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Gmail is Based on Search Not Sort

posted Mar 28, 2010, 10:45 PM by Shane Berkinshaw

Gmail is different from the regular mail clients like outlook or yahoo. It’s a very powerful application, if only you can learn to search and make proper filters. Here are some of the search operators that you will find useful in daily life.

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
Example –

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”

Example – 
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
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”

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
Example – 
from:amy(dinner OR movie)

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

Example – 
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 Spamand 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 inInbox, Trash, or SpamExample – in:trash

Meaning – Messages from Amy that
are in Trash


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: orbcc: fields*

*Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied

Example – 

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: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).

[From Google support]