These are search commands for when you need to find that email or attachment you’ve lost inside Gmail, quickly filter emails by a specific phrase or keyword, and lot’s more helpful functions (you’ll see in a minute).
In this article, you’ll learn what Gmail search operators are, why they are useful for finding things in a cluttered inbox as well a collection of useful search operators you can use to up your email management game.
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What Are Gmail Search Operators?
Gmail search operators (also known as Gmail search commands) are text strings made up of words and symbols that you can use in the Gmail search box to help filter your inbox/Gmail search results.
You can also combine operators to filter your results even more. Through the use of these commands to modify your search, you can get much more satisfying Gmail search results, and generally just find things faster.
Here’s what Gmail operators look in action looks like:
Examples of some useful Gmail Search Operators
You can see the official documentation from Google here (it also lists out all the search operators you can use).
So Why Use Gmail Search Operators?
If you only have a few emails inside your Gmail inbox, it may not be too difficult to keep track of everything.
However, for most people, this isn’t the case (especially if you are working remotely). Chances are you have a lot of emails and even the best G Suite setup and all the useful Gmail add-ons in the world can’t save you sometimes.
Gmail is the most popular email platform with over 1.5 billion users worldwide, with 26% of emails being opened within Gmail. That’s a lot of emails.
Email client usage statistics
Gmail search operators save you time. Instead of browsing through all your messages just to find the one that one thing you’re looking for, just use an operator.
Using these Gmail search commands you can quickly:
Search for messages from a specific senderFind emails sent to a certain personSearch for specific keywordsAnd more.
You can also string together multiple search operators to get even more specific results (more on that later).
How to string together multiple search operators to get even more specific results
The One Disadvantage of Gmail Search Operators
Gmail search operators can and will save you time. There’s just one thing that can prevent them from working as well and it has to do with SMTP ports.
Let me explain:
If you access your email through a Gmail account, you’ll be okay to freely use these operators to find emails.
However, if you have an IMAP account that is configured using the Gmail app, results may not be as accurate when it comes to Gmail search operators.
Just bear that in mind when searching your inbox for that important email you’ve lost.
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