How to search for an email on your iPhone, in the Mail or Gmail app


If your email inbox is constantly filling up, important messages can get buried very quickly.

Luckily, the search function can help you find emails by sender, recipient, subject line, or simply a keyword.

Both the Gmail app and Apple’s Mail app on your iPhone have easy-to-use search functions.

Here’s how to access both of them.

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How to search emails on your iPhone in the Mail app

When you look at your email inbox in the Mail app, you may not immediately see a Search box. Swipe down on the mail screen and the Search box will appear.

1. Once you tap into the Search box, Mail presents you with several suggested generic searches. Tap any of these options, or type or dictate your search terms.

2. When you type or dictate a term, the app will search for any messages that include the term in the sender, subject, or the body of the email. Mail also suggests people and subjects you can search, to narrow your results, and shows you the top hits from your search terms. If one of the top hits is the email you’re looking for, simply tap it to open the email.

3. You can also choose to search All Mailboxes or the Current Mailbox. Current Mailbox is the Mail folder you were in when you started your search. Toggle these options by tapping the boxes under the Search box.

4. Your search results will appear in reverse date order. In the results screen, you have additional choices to filter your results: From, To, and Message.

5. You can also toggle between All Mailboxes and Current Mailbox in the search results. Tap the spacebar on your keyboard to change the filter buttons to these options.

6. Tap the X in the right of the Search box to exit your current search and start another. Tap Cancel in the upper right corner of your screen to exit search.

How to search emails on your iPhone in the Gmail app

If you use the Gmail app to check your email on your iPhone, the “Search mail” field appears at the top of your email inbox. To search, follow these simple steps.

1. Tap the “Search mail” field. Google will start by suggesting search terms, based on your most common searches.

2. If none of the suggestions match your desired search, type or dictate your search terms. To dictate, you can tap the mic icon in the right of the “Search mail” field or use the mic icon in your iPhone keyboard.

3. Once you begin searching, Gmail will offer suggestions, much like when you search on Google. If the sender or subject you’re searching for appears, tap that option. If not, tap the Search button at the bottom of your keyboard when you’re done typing.

4. If you dictate your search, Gmail will search as soon as you stop speaking.

5. Gmail will display the search term and the search results in reverse date order. To exit and return to your regular mail view, tap the X to the right of the search terms.

When you search your email using the Gmail app, the search pulls from your Inbox and Sent emails. It won’t bring up items you’ve moved to the Trash folder.

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