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How to search emails include subfolders in Outlook?

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2014-12-08

In Outlook, when you select a folder and start instant searching, the current folder is the default search scope. If there are subfolders existing in your selected folder, and you would like the search scope expand to the subfolders along with the current folder. What would you do? In this tutorial, you will learn how to search emails including subfolders in Outlook.

Search emails include subfolders in Outlook 2010 and 2013

Search emails include subfolders in Outlook 2007

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arrow blue right bubbleSearch emails include subfolders in Outlook 2010 and 2013

If you are using Outlook 2010 and 2013, searching emails in current folder along with the subfolders is quite easy.

1. Get in to the email folder which you want to start searching within as well as its subfolders.

2. Click on the Instant Search box to activate the Search Tools, type the search condition in the box, and then click All Subfolders in the Scope group under Search tab. See screenshot:

Then all emails in the selected folder and the subfolders which meet the search conditions are listed in the mail list.

Note: If you want to know which folders the filtered emails locate in, you can click on the column header above the mail list, then check Folders options.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch emails include subfolders in Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, you need to create a search folder in order to search the subfolders.

1. Click File > New > Search Folder. See screenshot:

2. In the New Search Folder dialog box, scroll down to select Create a custom Search Folder in the Custom section, then click the Choose button.

3. In the Custom Search Folder dialog box, give a name to the search folder and then click the Browse button.

4. In the Select Folder(s) dialog box, you need to:

1). Check the folder which you want to search include subfolders. For example the Inbox;

2). Check the Search subfolders box;

3). Click the OK button. See screenshot:

5. Click OK button in the Custom Search Folder dialog box.

6. Then a prompt box pops up, click Yes.

7. Click the OK button in the New Search Folder dialog box to finish the setting.

8. Then the search folder is created with the Inbox and all Inbox subfolders listing inside. Type search condition in the search box, and the search will be work in the whole search folder.


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