up a custom search, you can create search folders to help you continuously manage your mail.

Next, learn more about performing advanced searches and using Instant Search. Check out the links in the course summary.

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