Advanced search operators are query words or symbols that perform special actions in Gmail search. These operators allow you to find what you're looking for quickly and accurately. They can also be used to set up filters so you can organize your inbox automatically. Some of the most useful operators are listed below.
Specify the Sender
Meaning: all messages from Amy
Specify a recipient
Meaning: messages that were sent to David (by your or someone else)
Search for words in the subject line
Meaning: messages that have the word "dinner" in the subject
Search for messages matching term A or term B
OR must be in ALL CAPS
Example: from:amy OR from:david
Meaning: messages from Amy or from David
Exclude messages from your search
Operator: - (hyphen)
Example: dinner -movie
Meaning: Messages that contain the word "dinner" but do not contain the word "movie"
Search for messages by label
Example: from:amy label:friends
Meaning: Messages from Amy that have the label "friends"
Example: from:david label:my-family
Meaning: Messages from David that have the label "My Family"
(There is not a search operator for unlabeled messages)
Search for messages with an attachment
Example: from:david has:attachment
Meaning: Messages from David that have an attachment
Search for messages on mailing lists
Meaning: Messages with the words firstname.lastname@example.org in the headers, sent to or from this list
Search for an attachment by name or type
Meaning: Messages with an attachment named "physicshomework.txt"
Example: label:work filename:pdf
Meaning: Messages labeled "work" that also have a PDF file as an attachment
Search for an exact phrase
Operator: " " (quotes)
Example: "i'm feeling lucky"
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase "i'm feeling lucky" or "I'm feeling lucky"
Example: subject:"dinner and a movie"
Meaning: Messages containing the phrase "dinner and a movie" in the subject
(Capitalization isn't taken into consideration
To group words or specify terms that shouldn't be excluded
Operator: ( )
Example: from:amy (dinner OR movie)
Meaning: Messages from Amy that contain the word "dinner" or the word "movie"
Example: subject: (dinner movie)
Meaning: Messages in which the subject contains both the word "dinner" and the word "movie"
Search for messages anywhere in Gmail
Example: in:anywhere movie
Meaning: Messages in All Mail, Spam, and Trash that contain the word "movie"
(Messages in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default - you must add this operator to search there)
Search for messages in Inbox, Trash, or Spam
Operator: in:inbox in:trash in:spam
Example: in:trash from:amy
Meaning: Messages from Amy that are in Trash
Search within messages that Priority Inbox considers important
Operator: is:important label:important
Example is:important from:janet
Meaning: Messages from Janet that were marked as important by Priority Inbox
Search for messages that are starred, unread, or read
Operator: is:starred is:unread is:read
Example: is:read is:starred from:David
Meaning: Messages from David that have been read and are marked with a star
Search for messages with a particular star
Operator: has:yellow-star has:red-star has:orange-star, etc
Example: has:purple-star from:david
Meaning: Messages from David that are marked with a purple star
Specify recipients in the cc: or bcc: fields
Operator: cc: bcc:
Meaning: Messages that were cc-ed to David
(Search on bcc: cannot retrieve messages on which you were blind carbon copied)
Search for messages during a certain period of time (use date format: yyyy/mm/dd)
Operator: after: before:
Example: after:2004/04/16 before:2004/04/18
Meaning: Messages sent between April 16, 2004 and April 18. 2004
Search for chat messages
Example: is:chat monkey
Meaning: any chat message including the work "monkey"
Search for messages within a particular email address in the Delivered-To line of the message header
Meaning: Any message with email@example.com in the Delivered-To: field of the message header (which can help you find messages forwarded from another account or ones sent to an alias)
Search for messages that were sent from someone who you added to a particular Google+ circle
Meaning: Any message that was sent by a person in your "Friends" circle
Example: circle:"soccer friends (team blue)" or circle:"my\"fab four\""
Notes: For circle names that include a space, parentheses, curly brackets, or vertical bar, add quotes around the name. For names that includes quotes, add a back slash immediately before the quotes.
Search for all messages that were sent from someone who you added to your Google+ circles
Meaning: Any messages that was sent by a person in any of your circles