What do you do when you want to search something? We google it.
Why google? Because of its amazing search techniques to deliver accurate results.
Google provides the same searchability in Gmail too. Within Gmail searchbox, you can enter a word or multiple words that appears anywhere in your mails.
For more specific search, you can use gmail’s search options nest to to search box. You get most of the options like ‘From’, ‘To’, ‘Subject’ but what if you want to search mails with only attachments or a mail with specific labels. Gmail Advance search operators come handy at this time. These operators are query words or symbols that perform special actions in Gmail search and allow you to find what you’re looking for quickly and accurately. They can also be used to set up filters so you can organize your inbox automatically.
|from:||Used to specify the sender||Example – from:akshay
Meaning – Messages from Amy
|to:||Used to specify a recipient||Example – to:david
Meaning – All messages that were sent to David (by you or someone else)
|subject:||Search for words in the subject line||Example – subject:dinner
Meaning – Messages that have the word “dinner” in the subject
|OR|| Search for messages matching term A or term B*
*OR must be in all caps
|Example – from:akshay OR from:david
Meaning – Messages from Amy or from David
|Used to exclude messages from your search||Example – dinner -movie
Meaning – Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain the word “movie”
|label:||Search for messages by label*
*There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages
|Example – from:akshay label:friends
Meaning – Messages from Amy that have the label “friends”Example – from:david label:my-family
Meaning – Messages from David that have the label “My Family”
||Search for messages with an attachment||Example – from:david has:attachment
Meaning – Messages from David that have an attachment
|list:||Search for messages on mailing lists||Example – list:email@example.com
Meaning – Messages with the words firstname.lastname@example.org in the headers, sent to or from this list
|filename:||Search for an attachment by name or type||Example – filename:homework.txt
Meaning – Messages with an attachment named “physicshomework.txt”
Example – label:work filename:pdf
| ” “
| Used to search for an exact phrase*
*Capitalization isn’t taken into consideration
|Example – “i’m feeling lucky”
Meaning – Messages containing the phrase “i’m feeling lucky” or “I’m feeling lucky”
Example – subject:”dinner and a movie”
| ( )
|| Used to group words
Used to specify terms that shouldn’t be excluded
|Example – from:akshay(dinner OR movie)
Meaning – Messages from Amy that contain either the word “dinner” or the word “movie”
Example – subject:(dinner movie)
|in:anywhere|| Search for messages anywhere in Gmail*
*Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default
|Example – in:anywhere movie
Meaning – Messages in All Mail, Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”
|Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or Spam||Example – in:trash from:akshay
Meaning – Messages from Amy that are in Trash
|Search for messages that are starred, unread or read||Example – is:read is:starred from:David
Meaning – Messages from David that have been read and are marked with a star
| Used to specify recipients in the cc: or bcc: fields*
*Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied<!–
|Example – cc:david
Meaning – Messages that were cc-ed to David
| Search for messages sent during a certain period of time*
*Dates must be in yyyy/mm/dd format.
|Example – after:2008/07/16 before:2008/08/18
Meaning – Messages sent between July 16, 2008 and August 18, 2008.*
*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) July 16, 2008 and before Augut 18, 2008.
|is:chat||Search for chat messages||Example – is:chat money
Meaning – Any chat message including the word “money”.
Important: Gmail doesn’t search in Spam or Trash unless you tell it to.
[Editor Note: This is a guest post by Abhishek Mandloi, a technology enthusiast who writes at www.gtricks.com about google tricks. If you like to guest author here or join us as co-author please check this.]