How to Search Mail in iPhone Mail

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​In iOS Mail, you can find messages precisely by sender, subject, time, text and various attributes.

Not Sure Which Message and Folder to Open?

It is out there somewhere, or in there?

Find out with the help of iOS Mail; it can scour not only the messages it already knows but it can continue the search on the server (if supported).

Search Mail in iOS Mail

To search your email folders for specific messages in iOS Mail 9:

  1. Open the folder in which you suspect the message you are seeking.
    • iOS Mail can search in all folders of an account, too.
    • To search across accounts, open a smart folder such as the combined inbox.
  2. Scroll to the message list's very top.
  3. Tap in the Search field.
  4. Type your search term or terms.
    • iOS Mail will search the term in the From:, To:, Cc: and Subject: fields as well as the message body.
    • You can also use search operators:
      • Subject: tap a subject line under Subject in the auto-complete list to search for emails with a specific subject.
        1. To search for part of a subject, type your search term in the search field, select Search for "term" from the auto-complete list, then tap the term in the search field and select Subject in the tab bar.
      • Person: tap a person under People to search for senders.
        • To look for a recipient, tap the name in the search field after you have selected it in the auto-complete list and select To: in the tab bar underneath.
      • Unread: to include only unread messages in your results, type "unread" and select Message is Unread under Other.
      • Flagged: to see only flagged mail, type "flagged" and select Message is Flagged under Other.
      • VIP: to see only emails from VIP senders, type "VIP" and select Message Sender is a VIP under Other.
      • Date: to limit results by date, type an expression such as "yesterday", "Monday", "last week", "last month" or "February 2015", for example, and select the desired date under Date.
      • Attachments: to get only emails with files attached, type "attachments" and select Message has Attachments under Other.
      • Folder: to search only a specific folder, type the folders name and select it under Mailboxes.
  1. If you did not select any operator, select Search for "term" in the auto-complete list or tap Search.
  2. Tap in the Search field to add further terms.
  3. To limit your search to the current folder:
    1. Scroll to the top of search results.
    2. Make sure Current Mailbox is selected.
      • Select All Mailboxes to search across the account's folders.

Search Mail in iOS Mail 7–8

To find emails in iOS Mail 8:

  1. If you know in which folder the message you seek is:
    • Go to the folder in which you suspect it.
  2. In iOS Mail on an iPhone or iPod touch:
    • Go to the message list's top.
  3. Tap in the Search field.
  4. Enter the desired search term or terms.
    • iOS Mail will search for the terms in both the emails' header areas and bodies.
    • Terms can appear as a phrase but also individually or as parts of words.
    • iOS Mail will return all messages that include all terms.
  5. Tap Search.
    • iOS Mail will already have begun returning results; you need not tap Search to open or interact with them, of course.
  6. To search across all folders:
    • Make sure All Mailboxes is selected at the search result's top.
  7. To search only the current folder (which should return fewer results faster):
    • Make sure Current Mailbox is selected at the top of your search's results.

Search Mail in iPhone Mail 6

To find messages in iPhone Mail:

  • Open the folder in which you suspect the sought message.
  • Scroll to the message list's very top.
  • Tap in the Search folder field.
  • Enter the desired search term.
    • Tap From to search sender names and addresses.
    • Tap To to search recipients (in the To: and Cc: fields.
    • Tap Subject to search the Subject: lines.
    • Tap All to search message bodies in addition to sender, recipient, and subject lines.
      • iPhone Mail 3 and 4 will only search the header lines, not message text.
  • Tap Continue Search on Server… to search all mail in the folder, not just what iPhone Mail has downloaded before.

Search Across Folders in iPhone Mail

To search all your mail folders in iPhone Mail:

  • Go to the leftmost Home screen.
  • Swipe to the right to reveal Spotlight.
  • Type the desired search terms in the Search iPhone field.
    • iPhone Mail will search the From:, To:, Cc: and Subject: fields (but not message bodies) of all mail already downloaded to your iPhone, no matter the folder.