Organize your email

Search and filter email

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Search is a powerful tool to help find email messages anywhere in Outlook.

Search email

  1. Select the search bar.

  2. Type a name, subject, or phrase which is included in the email message that you want to find.

Refine your search results

  1. Select the search bar and type a name or subject.

  2. Select an option to refine or widen your search: All Mailboxes, Current Mailbox, Current Folder, Subfolder, or All Outlook Items.

  3. You can also select a category within the Refine group to further filter your search results:

    • From – only shows results from a specific person.

    • Subject - only shows results based on the subject.

    • Has Attachment – only shows emails that have attachments.

    • Categorized – only shows results that have a specific category assigned to them.

    • This Week - searches by when the email message was received: Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month, This Year, or Last Year.

    • Sent To – searches messages Sent to You, Not Sent Directly to You, or Sent to Another Recipient.

    • Unread – only shows unread messages.

    • Flagged - only shows messages flagged by you.

    • Important - only shows emails marked as Important.

    • More - filters your results based on more advanced criteria, such as Cc or Sensitivity.

  4. Select Recent Searches to run recent searches again.

    Note: Outlook saves only the recent search query, not the results.

  5. Select Close Search to close the Search tab.

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Learn to narrow your search criteria for better searches in Outlook

Create a Search Folder

Find a message with Instant Search

It's easy to find the messages that you're looking for in Outlook.

Every folder has a search bar right inside the folder.

The easiest way to find a message is to click inside the search bar, and start typing.

You can type as much or as little as you know you're looking for.

As you type, your search will be refined and messages will be filtered according to what you type in the search bar.

You can even continue typing and further narrow it down.

If you found the email that you're looking for, you can click on it, or to close out of the search bar, click the X to the right of the search bar.

You don't need to use the search bar to make more refinements to your search.

If I click inside the search bar, a new ribbon tab will appear: the Search Tools tab.

The first thing I can decide is the scope of my search.

On the left hand side, I can choose whether I want to search in all my mailboxes, that is, all my email accounts if I have more than one, just the Current Mailbox, which is currently Landon Hotel because that's what's selected right now.

I can have it search the Current Folder. Right now I'm in the Inbox.

I can also decide whether or not I want to include Subfolders, and we'll be going over Subfolder in a later video.

Finally, I can decide if I want to have Outlook search All Outlook Items, that is, Calendar Entries, Reminders, Tasks and Contacts.

Once I've decided where I want to search, I can then move to the middle of the screen and refine my search.

I'll click the From and choose to search for a message from Leslie.

If Leslie sends me a lot of email, I'm looking for a particular one that I know has an attachment in it.

So I'll select Has Attachment.

Outlook then continues to narrow down the search.

I can further refine my search, for example, I can only search on messages that I've received Today, Yesterday or any of these other time intervals.

I can search on messages that are Flagged, and we'll be going over that, messages that are of High Importance, and I can also click More.

I can search on any of these fields.

Clicking on a new search field will stack more queries.

From here, I can continue to search and I can find just the email that I'm looking for.

If I've spent a long time on a search query, Outlook will save that query under Recent Searches.

If I ever want to come back to it, I can select my search, and Outlook will run it again.

It's important to note that Outlook only saves the query, not the results.

So if I run this search again later, I may get completely different results.

When I'm all done with my searching, I can click Close Search on the ribbon tab and I'll be brought back to my Inbox.

Recent Searches are just that: only searches that you've done recently.

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