Searching Senders, Attachments, and Labels in Your Email Archive
Chances are, you received email today. Chances are, you received a lot of email today. And yesterday. And so on. Searching through a large archive of email can sometimes yield unexpectedly limited results. The default search capability in NYU Mail can get you started, but it might also restrict results based on criteria you may be unaware it’s applying to your search query. Below are some tips for more effectively searching your email by specific sender, attachment, keyword, and other criteria.
Note: Throughout this article, references such as “filename” and “name-of-sender” (as two examples) will be made. In these cases, you should always substitute the specific name for which you want to search.
Search for Messages from a Specific Person
At NYU, most people have more than one email address: Everyone has their NetID@nyu.edu (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), and most people have created an email alias using their name. To search your NYU Email inbox for all the messages from one person, regardless of which email address it was sent from, enter from:name-of-sender in the search field at the top of your inbox (e.g., from:albert-einstein). Be sure not to add a space after from: and use dashes (–) instead of spaces. You can also experiment with entering just the sender’s first or last name; in most cases you won’t need to open the advanced search.
Using a similar process, you can also search Sent Mail for all the messages to one person. In the search field at the top of your inbox enter in:sent to:name-of-recipient.
Please note: By default, Search doesn’t look in your Trash or Spam folders. To search those folders, enter in:spam or in:trash followed by a space and name-of-recipient, or name-of-sender, as applicable.
Find an Attachment
To see all the email messages with attachments, enter has:attachment in the search field. One way to narrow the search further is to pair has:attachment with from:name-of-sender, with a space between the query terms. You can also narrow the search to a file type by pairing has:attachment with filename:pdf or filename:xlsx. If the file was shared, not attached to a message, enter has:drive instead.
Add and Search by Label
Labeling messages that relate to a topic or project is a great way to organize your NYU Email. For instructions on creating, applying, and managing labels, see the ServiceLink knowledge base.
There are two ways to find all the messages in your inbox that have a particular label applied to them. The simplest is to enter label:label-name in the search field. The label name is not case sensitive, but spelling does matter. Alternatively, you can use the advanced search to browse all labels, or to limit search results to specific folders. To do so:
- Open the advanced search by clicking the small down arrow beside the magnifying glass icon in the search bar at the top of the screen.
- In the menu that opens, click the double arrows next to “Search All Mail” to open a sub-menu.
- There, you can scroll through the list and choose to search your NYU Email messages by label or folder, with the option to add search terms like Subject or To.
- To complete the search, click the magnifying glass icon in the lower left of the advanced search box. The search results will display.