How to Search Mail in iPhone Mail

Use Siri to search your emails faster than you can type a search term

What to Know

  • iOS 7 through iOS 14: Open Mail app > Mailboxes. Select All Inboxes > enter search term.
  • iOS 6 and earlier: Open Mail app > at top of list, tap Search Folder > enter search term.
  • Using Siri: Say, "Show all email from" or something similar.

This article explains how to search emails through the Mail app or by asking Siri on your iPhone. You can search emails no matter what iOS version or device model you have, though information in this article covers iOS 14 and earlier.

How to Search Email in iOS 7 Through 14

If you are running iOS 7 through iOS 14, the process is straightforward.

  1. Open the Mailboxes screen in the Mail app. To get there, tap the arrow at the top left of the app until you find the list of email providers you set up.

  2. Select All Inboxes at the top if you want to search all your mailboxes at once or select any of the email accounts in the list to limit the mail search to that account.

    Another option is to search mail in specific folders within those email accounts, in which case you can select one of those folders.

  3. Scroll to the top to find the search box and tap it to start searching through the emails. The Mail app can find emails based on what's in the From, To, Cc, Bcc, and Subject fields, as well as text in the body.

    Optionally, when you tap the search box, you can choose one of those options to limit the email search before you begin:

    • Unread Messages: Includes only unread messages in the search results.
    • Flagged Messages: Includes only flagged mail in the search results.
    • Messages from VIPs: Returns only emails from VIP senders.
    • Messages with Attachments: Finds only emails with files attached.
    iPhone Mail app showing Search box and options

How to Search Email in iOS 6 and Earlier

If you are running iOS 6 or earlier, the process is different.

  1. Open the Mail app to the folder where you think the message you're looking for might be.

  2. Scroll to the top of the message list by tapping at the top of the screen where the time is displayed.

  3. Tap Search folder.

  4. Enter the desired search term.

    Tap From to search sender names and addresses, To to search email by the recipient in the To and Cc fields, Subject to search the Subject lines, or All to search in every part of the email.

    iPhone Mail 3 and 4 only search the header lines, not the message text.

  5. Tap Continue Search on Server to search all mail in the folder, not only the email that's been downloaded to your device. This option isn't available for all email providers.

Search Mail With Siri

Another way to search email on your iPhone or iPad is with Siri. You don't have to open the Mail app to do it. Trigger Siri by holding down the side or home button (depending on your device), and say "Show all email from ..." or something similar.

If you want to see emails from today, say "Which email arrived today?"

In seconds, the screen populates with all emails that match the search. You can tap any of them to jump right to the message in the Mail app.

The best part? Siri searches across all email providers and folders with a single search.

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