Better Searching in Outlook 2010

A common problem with email searches is that they can return too many results. For example, entering someone’s name may return matches where the name appears in parts of the message’s body even though you meant to look for messages from that person. It can be also hard to enter other criteria to help narrow your search, such as whether it has an attachment or that it has a particular category applied. Wouldn’t it be great if you could specify these parameters easily and get a better set of results – finding what you want even faster? Outlook 2010 makes it easy!

Outlook 2010 makes searching your mailbox more efficient with two new features: the Search Contextual Tab in the Ribbon and the Search Suggestion List.


Search Contextual Tab

Search Contextual Tab

The Search Contextual Tab is displayed each time you click into the search box. It allows you to filter your search results using a variety of parameters, including:

· Sender’s name

· Subject keywords

· Presence of attachments

· Categories

· Sent date

· Flagged messages

· The recipient’s name in the TO or CC fields

· Importance

· Read/unread status

· … and many more!

You can use this tab to help you find messages quickly and easily. For example, suppose you are searching for a message with the phrase “Food Blog”, but more than 100 items return matching that query. Let’s suppose you also remember that this message has an attachment. Now you can instantly narrow down the results to a much smaller set to find what you are looking for by clicking the Has Attachments button in the Search Contextual Tab:

Search Tab Filters

And that’s just one of the many filters available in the Search Contextual Tab!


Search Suggestion List

Search Suggestion List

The vast majority of searches contain a combination of keywords, along with the names of the sender or a known phrase in the subject line. Restricting results to a specific sender is a powerful filter that often helps narrow down results quickly.

In Outlook 2010, you will see a list beneath the search box when you begin a query. You can just type and then arrorw down to limit your search to mail from someone or with a specific subject. The results returned will be only those that show a match in the name (or subject) fields against your query!

This is just a taste of the new powerful search capabilities built into Outlook 2010. We hope you enjoy this new experience and that it will help you be more productive each time you need to find a message in your mailbox.

Nelson Siu
Outlook Program Manager

More info on Outlook search:

Can’t find that email message? These three tips can help

Find a message or item with Instant Search

Best Practices for Outlook 2010