Search Folders in Outlook

Jan 12, 2023 | Outlook Hints and Tips

Are you constantly doing the same searches over and over again?  You don’t want to move the emails into a specific folder or the emails you are searching for have been filed in more than one folder?  Then search folders could be a great addition to your Outlook toolbox.

What is a Search Folder

A search folder is different to other folders in Microsoft Outlook.  The emails are not actually moved to this location but can be viewed, replied to and deleted from here.  As any emails are received, sent or deleted the search folders automatically update without you needing to do anything.

What can search folders search for?

Search folders can be used to search for the following:

  • Unread mail
  • Mail flagged for follow up
  • Mail either unread or flagged for follow up
  • Important mail
  • Mail from and to specific people
  • Mail from specific people
  • Mail sent directly to me
  • Mail sent to public groups
  • Categorized mail
  • Large mail
  • Old mail
  • Mail with attachments
  • Mail with specific words
  • Custom

Many of these options have choices related to the search that is being carried out.

How to create a search folder

Search folders are available at or near the bottom of the folder list on the left side of the screen when you are in the email part of Outlook.

  1. Right click on Search Folders
  2. Click on New Search Folder
New search folder image

3. Choose the search folder to create

4. Add any additional information required in the customize search folder box

5. Choose which mailbox this applies to

Search folder dialog box image

6. Click on OK

7. The new search folder will now be available in the folder list

8. To rename the search folder created right click on the folder and click on Rename Folder

NOTE:  Email deleted from here is also deleted from the standard Outlook folders too

Remove a Search Folder

  1. Right click on the search folder created
  2. Click on Delete Folder

NOTE: The items contained in the search folder will not be deleted from their original location

Delete search folder image

My top 3 search folders

Everyone will have their own preferences but here are 3 of my favourites.

  • Mail from and to specific people – This allows you to see the files that have been sent or received related to a specific person together
  • Mail flagged for follow up – Instead of scrolling through your list of emails to find those that have been flagged this allows them all to be viewed in one place
  • Large mail – If you have a limited mailbox size then finding the large emails (those over a certain size that you specify) and then deleting them can help keep your mailbox size down quickly

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading how to search folders in Outlook, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Outlook? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Outlook Courses I run.