How to Search Mail in iPhone Mail

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

Business man's hands typing on a smart phone

 Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

​Whether you use the iOS Mail app to access only your iCloud email or you've set it up to access mail from other email servers, chances are you have lots of emails on your iPhone or iPad.

You can search your iPhone email if you need to find a specific message among all the others. Use the methods below to find emails by sender, subject, time, text, and other parameters.

You can search emails no matter what iOS version or device model you're using. However, the instructions differ between them, so be sure to follow the steps that pertain to your specific device.

Use the Mail App to Search Email

The most effective way to search iPhone emails is from the Mail app itself.

Search Email in iOS 7 and Newer

  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've 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 very 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
Three iOS screens showing Mail app's Search, Unread Messages and Unread search term
 Lifewire

Search Email in iOS 6 and Earlier

  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 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 message text.

  5. Tap Continue Search on Server to search all mail in the folder, not just 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 even have to open the Mail app to do so; just trigger Siri by holding down the side or home button (depending on your device), and say something like this:

Show all emails from <person>

Or maybe you just want to see emails from today:

Which emails arrived today?

In seconds, the screen will populate 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 just a single search.