Use Instant Search to find messages and text

Narrow your search results

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If movie 1, "Use Instant Search to find messages and text", didn’t give you what you are looking for, you can try some other methods to narrow your search.

Filter email messages

When searching for a particular message, you might remember that it contained an attachment, was marked important, or was received last week. To find a message based on certain criteria, the Filter Email command provides fast access to the most frequently used Instant Searches.

  • Click HOME, and then in the Find group, click Filter Email.

    When you use a filter, the same SEARCH TOOLS tab appears on the ribbon as when you click in the Instant Search box. To clear the search results and view all items in the selected mail folder, click X in the Instant Search box, or on the SEARCH tab, in the Close group, click Close Search.

Want more?

Find a message with Instant Search

Filter email messages

Find people and contacts

You may have thousands of messages stored in your mailbox.

But there is no point in saving them if you cannot find a message when you need it.

If the methods we used in Movie 1, Use Instant Search to find messages and text, don’t give you what you are looking for, you can try some other things to narrow your search.

First, you can search for things other than text. Go to the HOMEtab and in the Findgroup, click Filter Email.

Here you can search for Unread email, or email that contains attachments.

Click Important to see all the mail marked with High Importance.

Notice that when you choose an option, Outlook enters special search script in the Instant Search box. So if you want, you can add something to the criteria.

For example, we could type OR 'Patti' to view all important email and all email that contains 'Patti'.

Let’s click the X to close this search, and click the Instant Search box again.

When you do that, the SEARCH tab opens on the ribbon.

Over here, you’ll find Scope options.

These are the same options you get when you click the arrow on the right side of the Instant Search box.

The Refine group has all the options we found in Filter Email and a lot more.

Click Subject and Outlook adds search script to the Instant Search box.

Type a keyword, and Outlook limits its search to the Subject line of the email.

Click More to find a lot more ways to refine your search. Let’s try Sensitivity.

With this option, you need to choose a sensitivity level.

Open the list and choose Private. And Outlook searches for all the emails marked as Private.

Let’s close this search and look in the Options group. Click Recent Searches.

This is where you go if you want to repeat a search, but don’t want to enter all the criteria again.

Click Search Tools. Chances are that you won’t need the options in here very often, except for one. Click Advanced Find.

This is the tool that you use when all else fails.

You can do everything here that you can do on the Instant Search tab, and then some, for example, let’s type a search word, and click In, and choose Subject field and message body. Then, click Browse.

Now, the scope is set to Inbox. Let’s check the whole mailbox and uncheck Inbox.

And at the bottom, check Search subfolders, click OK, and then Find Now.

The search results we get, down here, are pretty much the same as those we got when we simply typed a word in Instant Search.

So why go through all this extra work? Well, because you have a lot more choices.

In fact, you can click the More Choices tab to see what I mean.

For example, down here, you can search by the size of the message.

First, click New Search, and OK to start a new search. Click the first box, and choose Greater than.

Then over here, type a size in kilobytes.

Click Find Now, and Outlook finds all the messages that are larger than 800 kilobytes.

Finally, there is the Advanced tab. Here you can perform the ultimate search.

Look for anything in any field in any Outlook item.

Check out the links in the course summary at the end of this course to see how to set up the options here.

So, when you need to find something in your mailbox, start by typing search words in the Instant Search box.

But if you need more help, try Filter Email or the options on the SEARCH tab.

If you still can’t find what you are looking for, check out Advanced Find.

For more information, check out the links in the course summary.

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