Every once in awhile I get the urge to clean up emails and get rid of a bunch of stuff I just don’t need. On one hand, it’s nice to be able to reference old emails, but on the other you risk exposing your personal information to potential evil-doers (hackers or even mining/advertiser information if you’re using a freemail account like Gmail). Do you really need those emails from 8 years ago? Probably not.

Anyway, regardless of the motivation, here are some useful filters that I use:

Gmail

Gmail filters listed below are all performed by typing the unbolded text from the bullets below into your search box. You can combine them in any way you like – just put a space between each filter

  • All unread email: label:unread
  • All emails sent or received prior to a specific date: before:2018/1/1
  • All emails without a label: -has:userlabels
  • All emails not in the inbox, sent, drafts, or chat folders: -in:inbox -in:drafts -in:sent -in:chat
  • All emails with attachments: has:attachment
  • All emails at least as large as a certain size (in bytes – example is about 5MB): size:5242880

Outlook

Outlook is a little bit different as it offers some pretty powerful features such as search folders, but filtering can still be performed by using the search box for most items

  • All unread email (multiple options):
    • Choose the folder you want
      • On the right side of the mail pane, there is a dropdown that defaults to “All.” You can select “Unread” from the dropdown to see only unread
    • Create a search folder
      • On the left pane (of the default view) that shows your email folders, scroll down to the bottom of the Data File/Account where you want to view unread messages
      • Look for a folder called “Search Folders”
        • Right click on “Search Folders” and choose “New Search Folder”
        • Select “Unread Mail” from the list in the popup window that opens and hit OK
    • Drag the new “Unread Mail” search folder into your favorites (Optional)
  • All emails received prior to a specific date: received:<2018/1/1
  • All emails sent prior to a specific date: sent:<2018/1/1
  • All emails with attachments: hasattachment:yes (or has:attachment)
  • All emails with an attachment matching a specific file extension: ext:jpg
  • All emails at least as large as a certain size (in bytes – example is about 5MB): messagesize:>=5 MB

Resources: