Outlook: Search for an Item

If you need to find a specific email message or item in a folder, you can use the Search bar to enter a name, word, or phrase that will narrow the list of items you have to look through.

To search for an item in a folder:

  1. Navigate to the folder you want to search.
  2. Click in the Search bar on top of the message list in the view pane or press Ctrl + E.
  3. Enter a search term in the Search bar and click the Search button (magnifying glass icon). The search results will display in the View pane.

To search for an item in all of Outlook:

  1. Click in the Search bar on top of the message list in the view pane or press Ctrl + E. The "Search Tools" tab will appear in the ribbon.
  2. In the "Search Tools" tab in the "Scope" group, select "All Outlook Items."
  3. Enter a search term in the Search bar and click the Search button (magnifying glass icon). The search results will display in the View pane.

To search by sender name:

  1. Click in the Search bar on top of the message list in the view pane or press Ctrl + E. The "Search Tools" tab will appear in the ribbon.
  2. In the "Search Tools" tab, locate the "Refine" group.
  3. Select "From." Outlook will insert "from:(Sender Name)" into the Search bar. Replace "Sender Name" with an actual sender’s name.
  4. Press the [Enter] key or click the Search button (magnifying glass).

To search by subject or keyword:

  1. Click in the Search bar on top of the message list in the view pane or press Ctrl + E. The "Search Tools" tab will appear in the ribbon.
  2. In the "Search Tools" tab, locate the "Refine" group.
  3. Select "Subject." Outlook will insert "subject:(keywords)" into the Search bar. Replace "keywords" with the keyword(s) you wish to search.
  4. Press the [Enter] key or click the Search button (magnifying glass).

To refine your search with more than one search criteria:

  1. Click in the Search bar on top of the message list in the view pane or press Ctrl + E. The "Search Tools" tab will appear in the ribbon.
  2. In the "Search Tools" tab, locate the "Refine" group.
  3. Select the criteria you want to search by. Outlook will insert each of the criteria you select into the Search bar to refine the search. For search criteria that require you to pick a search term (i.e. a specific sender name or keyword to search by), replace the generic term in parentheses with your specific term (i.e. replace "Sender Name" with "John Smith").
  4. Press the [Enter] key or click the Search button (magnifying glass).


Keywords: find an email, search for an email, can't remember what folder an item is in, lost message, advanced search features

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