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Using “Search Folders” in Outlook 2010

A Search Folder is a virtual folder that provides a view of all email items that match specific search criteria. For example, the Unread Mail Search Folder enables you to view all unread messages in one folder, even though the messages might be saved in different folders. Another example is using a Search Folder to pull together all the emails from a specific person into one folder, and again, the original messages stay in the original stored folders.

This also works for “words”.  If you are working on a project, and your project team agrees to always use the name of the project in emails, you can build a Search Folder to pull together all the emails for the project.

  • NOTE
    • Search Folders support prefix matching in the text strings that you specify. For example, if you want to include all messages that contain the word “rain” in the Search Folder, the Search Folder also includes messages that contain words such as “raining” or “rainy.”  Words such as “brain” are excluded.

Add a Search Folder

  • In Outlook 2010, on the Folder tab, click “New Search Folder”
    Create a New Search Folder

    Create a New Search Folder

    • Or, Right click “Search Folders” in the folder listings and select “New Search Folder”
    • Or, Keyboard shortcut to create a Search Folder press CTRL+SHIFT+P
  • From the “Select Search Folder” list click the pre-defined Search Folder you want to add
    • If desired, under “Custom” at the bottom of the list, you can specify the custom search criteria to use, which can be very detailed
      Select Criteria for Search Folder

      Select Criteria for Search Folder

    • Continue with completing criteria
    • Your new “Search Folder” should appear under the “Search Folders” in Navigation Pane on the left
      • Click the folder to initiate the aggregate collection of emails based on your criteria
        Newly created Search Folder for all emails from Travis Zetterower

        Newly created Search Folder for all emails from Travis Zetterower

Now you can see all the emails based on your search criteria, and you can sort the emails in the folder by many different ways, the image shows my sort is by the “Folder” where the email is stored.

Search results based on all emails from Travis Zetterower

Search results based on all emails from Travis Zetterower