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Searching your Gmail Account

If you’re like me your Gmail account now has thousands of e-mails and the simple search is not cutting it anymore. The real power in Gmail comes from using search operators to narrow your search results like the examples below:

If I want the email Lisa sent me with her flight information so I know when to pick her up at the airport, I type from:lisa SFO. Likewise:

  • A link from my co-worker Michael: from:michael http
  • A photo from my mom: from:mom has:attachment
  • That last chat I had with one of the Gmail product managers: keith is:chat
  • All messages from ebay that aren’t outbid notices: ebay -outbid (the hyphen tells Gmail to return all of the messages that don’t contain the word that follows it)
  • The messages in my inbox sent directly to me that I haven’t read yet: to:me is:unread in:inbox

You can limit the scope of your search to a particular subject (subject:) or label (label:) as well. And you can get pretty fancy. Recently, I was trying to remember the date of my friend’s April birthday. I always send her a birthday email, so I searched to:maya (birthday OR bday) after:2007/4/1 before:2007/5/1. It’s the 19th.

For a complete listing of operators check out the Google support site here.

About the author Mark Hodder

Owner, themedy.com - a premium provider of child themes for the WordPress Thesis & Genesis frameworks.

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