Find items by doing a basic search in Outlook for Mac

Do a basic search in Outlook

You can use the search box on the toolbar to search in the current folder or view.

  1. Go to the folder or view that you want to search, such as Mail, Calendar, or People.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the Outlook window, enter your search word or words in the search box Search box .

    Outlook displays the search results on the Search tab.

    Note: To perform a comprehensive search of all Outlook files (regardless of folder or view), choose All Items. This option is available in all views. Note that every time you switch views, you will need to re-enter your search words.
    Shows the All Items button on the Search tab

  3. Choose where you want the search function performed. The options available will depend on which folder or view you're searching in.

    • In Mail: You can search in Current Folder, Subfolders, All Mail, or All Items.

      Shows the Mail search options

    • In Calendar: You can search in Current Folder, All Events, or All Items.

      Shows the Calendar search options

    • In Contacts: You can search in Current Folder, All Contacts, or All Items.

      Shows the Contacts search options

    • In Tasks: You can search in Current Folder, All Tasks, or All Items.

      Shows the Tasks search options

    • In Notes: You can search in Current Folder, All Notes, or All Items.

      Shows the Notes search options

  4. When you are finished looking at the search results, on the Search tab, click Close Search.

    Close Search button

    Notes: 

    • If you don't click Close Search, the Search tab remains active. The item list continues to show the search results even if you click another tab, such as the Home tab.

    • An Outlook search includes the file names of attachments but not the text inside attachments.

    • To save a search as a Smart Folder, on the Search tab, click Save Search, and then enter a name for it under Smart Folders.

      Save Search

Search within an item

  1. Open the item.

  2. On the Edit menu, point to Find, and then click Find.

  3. In the Find box, enter your search word or words.

    In the item, Outlook highlights the first instance of your search phrase.

    Shows search results in the Find dialog box and the first instance of the search term highlighted in the Outlook item

    To find the next or previous instance of your search phrase, use the forward or back arrows Forward and Back arrows .

    Note: The keyboard shortcut for searching within an item is COMMAND + F.

You know you have an email message somewhere, but you just can't locate it in Outlook. Don't worry—with the many search options in Outlook for Mac, you can use a combination of different search criteria to find the information you're looking for.

  1. In the Navigation pane, click Mail.

  2. On the Edit menu, point to Find, and then click Outlook Items.

    The Search tab appears.

  3. Define the scope of the search by clicking a scope button on the Search tab, such as Subfolders or All Mail.

    Mail Search tab, group 1

  4. Add any of the following criteria to refine your search:

On the Search tab, click

To search based on

Advanced

Text that appears anywhere in an item.

From

The sender of a message.

Subject

Text that appears in the subject of a message.

Attachment

Whether or not an item has an attachment, or the size of an attached file.

Sent To

The recipients of a message.

Received

The date that you received a message.

Date Sent

The date that a message was sent.

Important

The priority level of a message.

Unread

The read status of a message.

Flagged

The follow up status of a message.

Category

The category assigned to a message.

  1. Note: Some search criteria will require you to enter additional information.

  2. To modify your search by adding or removing criteria, do any of the following:

To

Do this

Add an additional criterion

Click Add search criteria button .

Delete one of your search criteria

Click the Remove search criteria button next to the criterion that you want to delete.

  1. When you are done looking at the search results, on the Search tab, click Close.

    Search tab, Close

    Notes: 

    • The available search criteria are specific to where you are within Outlook, such as Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes.

    • If you don't click Close, the Search tab remains active. The item list continues to show the search results, even if you click another tab, such as the Home tab.

    • An Outlook search includes the file names of attachments but not the text inside attachments.

    • The keyboard shortcut for starting an advanced search is SHIFT + COMMAND + F .

    • To save a search as a Smart Folder, on the Search tab, click Save, and then enter a name for the Smart Folder. Search tab, Save and Advanced

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