Gmail search operators: Find email like an Expert

Gmail search operators: Post contains Gmail normal search, Use of Gmail search operators with example and advance email search information.

Given tips and tricks are for improve your email searching process and find important emails quickly. After reading this post and applying Gmail search techniques, email filter or search no more headache.

Why use Gmail search operators?

Answer is simple, to save time and improve productivity.

Search operators used in email search to get expected result quickly. If you use Gmail normal search, result comes based on multiple criteria. As results have related emails, you need to again find required emails manually.

For example, if you want to find email where sender is “[email protected]”. You can use from: operator and get exact emails in result.

Accurate and quick result saves your time and at last it improves your productivity.

Gmail normal search

Gmail normal search is simple and mostly known and used by all Gmail users. Search usage is simple, user just needs to open Gmail, type search text in search box and hit enter.

Gmail search option
Gmail search option

This feature searches your entered text in emails different parts. Normal search gives matched email with From, To, Subject, Body content and attachment name value.

Gmail normal search is like quick search to filter related email based on particular word/s.

Hot to use Gmail search operators?

Gmail search operators is words or symbols which can used to narrow down user email search results. Operators are easy to remember, gives accurate and quick results. You can also use more than one operator in search.

If you want to know more about search operators and its usage with example, following table is prepared for you.

Email search criteriaGmail search operator and example
Search by sender name or emailfrom:
Example: from:TechPostPlus or from:[email protected]
Search by recipient name or emailto:
Example: to:Ashu or to:[email protected]
Search by cc, bcc (who received a copy) recipient name or emailcc:
Example: cc:[email protected]

Note: You can’t find messages that you received on bcc.

Search world in subject linesubject:
Example: subject:Party
Search email which match with multiple possible termsOR: or { }
Example: from:TechPostPlus OR from:Ashu
Example: {from:TechPostPlus from:Ashu}
Exclude email from result-
Example: party -movie

Find messages with words near each other. Use the number after operator to say how many words apart the words can be.

Add quotes to find messages in which the word you put first stays first.

Example: interview AROUND 5 programmer
Example: surprise AROUND 25 birthday
Search by email lablelabel:
Example: label:work
has: Search operator 
Search emails which has attachmenthas:attachment
Example: has:attachment
Search emails that have Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides attachment or linkhas:drive
Example: has:spreadsheet
Search emails which have YouTube videohas:youtube
Example: has:youtube
Search email that include an icon with specific colorhas:yellow-star
Example: has:blue-info
Search email which have or do not have labelhas:userlabels
Example: has:userlabels
Search emails from a mailing listlist:
Example: list:[email protected]
Search by attachment name or attachment typefilename:
Example: filename:txt
Example: filename:resume.pdf
Search by exact word or phrase" "
Example: "This is secret search"
Group multiple search terms together for any operator( )
Example: subject:(invitation group)
Search email in any folder (in all emails)in:anywhere
Example: in:anywhere hosting
is: Search operator 
Search important, starred, snoozed, unread, or read messagesis:starred
Example: is:unread
Search in chat messagesis:chat
Example: is:chat coffee
Search email by specific time periodafter:
Example: after:2020/06/15
Example: after:06/15/2020
Search email older or newer than a time period using day( d ), month( m ) and year( y )older_than:
Example: older_than:2d
Find send emails which successfully delivereddeliveredto:
Example: deliveredto:[email protected]
Search email by categorycategory:primary
Example: category:social
Categories: primary, social, promotions, updates, forums, reservations, purchases
Search email by its size(larger than) in bytessize:
Example: size:5000000
Email larger or smaller than a given sizelarger:
Example: larger:5M
Search by word exact match+
Example: +pending
Search by header message idRfc822msgid
Example: rfc822msgid:[email protected]

Given search operators can be used single and in combine way. For example you want to search unread email which sends by Ashu and having attachment. In this case search will be from:Ashu has:attachment is:unread.

Gmail advance search overview

Gmail advance search comes with 10 specific filter criteria. If you not want to remember any operators and want simple filter search, you can use advance search option.

Gmail advance search form
Gmail advance search form

Gmail advance search will open when you click down arrow given in search bar. In detailed search form you can search or filter email based on following criteria’s.

  • From: Search email by sender email or name.
  • To: Search email by recipient email or name.
  • Subject: Search in email subject line.
  • Has the words: Search in email content. Email comes in result if searched word exist in it.
  • Doesn’t have: Search in email content. Email not comes in result if searched word exist in it.
  • Size: Search email by greater than or less than size in MB, KB or Bytes.
  • Date within: Search email by time periods.
  • Search: Search email in specific label, folder, category and more.
  • Has attachment: Filter email result by attachment has or not.
  • Don’t include chats: Exclude or include chats message in result.

Gmail search filter in advance search

Gmail search filter provides option to filter existing or upcoming emails based on advance search criteria. Also user can set specific actions on matched email results.

Create filter gives list of option to apply on matched emails. They are Skip the Inbox (Archive it), Mark as read, Star it, Apply the label, Forward it, Delete it, Never send it to Spam, Always mark it as important, Never mark it as important, Categorize as.

If you want to create filter and need detailed process, you can check support doc Here.

Useful resources :

Useful resources for Gmail search and Gmail search operators.