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(This post was first published in 2010. It's obvious from the number of hits this page gets that people's inboxes are still overflowing. We thought we'd share it again to help you out.)
Hi, I am Roby Kurian, Product Manager for Outlook. How often do you ask yourself, “Where’s that message?”
Whether you are a filer (you keep messages carefully organized in folders) or a piler (you keep all of your messages in your Inbox), these three tips can help you find that elusive message.
Personally, I am more of a piler — I have created folders and use Outlook rules to direct some messages automatically to those folders. But most of my work messages stay in my Inbox. Leave a comment below and let us know if you are a filer or piler.
Now let’s talk about the main topic of this blog — search. We made great improvements to search performance in Outlook 2010. Here are three scenarios and strategies to find the email you are searching for.
Instant Search is always a great place to start. If you’re looking for a message from Dan Wilson about some TPS Reports, just type “Dan Wilson TPS Reports” into the Instant Search box. The message from Dan appears.
Sometimes, there might be too many results matching your Instant Search criteria. For example, you’re looking for a message from your manager, and you have 200 messages from him or her in your Inbox (or 2000, if you’re a piler like me and your manager sends as many messages as mine does). In this case, the Search Tools ribbon comes to the rescue. As soon as you click in the Instant Search box, the Search Tools ribbon automatically appears.
Fine tune the search with any additional information you have about the message you’re looking for. If you know part of the subject, click Subject, and type the subject. If you know the message had an attachment, click Has Attachments. There are many ways to refine your search by clicking More in the Refine group.
If you are a filer and can’t remember which folder a message is in, don’t forget to select a folder scope in the Scope group on the ribbon. Click All Outlook Items to expand your search to more mail folders or to include all folders including your calendar, contacts, and tasks.
If you find yourself repeating the same search over and over, you might want to create a Search Folder. A Search Folder is a virtual folder that provides a view of all email items that match specific search criteria. For example, if you regularly search for emails that are more than 1 MB, you can create a Search Folder. Then, the next time you want to find those large messages, just open the Search Folder you created. It’s always up-to-date with the items that match that Search Folder’s criteria.
You can learn more about Search Folders at Office.com.
If you’re using Outlook 2010, leave a comment about your experience with search compared to previous versions of Outlook.
Roby Kurian Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Outlook
More info on Outlook Search:
Better Searching in Outlook 2010
Outlook Best Practices: Search foldersFind a message or item with Instant Search
Best Practices for Outlook 2010
All your tips are fine. Especially, sending text message via outlook is very useful.Thanks for your great effort. Keep doing this service for people. godwinsblog.cdtech.in/.../send-sms-directly-from-microsoft.html
Hello, I think I blocked somehow different countries....ticked the boxes for all these countries to help stop the spamming but now want to undo it BUT have forgotten how I did it. H E L P!
Today I was trying to send a document out of "my documents" to a email recipitant,but was notified that something in the system would not allow. I tried used my scanner then email. Anyway,all my doing all things that the "system" would not allow. I went back to Outlook and my entire window for Outlook had changed and my inbox was empty. Help. Jack
@Anne, @Jack- Thanks for commenting, http://answers.microsoft.com can help you get your questions answered. Jenny Liu
Outlook Program Manager
Why cant I bringup my other mailboxes. I have four.
i can not confirm my email log in ...??? help
Hello. I'm still using Outlook 2003 (though I have the rest of Office 2007). Just couldn't afford Outlook 2007 as a stand-alone purchase. Please tell me: Am I correct in thinking that emails I save in folders (as 'filer' Bonnie) are saved on my computer and thus take up hard drive space. And the emails that remain in my Inbox (as 'piler' Bonnie) are saved on YOUR servers and NOT on my hard drive (thus not taking up my hard drive space)? Though I've used a computer for years, I don't know the answer. Also, if I want to save all my emails to a DVD and thereby delete them from my Inbox or Folders, can I do that & where can I learn the process? Thank you so very much for your help and time.
A message recently appeared asking if I would like to consolidate my files to conserve space. I clicked yes, then my most recent e-mails from the inbox disappeared and I have not been able to retrieve same. Why would the most recent,from Sept. 30th be deleted and not the oldest?
I lost Microsoft Outlook 2007 and do not know why, or how. it is not even listed under all of the Windows?
I updgraded to Outlook 2010 from 2003 and I had a lot of problems. First of all Outlook kept crashing on startup and after much searching on the subject, I found a solution to delete my profiles which solved the problem. Now whenever I open any folder whether it is the inbox or unread, no emails appear and I am forced to do a search to see any of my emails so I type in a letter such as 'a' to see all my emails. Is there any way of going back to seeing my emails without doing a search for them? it seems kind of ridiculous to have to search for unread emails.
Had microsoft express when I first got dell computer. fun.
however, it does not show up at all or on the icons. Is that because it must be paid for now?
When I click on the instant search box the search toolbar does not show up? I have Outlook 2007,
Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding this same info elsewhere. This was this first place that told me this answer. Thanks.
I'm searching for an individual sender's name in all mail folders but it is only returning messages from me. How do I change or clear all search parameters so I can start fresh?
Roby, I recently implemented a client's Exchange 2010 server which is primarily accessed via Outlook 2010 from their Terminal Services server(s).
I went to the trouble to enable exchange indexing and add up to date ifilters to make pdf and office attachment files searchable.
I found that that worked quite well using the instant search (?) field.
Unfortunately, since it is generally considered bad practice to enable either cached exchange mode (which I know supported on OL2010 on TS, but still not a good idea) or Windows Desktop search on a terminal server, I am getting complaints now since most of search refinement functions are effectively disabled in this configuration. The end-users want the new features, and the only recourse is to use "Advanced find" which doesn't benefit from searching the server-side index.
My research has shown that there is a third-party solution to this that has similar features to a product called lookout, (which has since been acquired and buried by Microsoft), but I feel that the Outlook product should provide something beyond what i'm getting in this scenario.
It seems stupid to me to build an indexing function into the backend server that still requires an indexing function on the client end to work properly.
Is there any hope for a microsoft supported solution to this?