Instant Search Queries

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013

When you are in Windows you can search for (only) Outlook items from the Start menu or Windows Explorer by restricting the search to Outlook message stores using

store:mapi

Search by item type

To limit the search to a specific Outlook item type, use

kind:email
kind:tasks
kind:notes
kind:journal
kind:meetings
kind:contacts

Note: The following will work in either Windows Desktop Search or Outlook’s Instant Search

Search by Field Name

In most cases, you can type the Outlook field name (leave out the space in multiple-word field names):

from:john
firstname:mary

Search by Date

To search between two dates use the following format with any date field:

received:(>1/15/2010 AND <4/15/2010)

To include results from the dates, add an equal sign or use two periods between the dates:

received:(>=1/15/2010 AND <=4/15/2010)
received: (1/15/10..6/15/10)

Search by Item Size

To find messages of a certain size or within a size range use the greater then, less than, and equal signs or two periods:

size:10kb
size:=50KB<60kb
size:3mb..12mb

Operators

In addition to greater than (>), less than (<), and equal symbols (=), you can use comma's, AND, or OR between search terms.

from:(mary NOT smith)
cc:(mary AND sue)
to:(mary OR billy)

Natural Language

Search recognizes days of the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday), the months (March, April, May) as well as today, tomorrow, yesterday, week, next month, last week, past month, and coming year. You don’t even need to use the space: thisweek, nextmonth, lastweek, pastmonth, comingyear are valid in Instant Search.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

2 responses to “Instant Search Queries”

  1. Chris Brouwer

    What's the syntax for a folder with an "empty" name ? I can select this in Advanced Find dialog, but how can I set the filter correctly using VBA ?

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