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Microsoft 365 (Outlook 2013 / 2016 / 2019 for Win) - Find a Message or Item with Instant Search

Need to find an important message in your crowded Inbox or folder? Instant Search helps you to quickly find items in Outlook. The Instant Search pane is always available in all of your Outlook folders, such as Mail, Calendar, and Tasks.

1. Locate the Search bar above the ribbon.

2. To find a word that you know is in a message, or a message from a particular person, type the word or person's name (you can use first, last, and partial names) in the search box. As you start to type, it will create a list of suggestions. Select one of the suggestions or finish typing and select enter on your keyboard. Messages that contain the word or name you specified appear with the search text highlighted in the results.

3. Narrow your search results:

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, use the search tools in the ribbon to narrow down your results. When you are in the Search box, you can select a Scope option on the left side of the ribbon. The default search is your Current Mailbox but you may want to expand the search to include Subfolders or All Outlook Items. Once you decide your scope, you can then Refine your search further by selecting an option such as the subject line, the sender, or who it was sent to, for example.


4. To refine your search even further, you can click on the + More option in the Refine section of the ribbon and add as many additional search fields as you like.


5. When you’re finished, you can clear the search by clicking the X (Close Search) in the ribbon.


For the most current instructions on using Instant Search, please check out the following Microsoft help article:

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KeywordsOutlook searching email mail folder inbox missing Office   Doc ID53178
OwnerThomas P.GroupParkland College
Created2015-06-24 15:04:21Updated2024-02-02 18:21:40
SitesParkland College
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