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

An animation of searching in Gmail on desktop

Important: Search won't work in offline mode.

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. In the Search Box at the top, enter what you'd like to find.
  3. Press Enter. A list of emails will show. 
  4. To further refine the search, use the search filter chips below the Search Box or the search operators in the Search Box.

Optional: Click a filter to make your search more specific. Learn more about available search filters.

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.
Search Spam & Trash

Gmail won't show messages from Spam or Trash in your results.

Here's how to see search messages in Spam and Trash:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the Search Box at the top of the page, click the Down arrow Drop down arrow.
  3. In the drop-down menu next to "Search," select Mail & Spam & Trash.
  4. Enter your search information.
  5. At the bottom, click Search.
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.
Searches that return no result

To improve your search experience, searches you make in Gmail that return no results show related results.

Clear search history

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top, click the search box. Your most recent search may show. 
  3. Go to the search and click Delete .

You can also clear your search history from Google servers. Learn how to delete your activity.

Clear search
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