Use Instant Search to find Calendar items

Use Instant Search

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Use Instant Search to find things in your Outlook Calendar fast, and learn about scope and more ways to refine your search.

Find Calendar items

  • Open your Calendar, and type a word to search for in the Search box. As you do, the Calendar switches to list view and immediately starts searching, even before you finish typing.

  • If you want to search for items in which the words appear together, add quotation marks around the words.

  • You can also use combining words like AND, OR and NOT. For example, type capital OR between the words, and Outlook searches for any Calendar item that contains any of the words you typed.

Want more?

Video: Use advanced criteria in a custom search folder

Use Instant Search to find messages and text

Learn to narrow your search criteria for better searches in Outlook

Instant Search in Calendar helps you find appointments and meetings fast.

Open your Calendar, and type a word to search for in the Search box, up here.

As you do, the Calendar switches to a list view and immediately starts searching, even before you finish typing.

The list shows all the items that contain what you typed, highlighted in yellow.

Outlook searches all parts of an item, including attendees, subject, location, even the content of attachments.

For example, let’s double-click this item to open it, and then open the attachment, and there is the keyword.

Click the X to close the document and the meeting.

To close Search and return to the previous view, click the X in the search box.

So those are the basics of Instant Search. By the way, don’t confuse it with People Search, up here.

This is for finding people in your contacts or address book.

Instant Search is for finding items in your Calendar. You’ll also find Instant Search in other areas of Outlook.

Click Mail in the navigation bar, and use instant search here for finding email.

Click People and there is an instant search for contacts.

Back in Calendar, let’s say you don’t find what you are looking for. Well, there are a few things you can try.

First, you can check in the lower-left to see how many items are in your search results.

If it is 30, scroll to the bottom of the list, and click More.

Outlook limits results to 30 when you run a search for the first time. After clicking More, you may get hundreds.

However, if you have that many results, you should really try narrowing your criteria.

The easiest way to do that is to simply type another keyword in the search box.

For example, you can add another attendee name or location.

Notice that the number of search results goes way down. The more keywords you can add the better.

If you want to search for items in which the words appear together, add quotation marks around the words.

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

Delete the quotes and type capital OR between the words, and Outlook searches for any calendar item that contains either team or review.

Notice that we get a lot more results this way. Let’s see what happens when we type capital NOT.

Outlook searches for items that contain team, but not review.

You don’t need to type the combining word AND because Outlook assumes you mean AND when you just type words.

Instant Search and the methods we used in this movie may be all you need to find items in your calendar.

But if you have a full Calendar that you have been using for a long time, it helps pinpoint your search criteria.

Check out the next movie, Narrow your Calendar search results, for more ideas.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×