How to find old messages on Gmail ?

How to find old messages on Gmail
How to find old messages on Gmail

Last updated: January 2, 2023

Regular cleaning of your box Gmail is one of the important elements that allows access to all these emails quickly. But unfortunately, the majority of people don't do this.

So when it is necessary find a certain email, it can sometimes become a bit of an obstacle course. If you are here, it must have happened to you. So here we will show you how to find an old message on Gmail in just a few clicks.

The easiest way, use the search bar

The first thing that we will give you is a means that a good part of the people who use regularly Gmail know, it is a function which is extremely practical for finding emails.

However, we are also aware that some of our readers may be beginners in computers and the Internet, so it is better to start with the basics, that is to say the function research of Gmail.

You've probably noticed this little bar just above your emails. Well, this one allows you to search within them, a bit like if you were using Google to search on the Web.

So, here you can type things that will make it easy for you to find your email. It can for example be the title of this one if you remember it which generally gives very good results.

You no longer have the title? This is completely normal, but you probably know the person who sent you this email. By typing his name on Gmail, you will see all those specifically sent by her.

Remember to bookmark important messages

As we have just said, we often have tons of emails that are not very interesting throughout the day. So important friends can end up getting lost on Gmail and to avoid this and future research, there are solutions.

The first solution is simply the fact of add email conversations to your favorites. Public chat Gmail, just click on the little yellow bookmark at the top right of the email.

Thus, these emails indicated as favorites, they will stand out much more easily compared to all the others on Gmail. It's very practical to find the email you're looking for on Gmail to see it appear to us in a more readable way than the rest.

So if in addition to that, you regularly sort through advertising and uninteresting emails, you should soon see much more clearly in your mailbox and no longer lose what is important.

Use the “before” command Gmail

Now that we have seen the basics of searching for email in Gmail, let's see some techniques which are a little more advanced and which will allow you to do more precise research.

The first word that we will use to be able to do this research is the function before. Here, the idea is simple, it is that you received an email which you know is from a few years ago, let's say July 2017 for the example.

Well, as we told you at the very beginning of the article about the search function, you will be able to type a keyword or a recipient to find it. Except that to avoid having all the messages after this month of July 2017, here is the command that you will be able to put before your keyword on Gmail : before:2017/7/31

Via this function, only messages sent before July 31, 2017 will appear in your search. Be careful all the same to a small detail that is important in what you are going to hit.

If in France, we put the days before the months, in the USA, it's the opposite. You will therefore have to type the number corresponding to the month, before that corresponding to the day, otherwise you will have unpleasant surprises with either erroneous results or a command that does not work at all!

Juggling the “before and after” commands of Gmail

Let's say that you know even more precisely when this email was sent to you on Gmail and that it was between July 1 and 31, 2017. Well, it is possible to refine the search even further in your box Gmail.

Here, the idea is to not only use the command before (before in French), but also the command after (after in French). So let's go back to the example we just came up with.

The command you will have to type to search for an email from Christian Robert between July 1 and July 31, 2017 will therefore be as follows:

after:2017/07/01 before:2017/07/31 Christian Robert

So, you will only have messages specifically sent by this person, between July 1 and 31, 2017 that will appear. This will greatly facilitate your task in your future email searches.

En conclusion

There, you now know the different techniques that allow you to do a search on Gmail and almost certainly find the email you've been looking for for a while now.

These techniques, they are simple and if they require a little gymnastics of the brain to adapt the European format of the date to the American format, there is no doubt that you will get there quickly.

However, we still advise you to use the other techniques that we have mentioned, such as bookmarking important conversations or regularly deleting messages that do not interest you. This will save you a lot of hassle and hours of searching the next time you are looking for a particular email.