Outlook 2010 Advanced – Lesson 7 – Searching Items

Outlook provides several tools to help you search for items. You can use standard or customized search folders to collect all messages (or other items) stored across different folders within Outlook. You can also quickly search for items within the current folder using Instant or Advanced Search. In this module, we’ll also look at searching for contacts.

Understanding Search Folders

A search folder allows you to view all messages that meet certain criteria and view them in one virtual place. Outlook has three default search folders:

  • Categorized Mail
  • Large Mail
  • Unread Mail

In addition, you can create a number of custom search folders, such as to collect all messages that have been flagged for follow-up or all mail from a certain sender.

Setting Up and Using Search Folders

Outlook provides several templates for search folders. You can also create a customized search folder.

Use the following procedure to set up a custom search.

  1. Right-click on the Search Folder in the Navigation pane.

  1. Select New Search Folder from the context menu.

Outlook displays the New Search Folder window.

  1. Select one of the search folder templates in the top section of the window or select Create a Custom Search Folder.
  2. Depending on your selection, you may need to enter the criteria in the bottom section of the window. Follow the instructions on the screen, and use the Choose button to open additional windows. Some examples are illustrated below.

  1. Select whether to search the Personal Folders or the Archive Folders.
  2. Select OK.

Outlook creates the search folder and immediately includes any messages that meet the selected criteria.

Using Instant Search

Use the following procedure to perform an Instant Search.

  1. Click in the Search field at the top of the folder pane (Inbox or other selected folder). Outlook highlights the search area, as well as the selected folder on the Navigation pane.

  1. Enter the text to include in the search.

As you begin typing, Outlook starts searching. It displays the Search Results (in place of the full contents of that folder).

  1. You can read, reply, delete, or move the items just like from any other folder.
  2. Click the X in the Search field to clear the search.

Using Advanced Search

When you click on the Search field at the top of the Inbox or any other folder, the Search tab appears on the Ribbon. The tools on this Ribbon allow you to refine the search and change the scope of the search.

View the Search tab on the Ribbon.


Use the following procedure to search for messages from a certain sender as an example of an advanced search.

  1. Select the From tool from the Ribbon.

  1. Enter the Sender’s name to replace the highlighted text “Sender Name.”

Using Contact Search

The Contact search allows you to quickly find one of your contacts from the Mail view of Outlook.

Use the following procedure to perform a quick search for a contact.

  1. Start typing the contact’s name in the Search for Contact field in the Find group on the Ribbon.

Outlook displays the Choose Contacts dialog box.

  1. Highlight the name and select OK.

Outlook opens the Contact screen for that contact.

Leave a Reply