Microsoft 365 (Outlook on the web) - Search for messages and people

You can search for messages and people in Outlook Web App by using the search window at the top of the item list in Mail and in People.

In this article

Searching in Mail

Important Search shows the first 30-50 matches. You can scroll past the bottom of the search result to load more messages.

To search in Mail:

  1. Select Outlook at the top of Outlook on the web.

  2. Enter what you want to search for in the search box.

    Outlook on the web search box

  3. Select Enter or select the search icon search for support.
  4. For advanced search options, click on the three horizontal lines preceding the magnifying icon and enter the desired search criteria.

    Outlook on the web advanced search screen

You can also use Advanced Query Search, or AQS, to refine your searches. To use AQS, type a keyword followed by a colon, and then what to search for in the search box. For example, to find any message with a subject that contains "tomorrow", enter subject:tomorrow in the search box. More search options/terms.

AQS keyword



Searches the From field.


Searches the To field.


Searches the Cc field.


Searches the Bcc field.


Searches the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.


Searches the subject.

Body or Content

Searches the message body.


Searches the date sent. You can search for a specific date or a range of dates separated by two dots (..). You can also search for relative dates: Today, tomorrow, yesterday, this week, next month, last week, past month. You can search for the day of the week or month of the year.

Important   Date searches must be entered in month/day/year format: MM/DD/YYYY.


Searches for the date received. You can use the same search terms as for Sent.


Searches the Category field.


Searches for the specified attachment by title. For example, attachment:letter.doc will find any message with an attachment named letter.doc.


Use has:flag to find items that are flagged.

When you use AQS, you can search on multiple search terms. When you enter multiple search terms, you can search on any, all, or an exact phrase.

  • Subject: product plan will find any message with "product" or "plan" in the subject.
  • Subject: (product plan) will find any message with both "product" and "plan" in the subject.
  • Subject: "product plan" will find any message with the phrase "product plan" in the subject.
  • Received<=2016-04-20 AND From:”Bucky Badger” will find any message prior to or equal to 4/10/2016 and from "Bucky Badger".

More search options/terms.

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Searching in People

When searching in this context, search query will be performed against contacts, directory, and groups.

To search in People:

  1. Select People from within your Outlook view.
  2. Enter the desired search term within the search box.
    Outlook on the web contact search box
  3. Select Enter or click the search icon search for support.
  4. Refine your search by selecting one Search Directory
  5. To clear your search results, click the left arrow located left of your search term(s).

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Keywordsmicrosoft office o365 m365 microsoft 365 web client outlook web app help email calendaring overview messages searching owa attachments read my new   Doc ID31847
OwnerO365 S.GroupMicrosoft 365
Created2013-07-25 10:38:12Updated2023-11-02 10:34:05
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Microsoft 365
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