Searching Your Email Messages

Searching Basics Using the Photo View Using the Attachment View Refining Your Search Results Performing an Advanced Search More Search Tips

Performing an Advanced Search

If refining a search hasn’t helped you locate that hard-to-find message, try the advanced search feature. You must perform a basic search first in order to get to the advanced search feature. Once there, you provide the criteria and the advanced search uses it to check all of the messages in your Mail account; it isn’t confined to the messages found in the basic search.


Here’s How

  1. Perform a basic search. (Remind me how.)

  2. Click Advanced Search at the bottom of the Refine Results box.

    Click the Advanced Search link.

    The Advanced Search page opens.

    The Advanced Search pageEnlarge

  3. Specify the values that Mail should use when searching through your email messages.

    Type text in any or all of the areas below and specify whether or not the area contains or doesn’t contain the text.

    • Sender: Who sent a message

    • Recipient: Who a message was addressed to (To, Cc, Bcc)

    • Subject: The subject of a message

    • Message Body & Attachments: Text in the body of a message or attachment (yes, actually in the body of the attachment...not just the file name)

    • Date: The date a message was sent or received

    • Options: Do you want to search all messages, only unread, or read messages, and do you want to search for messages with attachments only?

    • Search in folders: The folders in which you want to search

    Tip: The more information you specify on this page, the more accurate your results will be. However, if you get too specific, you might not get any results. If you get too many results or no results, you can continue to improve your search results by specifying more or fewer options.

  4. Click the Search button. Mail searches through all of the email in your account looking for messages that match the text you typed and displays the results in the Search Results page. From here, you can work with the results as described elsewhere in this tutorial.


What’s Next

With all the different approaches we provide for finding messages, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the one you want.

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Words to Know

  • Attachment: a separate file included as part of an email message; for example, a multimedia or document file.
  • Folder: a container that holds individual elements specific to the context; for example, email messages in Mail or bookmarks in the Bookmarks Sidebar module.