Although the most common searches you’ll do in Gmail will be for messages from a single individual, Gmail offers incredible tools for searching. Here are some advanced search tips to keep in mind.

Search Gmail by a Date Range

Search Gmail by a Date Range

Click on the downward arrow on the far right of your Gmail search box to open search options. Enter a date range and any additional search operatives. In this case, I’m searching for messages from Jill Swenson that arrived within 1 day of February first.

Tada! Messages from Jill from a one-day range of February 1st.

Search Gmail for Attachments

Search Gmail for Attachments

If you are looking for a specific attachment, start by clicking the downward arrow for search options. Choose a relevant keyword and select the ‘Has Attachment box’.

Search for emails with attachments in gmail

Bingo. Quickly find the attachment you’re looking for.

Search within a Certain Label

Search only messages with a certain label in gmail

While in the search option box, click the ‘All Mail’-labeled dropdown message. You can choose to search through a specific label instead of through your entire mail archive.

Search Gmail for Messages With One Phrase and Without Another

search gmail for messages with one phrase and not another

I’m trying to find a message from Jill about a book review that’s not about one of our favorite authors and clients, Cathryn Prince. To do this, I add “Book Review” to the ‘Has the words’ text box and ‘Cathryn’ to the ‘Doesn’t have’ text box.

And there I have it – all my messages with one phrase and without another.


You may not have folders in Gmail, but you certainly have more computational power. Combine these searches to find anything in your Gmail archive – there’s no need to ever file your email messages again.

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Other Publications by author-clients of Swenson Book Development LLC

Chelsea Hanson
Mango, May 19, 2020

Cathryn J. Prince
Chicago Review Press, May 7, 2019

Amy Pershing / Chevese Turner
Routledge, August 10, 2018

Diane Tober
Rutgers University Press, November 30, 2018

Larry Scheckel
Tumblehome Learning, May 1, 2019