Top 20 Gmail search tips (for 2019)

Why are we posting about Gmail? Because, at Tasker Payment Gateways, we work to make the lives of high-risk web site owners as easy as possible. We offer no-obligation phone and email consultations where we recommend appropriate high-risk friendly payment gateways and merchant accounts that work for tough industries like vape, cigars, pipes and glassware, and FFLs. As part of TaskerPaymentGateways.com, we also run this Tips & News blog where we provide information that can benefit our clients and readers. This is why we decided to create a post on our top 20 Gmail search tips for 2019!

Searching for emails can be a real pain

Anyone running a business knows that emails can quickly start piling up and keeping on top of everything can be a challenge. Our aim is that these Gmail search tips will be your shortcuts to quickly finding that important email you’ve been looking for.

These top 20 tips are Gmail specific, but we find many, if not most of our clients use either standard Gmail, or Gmail’s custom business email called G Suite (G Suite allows business owners to use their own URL in their email addresses while still benefiting from the flexibility and stability of Gmail, you can learn more about G Suite here).

1. Search for messages that include a Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides attachment or link

If you’re one of the many that use Google Docs or G Suite as part of your daily work routine, then this tip will be very useful. You can quickly find emails that specifically include Google elements. The way you do this is to type “has:” (without quotation marks, with no space after the “:”) and then type what you’re looking for in the search box.  Use one of the following to perform this search type:
has:drive
has:document
has:spreadsheet
has:presentation

2. Find an email with the exact word or phrase you’re looking for

Very similar to what you’d do to find an exact match search on Google’s search engine, you use ” “. It’s easier just to show you what we mean. Searching “new order for March”, with the quotes, will show you emails that have the words new order for March – in that exact order.

3. Look for emails by searching for the cc or bcc recipients

If you can’t quite remember what the email you are looking contained, but remember who was included in the discussion, then this search type is perfect. This is how it works:
cc:
bcc:

For example, if you look for a message that had John from accounting on the BCC, the search you’ll do is:
bcc:john

4. Find emails that are newer or older than a set time period. For messages older or newer than a time period use day (d), month (m), and year (y)

You can look for emails by time frame in a few different ways. You can search for X amount of days (d), months (m), or even years (y). Then you decide whether the email is older or newer than the criteria you chose. This is how it works:
older_than:
newer_than:

Here’s a simple example: “newer_than:2m” – that search (without the “” ) will give you emails you received within the last two months.

5. Find emails you received within a specific time period.

Similar to the tip above, you can search for emails sent before or after a set date. The format you want to use is year/month/day. These are the commands you can use to make this search type work:
after:
before:
older:
newer:
Let’s run two quick examples:
after:2004/04/16
before:2004/04/18

6. Search for emails that are labeled as important or starred

If there’s one thing that’s useful when it comes to organizing emails, it’s labeling them with an “important” mark, or a star. This is how that email search type would work.
is:important
label:important

7. Search for emails with two different words that are close to each other in the same message.

We’ve all been there when we distinctly remember two elements from an email but can’t remember what the email was about or the subject line. In this scenario, the “word approximation” search type is invaluable. Simply add a number to tell Gmail how about many words apart the words you remember are. If you’re sure one of the words appeared before the other, you can add quotation marks to set that order in stone. Let’s run two quick examples that “guess” about a 10-word gap between the words anniversary and party:
anniversary AROUND 10 party
Or
“anniversary AROUND 10 party”

8. Find emails from a specific person by contact name

You might be familiar with this email search tip, but it’s always good to go through the basics now and again. Simply use the following command to tell Gmail you’re looking for emails from a specific person by using their contact name or email address.
from:
Again, if we’re looking for an email from John in accounting, you’d use
from:John
OR
from:John@SampleEmail.test

9. Specify a recipient by contact name

The “from” search type can also be turned on its head. You can look for emails with a specific recipient. Simply use “to:” instead of “from:”
Like this:
to:John
OR
to:John@SampleEmail.test

10. Starred, snoozed, unread, or read emails

This search type works by bringing up emails that have a certain characteristic. An additional benefit is that they can be strung together, so you can look for emails with two characteristics, for example. The various commands are:
is:starred
is:snoozed
is:unread
is:read
For example: is:unread is:snoozed

11. Find email by grouping more than one subject search term together

This is a little less specific than searching for an email where you guess the number of words that are between the two words you remember (like search type #7). You remember two or three words from the email subject, but that’s it. In this case, that’s all you need!

Here’s an example of how this search type works – pro tip, put each word in quotes for an exact match:
Subject: (“rush” “e-juice” “order”)

12. Search for emails containing one word but not another

Sometimes it’s easier to find what you’re looking for by removing what you know you’re not looking for. For example, if 90% of your sales is vaporizers and 10% is accessories, then the best way for you to find an email order for accessories might be by removing “vaporizer” from the equation.

If that’s the case, you use the formula “-” “vaporizer” without any space between the two. It would look like this:
accessories -vaporizer

13. Find emails with an exact word match

If you have a really specific word, maybe an order ID, that you want to find in your emails, you can use exact match search that goes like this: “+” (without the quotation marks). As an example, if you were looking for a vape liquid order with the product ID being “VapeLiq923023423” and you know the email has the word “order” in it – you could search:
Order +VapeLiq923023423

14. Messages in any folder, including Spam and Trash

Are you looking for an email you think you might’ve tagged as spam, or put in trash? Then this search type is great. It looks for an email that can be found in any folder. For example, if you’re looking for an email that mention’s the vacation time John in accounting requested, you could search for the word vacation like this:
in:anywhere vacation

15. Attachments with a certain name or file type

We all know the feeling of sending a document across to a client or for approval, for example, only to later discover you need to find that attachment again. Searching for the exact attachment file type or name is great in this instance. What you’ll do is enter the command “filename:” (without the quotation marks) and add the specifics. You can also simply look for emails by specific file types with this attachment search type. For example, looking for any PDF attachment:
filename:pdf
or looking for a word document titled internal approval could be something like this:
filename:internal_approval.docx

16. Find an email with a specific word in the subject line

Another very common search type in Gmail is to search your emails by subject. In this case, “subject:” is the command you’ll use (without quotation marks). This is a more general version of tip 11. For example, if you’re looking for an email you remember has the word “VapePOD” you would search:
subject:VapePOD

17. Find emails that contain attachments

Do you want to find emails that have attachments in general? Then you can do a specific search type with this command “has:attachment” – it’s as simple as that.

18. Messages that match multiple terms

There are two ways you can search for emails that fulfill more than one criteria. You do this by using the commands “OR” or “{ }” – again, no quotation marks. For example, if you’re looking for emails from John in accounting or emails from Christine, head of accounting, then you would do this search:
from:john OR from:christine

Alternatively, you could do this Gmail search:
{from:john from:christine}

19. Search for emails that have or don’t have a label

Depending on how actively you use labels, this can be a very useful search type. Simply write either:
has:userlabels
or
has:nouserlabels

This will give you individual emails that are labeled or unlabeled, depending on which one you used. Remember though, email threads won’t receive a label. Only individual messages do.

20. Find emails by the size of the email

This search type can be very useful if you remember that you received a really large email with many attachments or one big file, but can’t quite remember the specifics. It’s equally useful if you remember the email barely having anything going on – that it was really small. The commands here are either
larger:
smaller:
A simple example of looking for a large email would be:
larger:250M

We hope you found this list of different Gmail search types useful and that it will help you find the emails you’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Remember, if you need any help with high-risk payment gateways or software, get in touch with us! We’re always ready to help and talk about your business’ needs.