How to Use Search Operators in Gmail

Gmail is a powerful tool and platform which has a large number of functions that users are often unaware of. An example of this is the advanced searches with operators that you can use. In case you are wondering what this is for or what benefits using operators brings you, throughout this article you will learn about these details and more.

Index(  )

  1. Benefits of using Gmail search operators
  2. How are search operators used in Gmail?
  3. What are the search operators that we can use in Gmail?
    1. By sender
    2. By recipient
    3. By recipient who has received a copy
    4. By words of the matter
    5. Messages that meet multiple conditions
    6. Messages that do not include certain words
    7. Messages that have a certain label
    8. Messages with attachments or links from Google Drive
    9. Search for YouYube Videos
    10. Search by word or phrase
  4. What is the correct way to use the Gmail search operators?

Benefits of using Gmail search operators

As we have just mentioned, the search operators when they are correctly implemented, provide better access to information to the user whenever they are doing the actions within their Gmail account . It is thanks to these operators that we can obtain a series of benefits such as:

  1. Faster when it comes to getting information that you need in particular. In this way, you would be avoiding manual searches that consume too much time.
  2. The ease of using these operators is not complex at all, you just have to know which one to use and what to use it for.
  3. The same operators work as an organizer, that is, it will show you the information you are looking for depending on the operator you are implementing.
  4. The last benefit is the versatility of search operators since they allow you to literally locate any message, as well as to recover space in your account. This way, you can decide which messages to delete and which to keep.

The advantage you have with Gmail and the operators is that, if you activate and configure your Gmail account on a mobile phone , you can also use the operators from this device.

How are search operators used in Gmail?

There is nothing complicated with the use of operators. In fact, the same Google support page explains that you just have to locate the search bar and then type the operator you want to use. Keep in mind that there are many operators and each of them have a different structure and function.

So, depending on the operator you need, you are going to write it in the search box and then complement it with the name of the person or key word you want to locate. Next, we will detail some of the most common operators that the most advanced people usually use in Gmail.

What are the search operators that we can use in Gmail?

By sender

This operator will allow you to find emails according to the sender who sent you the email, but for some reason you cannot find it. An example of this operator would be: from: juan . It is possible that this operator can be of great use to you whenever you want to locate emails that are self-destructing or that you consider to be of that type.

By recipient

The first operator that we mention refers to the emails that we have received from a person. In this case, the operator is the opposite and allows you to locate all those emails that you sent to a person in chronological order. To use it, you have to type to: David and press Enter.

By recipient who has received a copy

You can locate a recipient who has received a copy of a message you have sent by searching cc: juan or bcc: juan . Either way, it will give you the results as long as the name you are looking for exists and if that person has received a copy.

By words of the matter

This operator is even more precise than the previous one, since the search it implements is based on a keyword that you enter and that you have written in the subject of a sent message, regardless of the people to whom you sent it.

Messages that meet multiple conditions

This is the combination of the first operator , but taken to the next level. That is, instead of searching for one person’s messages, you do two searches at the same time. The good thing is that you have two options to implement it which are:

  1. The first is using the same structure as the per recipient operator, but adding the OR characters. In this case, you have to implement it as follows: from: juan OR from: pedro
  2. The second is by using Square Brackets. The methodology remains the same due to the following difference: {from: juan from: pedro}

Messages that do not include certain words

We can say that it is the easiest operator that you will find in Gmail and that you can also use it when doing a search in Google. The idea is that, if you don’t want a word to appear in your search, put a minus sign in front of it. For example: -work

Messages that have a certain label

This search focuses on those messages that contain a specific tag . If you know about labels in Gmail, you can use this operator as follows: label: friends. It is possible that it can also be used to locate messages that you have sent as mass emails without being Spam , although this will depend on how you use it and if there is an existing label.

Messages with attachments or links from Google Drive

If you thought you couldn’t do an advanced search using attachments, you were wrong. The only “requirement” to use this operator is that you know which of all the operators to use depending on what you want to find, for example:

  • has: drive
  • has: document
  • as: spreadsheet
  • has: presentation

Search for YouYube Videos

If you usually send YouTube videos by email, you can also locate these same emails with the following operator: has: youtube

Search by word or phrase

If you still want the search and the results to be even more precious, you can achieve it with the following operator: “ phrase or words to search ”. It’s that simple and just like excluding words from the search, you can also use it to find specific information on Google or any other search engine.

What is the correct way to use the Gmail search operators?

The correct way is as we have already explained it to you. You just have to locate the search bar , either from your computer, laptop or mobile phone and then write the operator that you think is relevant for your bag in the search. Once you finish writing it and verify that it has the correct structure, this is when you proceed with pressing Enter and waiting for the results.

Keep in mind that, if for any reason you do not get any results , this can be due to two things:

  1. That you have not written the operator in the correct way
  2. Or that there is no email or emails based on the search you have done.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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