Do you use the Apple Mail application on your Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, iPad or iMac? If so, sometimes searching for an e-mail can be tricky. Apple Mail uses a searching system that makes finding messages easier through the use of “search tokens.” With a search token, you can search by date, name, subject, message contents, or any combination of these.
To begin finding an e-mail, locate the search bar in the upper right-hand corner of the Mail application. Type in what you remember about the message – perhaps it’s a person or the subject line – and as you type, Mail will offer a list of available options. In the image below, Joyce will be the first token used.
Many of the available tokens (with the exception of the date) will give you additional options by clicking on the small downward facing arrow beside the term. Below, Joyce is someone who has sent an email in the past. You can edit this search by selecting who it’s from, to, or the entire message.
Your search isn’t limited to just one token. If you use two or more in combination, Mail looks for messages that match all of the tokens in the search bar. To add another token, type another word and Apple Mail will give you available options. In the search below, the e-mail trying to be located is from Joyce@gac.edu and has the word educators in the subject.
To specify a date, simply type in a month followed by the 4-digit year. Here, we’re searching for emails in October of 2012.
Search tokens are useful when trying to quickly and easily locate an e-mail in Apple Mail. For more information, visit this article on Apple Mail’s advanced search tips.