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Search in Gmail

You can find an email in your inbox with search terms. To help you search faster, Gmail suggests search terms as you enter words. These search terms are based on information from your Gmail account, like messages, contacts, labels, or past searches.

How to search

Important: If you're offline, only emails synced to your device are visible. If you search through Gmail Go, searching won't work while you're offline.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app .
  2. At the top, in the search box, tap Search mail.
  1. Enter search criteria. 
  2. Tap Search Search.
  • Your results include all messages except those in spam or trash.
  • When you search for a person’s email address, the results will also show emails that include their alias. To limit the search to only the original email, the search should be enclosed in double quotes. Example: "".
  • When you search 'from:email", the results also will return Drive files shared by that email address.

Use filters when you search

You can use filters at the beginning of your search or after you've searched to narrow your results. Below are the available search filters and what they do. You can combine multiple filters to narrow your search. 


  • Search for anything within a certain label you’ve created.


  • Search for anything that was sent from a certain email address. 


  • Search for anything that you sent to a certain email address. 


  • Search for anything that has an attachment included or has a specific type of attachment like Google Docs, Google Sheets, or a PDF.


  • Search for anything that was sent from a certain date range or specific date.

Is unread

  • Search for anything that is currently marked as “unread”. 

Exclude calendar updates

  • Search for anything that is not a Google Calendar update.

Tip: You can also use search operators to filter your search results.

How searches are saved
The words you use to search and browse in Gmail are saved for you. This feature improves suggestions when you search in the future.

Clear search history

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu.
  3. Tap Settings Settings and then General settings.
  4. At the top right, tap More More.
  5. Tap Clear search history and then Clear.
Tip: Your search history will only be cleared from your device. You can also clear your search history from Google servers. Learn how to delete your activity.
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