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How to search contacts by category in Outlook?

You may be able to quickly search for contacts by a certain category in Outlook. But how to find out contacts with more than one categories simultaneously? How about searching for contacts with some categories but excluding ones? And what if searching all contacts except ones with a certain category? In this article, I will introduce the solutions one by one in detail.

Search contacts by a certain/Any/No category

Search contacts with more than one certain category

Search contacts with one certain category but excluding another category

Search all contacts excluding contacts with a certain category

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arrow blue right bubbleSearch contacts by a certain/Any/No category

If you want to search for contacts with a certain category, contacts with any category, or contacts with no categories, you can easily do as following:
Step 1: Shift to the People (or Contacts) view, and open the folder where you want to search for contacts.

Step 2: Activate the Search Tools with putting cursor into the Search Box above the contact list.

Note: In Outlook 2007, click the Expand the Query Builder button doc-search-contact-category-6 to show the Query Builder. And then click Add Criteria > Categories in the Query Builder.

doc-search-contact-category-7

Step 3: Click the Categorized button on the Search Tab (or Categories box in Query Builder in Outlook 2007), and then specify the proper option from the drop down list:

  1. To search for contacts with a certain category, click the Categorized > the certain category name, such as Orange Category;
  2. To search for any contact with categories, click the Categorized > Any Category;
  3. To search for contacts without categories, click the Categorized > No Categories.

Note: In Outlook 2007, you can’t search contacts with Any Categories, or contacts with No Category.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch contacts with more than one certain category

Sometimes, you may need to find out contacts with two or more categories in a meantime. For example, you want to find out contacts with both of Red Category and Purple Category, you can do as following:

Step 1: Shift to the People (or Contacts) view, and open the folder where you want to search for contacts.

Step 2: Activate the Search Tools with putting cursor into the Search Box above the contact list.

Step 3: Click the Categorized > Red Category on the Search tab, and then click the Category > Purple Category again.

Note: This method does not work in Outlook 2007. However, you can enter the category:="Orange Category"+"Purple Category" into the Search box directly in Outlook 20007/2010/2013. You can change the Orange Category and Purple Category to your own needs. See screen shot below:

doc-search-contact-category-5


arrow blue right bubbleSearch contacts with one certain category but excluding another category

Let’s say you will search for contacts which are marked as Red Category but are not marked as Purple Category, how do you deal with it? To get it done, you need to enter the following searching criteria into the search box:

category:="Orange Category"-"Purple Category"

doc-search-contact-category-3

Notes:

(1) Change the Orange Category and Purple Category in the searching criteria as your own needs.

(2) You can expand searching scope with clicking the All Contact Items button on the Search tab.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch all contacts excluding contacts with a certain category

In some cases, the only thing you can reminder is that contacts you search for are not marked as a certain category. Now, you can search the contacts with entering the following searching criteria into the search box:

NOT category:="Orange Category"

Notes:

(1) Change the Orange Category in the searching criteria as your own needs.

(2) This method does not work in Outlook 2007.

(3) You can expand searching scope with clicking the All Contact Items button on the Search tab.


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