Hidden search secrets to help you find emails in Apple Mac Mail

Top search tips for find emails in Mail on the Apple Mac - rawinfopages.com

The search facility in Mail in macOS (OS X) helps you to find email messages quickly and easily, but do you know all the tricks and secrets to get the results you want? Here are some little known search tips.

The search box in Mac Mail understands natural language phrases to a certain extent and   if you want wanted to find all the email messages you have received from someone you would type from into the search box and then enter their name like this:

Use the search function in Mail on the Apple Mac

As you type the name Mail comes up with suggestions and you can click one one to enter the full name without having to type it all. Press enter and the emails from that person are listed.

That is useful, but there is another way to do this and instead of entering from roland, put a colon between the from and the name like from:roland and hit Enter.

The search results are the same, but look what happens to the search box:

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

The from has become a FROM tile or chip (what is the proper name for this?) with a drop-down menu for From, To and Entire message. This enables you to quickly perform alternative searches without having to type in the whole search phrase again. Just click FROM and select To.

The colon has subtly changed the way the search function operates.

Another thing you can do with this type of search is to click in the empty space to the right of an existing search and enter additional items to further filter the Mail search results.

Here subject:car has been entered and there are search suggestions below.

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

Mail clearly understands that I want to find emails from Roland and that the subject must contain the word car. Press Enter and see what happens:

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

Now there are two tiles with drop down menus and I can quickly change the FROM search to To or Entire Message by selecting them from the drop-down menu.

There is also a SUBJECT tile and this also has a dropdown menu.

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

Let’s try something different. Suppose we want to find emails that have attachments. Perhaps we are looking for a file someone emailed to us. Clear the previous search and enter attachment into the search box.

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

Mail has a suggestion below, Message has Attachments. Click it. It adds the ATTACH. tile to the search box. Combine this with the from:name trick and you can perform searches like this:

Advanced searching for emails in the Mail app on the Apple Mac

You could quickly switch from finding email messages with attachments received to attachments sent using the FROM menu in the search box to select To.

These are interesting features that could be useful when searching for emails and filtering the results in Mac Mail. They might enable you to find what you are looking for more easily and are worth remembering.

Natural search terms are useful, but so are these extra features. If one search does not return the results you are looking for, try the other method.

 

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