Use Instant Search to find contacts

Use Instant Search to find contacts

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Instant Search is for searching your personal contacts. And you can see their information in the reading pane, or click a source to view more details.

Find people and contacts

  1. Click People at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Above your contacts list, click the Search Contacts box.

    Note:  You might be tempted to use the Search People box, which is in the top right corner on the HOME tab. That works, but only if you type the person’s name (or part of their name). You cannot use this box to search on things, like phone numbers or addresses.

  3. Start typing the person’s name, or other information you want to search for, like a phone number or company name.

    Tip:  You can search for complete or partial information. For example, if you are searching for someone named Chris Preston, you can type their full name, or simply type “pre”.

  4. Click the person you want from the search results.

Want more?

Find people and contacts

Add a contact

Use Instant Search to find messages and text

Instant Search helps you find people in your contact lists fast.

Click People, click the Instant Search box at the top of the list, and start typing a name.

Outlook searches every part of a contact, not just the name, and narrows the search as you type.

When you find who you are looking for, you can see their information in the reading pane, or click a source to view more details.

To close search, click the X in the search box.

Instant Search works the same, regardless of which view you are in – Business Card, List – you’ll always find it at the top of the list.

But don’t confuse Instant Search with people search up here.

This is most useful for finding people and resources in your address book.

If Outlook is connected to your work email account, you can search for people at work.

Instant Search is for searching your personal contacts.

By the way, you’ll also find Instant Search in other areas of Outlook.

In the navigation bar, click Mail and you can use Instant Search here for finding email messages.

In Calendar, Instant Search helps you find appointments and meetings.

Back in People, let’s look at some other ways to use search.

For example, let’s say we don’t know the person’s name, but we do know they work in the Charlotte office.

That helps, but there are too many results.

You can see how many results there are by checking the number of items, down here.

The easiest way to narrow your results is to add another word to your search criteria.

Let’s say we also know what area the person works in. The more keywords you can add, the better.

You can also use combining words, like AND, OR, and NOT.

If we type capital OR between the words, the results show all contacts that contain either Charlotte or Sales.

Notice the number of items is higher.

If we change OR to capital NOT, we see all contacts that contain Charlotte but not Sales.

AND is another combining word you can use.

But you don’t need to type it, because Outlook assumes you mean AND if you just type words.

One more thing you can change where you search is by selecting a different contact folder.

And if you want to search in more than one folder at a time, you can change the scope.

You’ll learn about scope and more ways to refine your search in the next movie, Narrow your contacts search results.

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