Now that we understand the technicalities of Outlook Search, let’s cover some basics regarding search syntax.
Outlook Search uses what is known as “prefix matching”.
If you were to type in “plus” in the Search Box, it will find messages that contain the letters “p-l-u-s” in that order.
This means that words like “plusses” and “plushie” but not words like “xelplus” or “surplus”.
NOTE: The search is case-insensitive, so “plus”, “PLUS”, and “Plus” will all be located.
Exact Phrase Search
If you need to find an exact match of a single word or a set of words, you need to enclose the search in a set of double-quotes.
“Park” would not return “parking” or “parkway”, and “XelPlus is Amazing” would require those words in that exact order.
You can include logical operators like AND, OR, and NOT in your search but they must be typed using uppercase letters.
For example, searching for the words “Leila” and “Gharani” would be typed like so.
Leila AND GHARANI
This will return items with both words present, but not necessarily in that order or even together.
If we typed…
Leila OR Gharani
… we will see items returned with either “Leila”, “Gharani” or both words.
If we want to locate items that contain “Leila” but are absent the word “Gharani”, we can enter the following.
Leila NOT Gharani
You can even use comparison operators like greater than (>), less than (<), equal to (=), and not equal to (<>).
An example of this type of search would be…
Messagesize: > 5 MB
…which returns only messages where the size is greater than five megabytes (likely due to file attachments.)
If you put in a search like…
Received > 2/6/2021
… you will see a list of all email messages received after the date of February 6, 2021.