Android

Supercharge your Android Gmail searches

Jack Wallen shows you a quick way to make searching through that massive Gmail inbox on your Android device a snap.

Gmail search

One of the handiest features of the Android Gmail apps is the search function. Tap that little search button in the app, and you can search through your emails for whatever you like. However, there are ways to really empower that search. Say you want to search for the word "Android" in your emails, but you only want to see results that are older than 7 days. You can do that. Or let's say you want to search for emails with the subject "meeting" from "Olivia" or "John" — you can do that as well. Let me show you how.

The trick is to know which operators to use in the search field. Let's stick with the examples I gave above. All search operators are added in the search field, separated by commas. So, to search through your inbox for emails containing the word "Android" that are older than 7 days, the search string would look like this:

android, older_than:7d

After running that query, the results will appear.

You can get more complex with operands like OR. Let's search the inbox for emails containing "meeting" from Olivia or John. The search string would look like this:

meeting, from:olivia OR from:john

Make this more specific by adding the older_than operator, like so:

meeting, from:olivia OR from:john, older_than:30d

You can make this search as simple or as complex as you like. Naturally, the more complicated you make it, the longer the search will take. However, when your inbox is filled with thousands of emails, allowing those complex searches to run is well worth the wait.

There are a ton of operators you can use. Search through this listing of the operators and a description of how each is used.

Google and Android make it incredibly easy to get the information you need at your fingertips. Give this search system a try, and see if it doesn't empower your Gmail experience.

How extensively do you use Gmail while you're on the go? What tips do you have for maintaining your Gmail inbox? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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