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Search for an Item

This topic, which includes video, shows you how to search for items in Outlook Web App. Outlook Web App lets you search for any item in your mailbox or your address lists. Calendar doesn't have a search window, but meeting requests and responses are included in the results of searches of the mail folders they're stored in.

How do I search for an item?

  • You'll find a search window at the top of the list of items in any mail, contacts, or task folder. Click the drop-down arrow in the Search window to specify where the search should occur:

    • This Folder

    • This Folder and Subfolders

    • All Folders and Items (Mail)

    • Search All Contact Items (Contacts)

    • Search All Task Items (Tasks)

  • You can also set the default location for searches to any of these specific locations.

  • Click the chevrons expand icon to the right side of the search window to select additional options to narrow the range of your search. In Mail, you can narrow your search to the following:

    • Results in the subject and message body, message body only, or subject only.

    • Items from or sent to a specific person or group.

    • Items in a specific category (when searching in Contacts or Tasks only this option is available).

  • After you configure your search, click Enter or Search iconSearch to start your search. To cancel or clear your search, click cancel search.

Video: Search for an item

This video shows you how to use the search window to search for items in your mailbox.

Recover a Deleted Mailbox
To view this video, you must have Silverlight installed. For information about how to install Silverlight, see Get Silverlight.
How do I search for an address?

  • Use Find Someone at the top of the Outlook Web App window. Type part of the name of the person you want to find, and then press ENTER to see a list of possible matches. Click the name of the person to see their contact information.

How do I use a filter?

  1. Click the arrow next to the Filter filter to select one or more criteria for your filter.

  2. When you click the arrow, a drop-down list of criteria will be displayed. Click the criteria you want to use, and then click Apply.

  3. To remove the filter, click Clear Filter clear filter.

What else do I need to know?

  • To search based on the start of a word or name, add an asterisk (*) after the search term. For example, to search for anything that starts with the letters "some", type "some*" in the search window.

  • You can search for an item by using a feature called Advanced Query Search (AQS). To use AQS, type a keyword followed by a colon and then what you want to search for in the Search window. For example, to find anything with a subject that contains "tomorrow", type "subject:tomorrow".


    AQS Term Description


    Searches the From line.


    Searches the To line.


    Searches the Cc line.


    Searches the Bcc line.


    Searches the To, Cc, and Bcc lines.


    Searches the subject.

    Body or Content

    Searches the body.


    Searches the date sent. You can search for a specific date or a range of dates separated by two dots (..). You can also search for relative dates: Today, tomorrow, yesterday, this week, next month, last week, past month. You can search for the day of the week or months of the year.


    Searches the date received. You can use the same search terms as for Sent.


    Searches the Category.


    Searches for the specified attachment. For example "attachment:letter.doc" will find the attachment named letter.doc.


    Use "has:flag" to find items that are flagged.

  • When you use AQS, you can search on multiple terms. When you enter multiple search terms, you can search on any, all, or an exact phrase.

    • Subject: Product plan will find any message with "product" or "plan" in the subject.

    • Subject: (Product plan) will find any message with both "product" and "plan" in the subject.

    • Subject: "Product plan" will find any message with the phrase "product plan" in the subject.

  • You can find someone by clicking the Address Book address book at the top of the Filter filter window to view and search your Contacts folder or the shared address book for your organization.

  • You can also create a search folder based on a filter by clicking Add Filter to Favorites add to favorites. When you click Add Filter to Favorites, a new search folder will appear in your Favorites that uses the criteria of that filter. For example, if you click Add Filter to Favorites when a filter that shows the flagged messages in your Inbox is active, a folder that shows the flagged messages in your Inbox will be added to your Favorites. For more information about Favorites, see Favorites.

What if I want to know more?

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