Create a Search Folder

A Search Folder is a virtual folder that provides a view of all e-mail items that match specific search criteria. For example, the Unread Mail Search Folder allows you to view all unread messages from one location even though the messages may be located in different Mail folders.

Note   To find any message or Outlook item quickly, use Instant Search.

In this article

Default Search Folders

Add a predefined Search Folder

Create a custom Search Folder

Default Search Folders

There are three default Search Folders in the Navigation Pane:

  • Categorized Mail includes items that have been assigned a color category.

  • Large Mail includes items that are larger than 100 kilobytes (KB).

  • Unread Mail includes items that are marked as unread.

Search Folders

Note   Search Folders can be created in other locations for data files such as a Personal Folders file (.pst) or Archived Folders file (Archive.pst). Search Folders cannot contain search results from across multiple data files.

In addition to the default Search Folders, Outlook includes a list of predefined Search Folders. You can customize a predefined Search Folder with your own search criteria.

New Search Folder

You can also create your own custom Search Folder by defining specific search criteria that e-mail messages must meet to be displayed in the Search Folder.

Note   Search Folders in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 support prefix matching in the text strings that you specify. For example, if you want to include all messages with the word "rain" in the Search Folder, the Search Folder will also include messages with words like "raining" or "rainy" but won't include words like "brain."

  When you delete a Search Folder, the e-mail messages shown in the Search Folder are not deleted from their original locations, because those items are only viewed in a Search Folder. However, if you open or select one or more e-mail messages shown in a Search Folder and then delete them, the messages will be deleted from the Outlook folders where they were stored.

Top of Page

Add a predefined Search Folder

  1. In Mail, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Search Folder.

    Tip   To open the New Search Folder dialog box, press CTRL+SHIFT+P.

  2. Click a predefined Search Folder.

  3. If prompted, under Customize Search Folder, specify the search criteria to use.

  4. To select a different mailbox to search, under Customize Search Folder, click the arrow, and then select the mailbox from the list.

Tip   To change the criteria for a Search Folder, right-click the folder, click Customize this Search Folder, click Criteria, and then change the criteria. The criteria of Search Folders in the Reading Mail group cannot be changed.

Top of Page

Create a custom Search Folder

  1. In Mail, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Search Folder.

    Tip   To open the New Search Folder dialog box, press CTRL+SHIFT+P.

  2. Click Create a custom Search Folder.

  3. Under Customize Search Folder, click Choose.

  4. Type a name for your custom Search Folder.

  5. Click Criteria, select the options that you want, and then click OK.

  6. Click Browse, select the folders that you want to be searched, and then click OK three times.

Custom Search Folder

1. Click to create a custom Search Folder.

2. Click to open the Custom Search Folder dialog box.

3. Click to name your Search Folder.

4. Click to specify the search criteria.

Tip   To change the criteria for a Search Folder, right-click the folder, click Customize this Search Folder, click Criteria, and then change the criteria. The criteria of Search Folders in the Reading Mail group cannot be changed.

Top of Page

Applies To: Outlook 2007



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language