Search Mail and People in Outlook on the web for business

Search for messages and people in Outlook on the web by using the Search Mail and People box at the top of the page.

Search in Outlook

  1. At the top of the page, select the App Launcher App launcher button > Mail.

  2. Enter your search keyword in the Search Mail and People box.

    Enter a search keyword in the search box.

    As you type, Outlook offers suggestions such as messages that include the keyword you typed or messages from a contact.

    Tip: If you're searching for a contact, choose the Search People link at the bottom of the list of suggestions to limit the search to your contacts and your organization’s directory.

  3. Select one of the suggestions, or press Enter to see all the possible results.

  4. To clear your search results, select Discard discard in the search box.

Refine your search

After you enter your search keyword in the Search Mail and People box, you can use the navigation pane to refine your search results:

  • In folders: Only search for messages in a specific folder, such as Inbox, Sent Items, and Archive.

  • From: Only search for messages from a specific sender.

  • Options: Only search for messages that match certain criteria, such as messages with attachments.

  • Date: Only search for messages within a certain date range.

A screenshot of the search results nagivation pane.

Advanced Query Search (AQS)

Use Advanced Query Search (AQS), to refine your search results. In the search box, type an AQS keyword from the table below, followed by a colon and what you want to search for. For example, to find messages with a subject that contains “report,” enter subject:report in the Search Mail and People box.

AQS keyword



Searches the From field.


Searches the To field.


Searches the Cc field.


Searches the Bcc field.


Searches the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.


Searches the subject.

Body or Content

Searches the message body.


Searches the date sent. You can search for a specific date or a range of dates separated by two dots (..). You can also search for relative dates: today, tomorrow, yesterday, this week, next month, last week, past month. You can search for the day of the week or month of the year.

Important: Date searches must be entered in month/day/year format: MM/DD/YYYY.


Searches for the date received. You can use the same search terms as for Sent.


Searches the Category field.


A search for hasattachment:yes would return only emails with attachments.

To further specify the emails you want to search, use words or names from the mail in conjuction with the search keyword. For example, blue hasattachment:yes would return only e-mails containing the word "blue" that include attachments.


A search for hasattachment:no would return only emails without attachments.


A search for isflagged:yes would return only emails that are flagged.


A search for isflagged:no would return only emails that are not flagged.

When you use AQS, you can search on multiple search terms, including any, all, or an exact phrase.

  • Subject:product plan will find any message with “product” or “plan” in the subject.

  • Subject:(product plan) will find any message with both “product” and “plan” in the subject.

  • Subject:“product plan” will find any message with the phrase “product plan” in the subject.

Search tips and tricks

Use these tips and tricks to define more precise searches.

  • Keyword searches are not case sensitive. For example, cat and CAT return the same results.

  • When searching on a property:value expression, don't put a space after the colon. If there is a space, your intended value will just be full-text searched. For example, to: JerriFrye searches for "JerriFrye" as a keyword, rather than for messages that were sent to JerriFrye. To search for messages sent to JerriFrye, enter to:JerriFrye.

  • A space between two keywords or two property:value expressions is the same as using AND. For example, from:"Jerri Frye"subject:reorganization returns all messages sent by Jerri Frye that contain the word reorganization in the subject line.

  • When searching a recipient property, such as To, From, Cc, or Recipients, you can use an SMTP address, alias, or display name to denote a recipient. For example, you can use, JerriFrye, or "JerriFrye".

  • You can use only prefix wildcard searches—for example, cat* or set*. Suffix wildcard searches (*cat) or substring wildcard searches (*cat*) aren’t supported.

  • When searching a property, use double quotation marks (" ") if the search value consists of multiple words. For example, subject:budget Q1 returns messages that contain budget in the in the subject line and Q1 anywhere in the message or in any of the message properties. Using subject:"budget Q1" returns all messages that contain budget Q1 anywhere in the subject line.

  • To exclude content marked with a certain property value from your search results, place a minus sign (-) before the name of the property. For example, -from:"Jerri Frye" will exclude any messages sent by Jerri Frye.

Search in People

When you enter a name in the Search Mail and People box in Mail, a Search People option appears. Selecting this option lets you search in People, where your search results will be limited to your contacts and your organization's directory.

To search in People:

  1. Select the App Launcher The App Launcher button. > People.

  2. Type the name of the person, group, or resource you want to search for, and press Enter or select Search Search for support .

  3. Refine your search by searching only in Your contacts or Directory.

    A screenshot of search results in the People page.

  4. To clear your search results, select Discard discard in the search box.

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