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When it comes to email services, Gmail is one of the most widely used by individuals and businesses today. It has been around since 2004, though its full release was only introduced in 2009. This free for individual accounts service gives each account 15GB of free storage – businesses that sign up for Google’s Business Apps get 30GB. Gmail supports conversation view, which is one of its defining features. This feature puts all replies in one page, making it easier to track past conversations. Another feature is its search feature that makes finding messages quick and easy.
If you only have a few Gmail messages, it may not be difficult to keep track of your emails. However, if you receive several emails a day, it may be difficult to find specific messages that you need. With Gmail you don’t have to go through the inconvenience of browsing through all your messages just to find the one that you’re looking for.
The search feature of Gmail lets you find important messages in no time. You can search for messages from a specific sender, emails sent to a certain person, specific keywords, and more. The search field can be found in the upper part of the Gmail window and this is where you enter your search operators or keywords for searching messages – much like you would use Google Search.
Gmail’s search feature lets you find messages by typing in search operators – words or letters that tell Gmail to search based on what you enter. There are various operators to use. Let’s first go through the basic ones that all users should know about.
The most common way of searching for a specific message is by typing a certain keyword that the email may contain. For instance, typing ‘Sam’ in the search field will return all messages with the word ‘Sam’ in them. These messages could be emails from Sam, sent to Sam or emails with the subject or body containing this particular keyword. You may get many results, but this can still be helpful for narrowing down your search and especially useful if you aren’t sure of the details of the message you are looking for and only remember a keyword or two.
It’s also possible to find all messages from a particular sender. To do this, type ‘From:’ in the search field, followed by the name of the sender. For example, type ‘From: Sam’ if you wish to search for all emails sent by Sam. To make things quicker, simply type the first name of the sender, or the first few letters of the email address. You should see suggestions, including the person/sender, pop up in a drop-down menu below the search bar. If not, keep typing the name and it should come up.
You may also search for all emails sent to a particular person. This time, you will be using the operator ‘To:’ followed by the recipient’s name. Say you want to search for all the emails you sent to Sam; type ‘To: Sam’ on the search field.
If looking for an email containing a specific subject, use the ‘Subject:’ operator. So, if you wish to find a message containing ‘Hello World’ as the subject, you may type ‘Subject: Hello World’ in the search field.
Aside from these basic search operators, there are more advanced operators that you can use to make your search more specific. To access more search operators, click the drop down arrow on the right side of the search box and you will see the advanced search options drop down with various fields like ‘to, ‘subject’, ‘has the words, ‘doesn’t have’, etc.
Aside from these fields, other options include ‘has attachments’, ‘don’t include chats’, ‘size’, and ‘date’. Customize your search by entering the relevant information in the fields and choosing the appropriate options. Click the search button and the messages that meet the search criteria will be listed. You will also find the search operator for that search in the search field. For instance, if you are looking for an email from Sam with the word ‘hello world’, which also contains an attachment, you will see the following operator in the search field: ‘From:Sam hello world has:attachment’.
With the help of these search operators finding specific Gmail messages is far easier. We can help make your business tech easier too. Don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Published on 19th February 2014 by Jeanne DeWitt.