How to Find All Mail Exchanged with a Contact in Gmail

Gmail can show you all mail you sent to and from a contact.

Search Smarts

Looking for a message in Gmail? Use the search field!

If you want to know what mail you exchanged recently with a certain contact, there may be a more comfortable alternative to typing the person's email address in the Gmail search field, however.

Find All Mail Exchanged with a Contact in Gmail—Starting with an Email

To see all emails sent to or from an email address starting with a recent message (to or from) the sender:

  1. Open a conversation with the sender in Gmail.
  2. Position the mouse cursor over the bold part of the email's sender in the message's header area.
    • ​​This will be either the name—if present—or the email address, repeated, if only an email address is known for the sender.
  3. ​Click Emails in the contact sheet that has appeared.

Find All Mail Exchanged with a Contact in Gmail—Starting with the Name or Email Address

To have Gmail bring up all emails exchanged with a certain email address:

  1. Click into the Gmail search field.
  2. ​Start typing the name or an email address for the contact.
  3. If possible, select an auto-complete entry for the contact or sender from what Gmail has suggested.
  4. Hit Enter or click the search button (🔍).

Gmail will show contact details for the name or email address at the top, if possible. It will also list additional email addresses for the contact.

Clicking any address will bring up a new message to that address. To search for messages exchanged with this additional address, you can copy and paste the address into the search field.

Find All Mail Exchanged with a Contact in Gmail—Using Alternate Addresses

To search for emails to and from multiple email addresses belonging to the same person (though, of course, not necessarily so):

  1. Click the Gmail search field or press /.
  2. Type "to:" followed by the first email address, followed by " OR from:" followed again by the first email address.
  3. Now, for each additional address:
    1. ​Type " OR to:" followed by that email address, followed by " OR from:" followed by that address again.
    • ​The complete string searching for "sender@example.com" and "recipient@example.com" would be the following, for instance:
      to:sender@example.com OR from:sender@example.com OR to:recipient@example.com OR from:recipient@example.com
  4. ​Hit Enter or click the search icon (🔍).

Note that this technique will only look for addresses in the To:, From: and Cc: fields. Instead of typing full email addresses, you can also use partial addresses (like user or domain names)—or names, in full or in part, like "from:sender OR to:sender".

Find All Mail Exchanged with a Contact in a Previous Version of Gmail

To find messages sent to and received from a person in Gmail (previous version):

  • Select Contacts from the left column menu in Gmail.
  • Click the desired person.
    • If you do not exchange messages frequently with the contact, you may have to click All Contacts first.
  • Under Recent Conversations, find mail exchanged with the contact.

    (Updated August 2016, tested with Gmail in a desktop browser)

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