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Master Gmail Search With Simple Commands

Gmail is most popular free webmail service provided by Google. Gmail is famous due to free POP3 and IMAP services which some free webmail provider like yahoo enables in paid version. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a “conversation view” similar to an Internet forum.
Master Gmail Search With Simple Commands
There are around 170 million people using Gmail on 9 February 2010 according to BBC and found new accounts everyday. I am a big fan of Gmail because of fast mail delivery. As I am using Gmail for so many years, all my important emails and documents are stored in my account. Sometimes you need to look up old mails and attachments for some important work. And thanks to Gmail team, it has a smart feature that helps us to search through hundreds of email and attachments.

Gmail also offers a bunch of advanced search operators, which provide a powerful way to find that one message you have in mind. Advanced search operators are query words or symbols that perform special actions in Gmail search. These operators allow you to find what you’re looking for quickly and accurately.

from:Used to specify the
Example: from:amy

Meaning: Messages from Amy

to:Used to specify a recipientExample: to:david

Meaning: All messages that were sent to David (by you or someone else)

subject:Search for words in the subject lineExample: subject:dinner

Meaning: Messages that have
the word “dinner” in the subject

ORSearch for messages matching term A or term B*

*OR must be in all

Example: from:amy OR from:david

Meaning: Messages from Amy or from David


Used to exclude messages from your searchExample: dinner -movie

Meaning: Messages that contain the word “dinner” but do not contain
the word “movie”

for messages by label* 

*There isn’t a search operator for unlabeled messages

Example: from:amy 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”

has:attachmentSearch for
messages with an attachment
from:david has:attachment

Meaning: Messages from David that have
an attachment

list:Search for messages on mailing listsExample:

Meaning: Messages with the words in the headers, sent to or from this list

filename:Search for an attachment by name or typeExample:

Meaning: Messages with an
attachment named “physicshomework.txt”

label:work filename:pdf

Meaning: Messages labeled
“work” that also have a PDF file as an attachment

” ”


Used to search for an exact phrase*

*Capitalization isn’t taken into consideration

“i’m feeling lucky”

Meaning: Messages containing
the phrase “i’m feeling lucky” or “I’m feeling lucky”

subject:”dinner and a movie”

Meaning: Messages containing
the phrase “dinner and a movie” in the subject

( )Used to group words

Used to specify terms that shouldn’t be excluded

from:amy (dinner OR movie)

Meaning: Messages from Amy
that contain either the word “dinner” or the word “movie”

subject:(dinner movie)

Meaning: Messages in which
the subject contains both the word “dinner” and the word “movie”

in:anywhereSearch for messages anywhere in Gmail*

*Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches
by default

Example: in:anywhere

Meaning: Messages in All Mail,
Spam, and Trash that contain the word “movie”




Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or SpamExample: in:trash

Meaning: Messages from Amy that
are in Trash



Search within messages that Priority Inbox considers important.Example: is:important

Meaning: Messages from Janet that
were marked as important by Priority Inbox




Search for messages that are starred, unread or readExample:
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


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.

after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18

Meaning: Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18, 2004.*
*More precisely: Messages sent after 12:00 AM (or 00:00) April 16, 2004 and before April 18, 2004.

is:chatSearch for chat messagesExample:
is:chat monkey

Meaning: Any chat message including the word “monkey”.

deliveredto:Search for messages within a particular email address in the Delivered-To line of the message headerExample:

Meaning: Any message with in the Delivered-To: field of the message header (which can help you find messages forwarded from another account or ones sent to an alias).


How To Search Attachments In Gmail Inbox with Simple Commands

Searching attachments is simple but if you know a few tricks, it becomes even more fun and accurate. Let’s look at some real-world examples:

#1. Find Mails with attachments.


#2. Find all the emails having doc files attached.

has:attachment doc

#3. Find all the emails having pdf files attached.

has:attachment pdf

#4. Find all the emails having doc files attached to it and has “google” in the beginning of these doc file name.


#5. Find all the emails having doc files attached to it and has “google” in anywhere in the file name.


#6. Find all the emails having doc or .html files or both attached to it.

filename:.doc OR filename:.html

#7. Find only those emails having both .doc and .html files attached to it.

filename:.doc AND filename:.html

Do let us know if you have any queries or if you have any more suggestions or points which I might have missed, do let us know via comment.

Manish Patel

Founder of TheTECHExpress. I Writes news about Blogging, Wordpress, Technology, Making Money Online. Connect on Twitter @techexpresslive

1 thought on “Master Gmail Search With Simple Commands”

  1. I use Gmail – on my android hone aps – thankx Google great products here – Gmail rocks the house in email ….


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