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How to Search for Messages in Yahoo! Mail


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Often, I know I read something in some email message, but I have no idea which message it was, or where I can find it. Fortunately, Yahoo! Mail has a powerful search engine included that you can use to look for emails.

Search for Messages in Yahoo! Mail

To find mail in Yahoo! Mail:

  • Type your query into the search box at the top.
    • You can search for an exact quote by surrounding your terms with quotations marks. Type '"melodic enthusiasm"' (including the inner but not the outer quotation marks), for example, to find messages containing "melodic enthusiasm" as a phrase.
    • See below for operators to search specific email fields.
  • Hit Enter or click Search Mail.

Yahoo! Mail Search Operators

You can precede search terms with special operators to search only in certain fields, not across all of an email's content and headers.

  • from: — Search for email addresses and names (or parts thereof) in the From: fields of your emails.
    • Type "from:homer" (not including the quotation marks), for example, to find all messages from, say, "Homer <sim@yahoo.com>" or "Dad <homer@yahoo.com>".
    • You can also search for a full name by surrounding it with quotation marks: 'from:"Homer Simpson"' (including the inner quotation marks), for example.
  • subject: — Search for words or phrases in Subject: lines.
    • Type "subject:email" (excluding the quotation marks) to find emails that have "email" in the Subject: line, for example.
    • Use 'subject:"about email"' (including the inner quotation marks) to find emails with the phrase "about email" in the Subject: line.
    • To search for two terms anywhere in the Subject:, use two "subject:" operators, such as "subject:about subject:email".
  • to:, cc:, bcc: — Search Cc: and Bcc: fields in a manner analogous to the To: field above for email recipients.

Combining Search Terms and Operators

You can combine search terms and operator to further search results' precision:

  • Separate multiple search terms, phrases and operators with a white space character to create queries whose results must match all terms.
  • Precede a term, phrase or operator construct with "-" to exclude it from results.
  • To search for all mail from Homer that have "about email" but not "caramba" in the Subject: line, use 'from:homer subject:"about email" -subject:caramba' (not including the outer quotation marks), for example.

Search for Messages in Yahoo! Mail Classic

Yahoo! Mail search itself is easy to find:

  • Click the Search Mail button in the top Yahoo! Mail navigation bar.

A simple search page with a few options that allow you to specify where you want to search — only the sender and subject or complete messages and only in a particular Yahoo! Mail folder or across all your emails — comes up.

If you need more fine-grained search options, follow the Advanced Search link.

Instead of wading through all of your folders, try Yahoo! Mail search the next time you are looking for "something" in "some" message.

(Updated June 2011)

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