Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook

By: standss , Apr 23rd, 2013

In the old days, finding an Outlook email meant wading through folders and manually searching for the correct email. Finding emails now is EASY particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results. Here are a few of my favourites.


To look for words anywhere in your email (or contacts, calendar or task lists), simply click in the search box at the top of your emails and type the words that you are looking for.

outlook search tips

In Outlook 2013, you can also change where the Search is done (current folder, current mailbox, all mailboxes etc) directly from the same screen.

In earlier versions of Outlook, the Search is done on the current folder but you can click the hyperlink at the bottom of the search results to search all folders.


The following are some of the tricks that I use to get much better search results.

From: This makes it easy to find emails from a particular person. For example if I want emails from John than I type From:John in the Search box.

To: If I am searching for an email that I sent to someone (say John), I type To:John

CC: In order to find an email that you CCed to someone (say John), type CC:John

OR: Maybe I sent the email to John or maybe I CCed it to him. In this case I can use the OR keyword (OR must be in capital letters). I can type To:John OR CC:John

AND: What if I want to find all emails that I have sent to James and John. I can type To:John AND To: James. The AND has to be in capital letters. This will return all emails that have both John and James in the To field.

I can also use AND to find all emails to James that have the word golf in them by typing TO:James AND Golf.

Exact Phrases: This comes in use where you want to search for words in particular. I may know too many Johns. When I want to find emails from John Smith with the phrase Microsoft Outlook in them. I can type From:”John Smith” AND “Microsoft Outlook”

These tricks have made it much easier for me to find emails. I hope that you find them useful too.

If you have tips of your own, please share it with other readers by leaving a comment on the blog.

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