It’s hard to feel like Gmail isn’t due a major overhaul. Many of Google’s other productivity apps—such as Calendar, News, and Keep—have been redesigned in the last 18 months. Surely Gmail is next?
When the upgrade eventually happens, Google will hopefully include some additional filters and inbox management tools. Until then, you’ll need to memorize a few search terms if you want to perform some “inbox gymnastics.”
Here are some useful search tricks every Gmail power user should know.
1. Find Large Files
Type size: in the search box followed by a number of bytes to find emails with massive files attached. It’s useful if you’re getting near your storage allowance.
2. Find Photos
Stop scrolling through emails from five years ago just to find your favorite holiday snap. Instead, type filetype: followed by one of the common image formats (for example, PNG or JPEG).
3. Find Old Messages
Have you ever tried scrolling back to emails from last year? How about from three years ago? It takes ages.
Instead, use after:[date], before:[date], older:[date], or newer:[date] to find messages from a certain timeframe.
4. Find Important Emails
Google automatically adds an Important flag to emails from people you frequently contact.
To find those emails in your inbox, type is:important and hit Enter. All the fluff will be filtered out.
5. Find Emails From a Specific Person
Struggling to find that single six-month-old email but you can remember the sender’s name? Type from: followed by the person’s name and you’ll have it on your screen in seconds.
And remember, one final tip…
All the regular search operators that you use on Google every day also work in Gmail. We’ve covered some of the most useful elsewhere on the site.