Search function in emails

Sometimes, you need to find an email you received a long time ago and you can’t exactly remember who sent it or when you received it. Instead of scrolling and reading the subject of every single email in your inbox – use the search function to find emails. You could literally save hours; especially if your inbox is always at capacity. Searching for emails only takes a few seconds if you follow the correct steps.

Search in Gmail

To search for missing emails on Gmail, the process is simple:

  • Type the email information (subject, keywords, sender’s address, etc) in the search panel at the top of the screen, press enter, and hope for the best.

Try to be as specific as possible when typing the keywords you remember in order to find something useful. If you’re still struggling to find the desired information; Gmail offers filters to help you narrow down your search. Filters based on the sender and the recipients are the first step. Then you can specify your search queries to only check for words in the subject or the whole message. Other filters include the date, size of the message, search email address, and also whether it contains attachments or not. You can also filter to check for specific folders – like if you suspect you may have accidentally deleted an email and now it’s in your trash folder.

Here’s how to search trash in Gmail:

  • Click on the show search options in the search bar.
  • From there, you’ll see a drop-down list that will allow you to select the folder you need to search in. Select trash, all mail, or whatever other folder you suspect contains your elusive email.

The process is the same for any folder you choose. Hopefully, it will help you find success in retrieving your missing email.

The only problem with using Google’s search feature is that Gmail does not support wildcard searches. A wildcard search is when you either replace the beginning, end, or part of a word with an asterisk sign. For example: “searchinginoutlook” will not be found if you don’t look up the whole word. The words would need to be separated by a comma, dash, semicolon, or other punctuation symbol. So, despite being a powerful web-based search engine; Google does not use the full technology in their email app.

Search in Outlook web client

To search for an email in Microsoft Outlook involves the same process as Gmail. Here’s how to search for an email using

  • Click on the search bar at the top of the page in the toolbar and type the keywords you remember from your email.

If you need to know how to search for emails in folders on Outlook:

  • Click on the button to the right of the search bar labeled Filters. You’ll also have the option to filter based on date, subject, Bcc, Cc, To, and Keywords.
  • Alternatively, you can simply click on All Folders to the left of the toolbar and select the filter you’d like to search without adding any extra email search criteria.

The differences between Gmail and Microsoft Outlook’s email search function are very minor. The difference appears in wildcard searches. Just like Gmail, Outlook does not fully support wildcard searches. However, in the previous search “searchinginoutlook,” you would be able to find what you’re looking for on Outlook even if you just look for “searchinginout.” Outlook’s wildcard search checks the beginning of the words and therefore could be more successful than Gmail’s wildcard search function.

Search function in eM Client

If you’re only using webmail – you’re missing out! The eM Client desktop application has advanced search functions that simplify the email search process.

There are two types of searches in eM Client:

  • For a basic text search: press F4 on your keyboard. Words, syllables, or letters will be highlighted. Or, you can simply click on the search bar in the upper right corner and type the information that you need to find.
  • The second option to search for email is to use Advanced Search. This option is at the right side of the search field in the top right corner of the app. Customize your search based on keywords, dates, mailboxes, and more.

Another amazing advanced search function on the eM Client application is the option to create Search folders. Search folders are custom folders created by you based on search criteria frequently used. This includes messages that haven’t been read yet.

eM Client also provides a fully fledged wildcard search function in the message header. The word “searchinginoutlook” will be found even if your only word to search for is *arch* or *out.* For words in the message body, the wildcard is used only at the end of the word – not at the beginning.

All of the search options available on the eM Client application ensure that you can always find what you’re looking for – whether that's an old recipe from a relative or important tax documents. If you want to master searching emails by learning more about search, keywords and eM Client in general, we recommend checking our blog. We post frequent updates to help you get the most out of your email app.