Find old email messages in Windows Mail using the search tool
Even if you are extremely well organized, it quickly becomes tedious -if not impossible- to find email messages as time passes, and as new emails keep flooding your inbox! Another tutorial explains how you can sort your emails by pretty much any field you want; the ability to sort your emails to find one implies that you remember where that particular message is, which is not always the case. So, fortunately, Windows Mail comes with built an email search tool that will allow you to find virtually any message you want.
Launch the "Find Message" tool to search for emails
Follow these steps to start searching your email folders for messages:
If needed, start by opening Windows Mail
Once inside, go to the Edit menu and click on the "Find" submenu
Click on "Message" (in other words, you want to find email messages)
Notice that you can quickly access this tool in the future by pressing the corresponding keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+F ("F" as in Find)
The Windows Mail find Message Tool will open, and let you customize up to 9 different search criteria, which we'll explain in detail.
By default, Windows Mail automatically uses the folder selected when you launched the Find Message tool; if you are looking for emails in another folder, just click on the Browse button, and select the folder in which you want to search for emails.
Notice the optional "Includes subfolders" checkbox: if checked, Windows Mail will not only search inside the selected folder, but also in any subfolder it may contain. (If that folder doesn't have any subfolders, leaving that checkbox checked will not make a difference.)
You then have four text fields, all of which allows Windows Mail to narrow down the search based on anything to enter; all these fields are optional.
Under the "From" field, you can enter the name or the email address of the sender whose message you are looking for.
Under "To", optionally enter the email addresse(s) to which the email was sent
Under "Subject" and "Message", respectively, you can enter words that you know appear in either the email's subject line, or in its body.
With "Received before" and "Received after", Windows Mail lets you define the timeframe or an exact date at which you received the email.
If you remember that the email message you want to find had a file attached to it, check the "Message has attachment(s)" checkbox.
If you remember having flagged that particular email, check the "Message is flagged" checkbox.
Again, remember that all of these search fields are optional; you only need to enter values that will help narrow down the email to find. In some cases, that may just be a few keywords in the subject search field (for example).
Once you have entered all your search criteria, click on the "Find Now" button.
Windows Mail will display a listing of all matching emails at the bottom; to open any email likely to be the one you were looking for, just double-click on it to open it.
This is all you need to know to find pretty much any email you have inside Windows Mail; if you want to store over with a new email search, just click on the "New Search" button, and Windows Mail will reset all search fields to their default values, with the exception of the "Look in" field at the top, which determines in which email folder to search for messages.