Advanced Search Operators to Find Emails in Gmail

Gmail provide advanced search operators to help you narrow your search criteria.

The query syntax is operator:search_keyword. For instance, you could say to find all emails where the sender in PayPal. Use the logical boolean search operators to specify multiple search operators (e.g., from:paypal OR subject:invoice).

Also see: Gmail Search Tips and Tricks

Search CriteriaGmail Search Query
Emails that are either starred or unreadis:unread OR is:starred
Emails with specific recipients in the To or Cc fieldsto:amit OR cc:aryaman
Emails received during a specific time periodafter:2017/01/01 before:2017/06/15
Search for messages older or newer than a time periodolder_than:7d (for 7 days) newer_than:2m (for 2 months) older_than: 2y (for 2 years)
Search Gmail by sizelarger:10M (for emails larger than 10 MB) smaller:1M (for emails small than 1MB) size:1000 (specify the size in bytes)
Email messages that are in a particular email folder (or label).in:label_name label:label_name label:personal-emails in:anywhere (message anywhere in Gmail)Find emails that have no labels appliedhas:nouserlabels has:userlabels
Find emails that have particular words in the subject linesubject:invoice subject:(invoice OR receipt) subject:“payment received”
Find messages that contain particular wordsdinner OR movie (either words) dinner AND movie (contain both words) (dinner movie) (contain both words) “dinner movie” (exact phrase)
Find emails that have an attachmentshas:attachments filename:pdf (search attachments by type) filename:emails.csv (search by file name)
Search for messages delivered to a particular email
Emails where my email is either in CC or BCCcc:me OR bcc:me
Emails that do not contain a specific word-cats
Find emails messages in trash or spamlabel:spam OR label:trash
Find emails anywhere but in spam or trashin:anywhere
Find emails that contain links to Google Drive or Google Slides or YouTubehas:youtube OR has:drive OR has:presentation

Gmail Search - Things to Know

  1. Search for an exact phrase by enclosing the phrase inside double quotes. Capitalization is ignored.
  2. You can use logical operators like AND, NOT or OR to refine your search and they must always be typed in uppercase letters.
  3. Search for email messages by date using the before: and after: search operators. The date format is yyyy/mm/dd (e.g., 2017/07/15)
  4. You cannot use the bcc: operator to find emails in which you were blind carbon copied.
  5. If the label name in Gmail includes a space (e.g., Office Expenses), use a dash in the query when searching for emails inside that label (e.g. label:office-expenses)
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


Awards & Titles

Digital Inspiration has won several awards since it's launch in 2004.

Google Developer Expert

Google Developer Expert

Google awarded us the Google Developer Expert award recogizing our work in Google Workspace.

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

Our Gmail tool won the Lifehack of the Year award at ProductHunt Golden Kitty Awards in 2017.

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft awarded us the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title for 5 years in a row.

Google Cloud Champion

Google Cloud Champion

Google awarded us the Champion Innovator title recognizing our technical skill and expertise.

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