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How to search with escape/special characters in Outlook?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2016-06-27

Letโ€™s say I received many emails whose subjects begin with [#KTO- in Outlook as below screenshot shown. Now I need to find out these emails. However, when I typing [# into the Instant Search box, it reports no search results. Obviously, the special characters [ and # are escaped. So how could I search with escape/special characters in Outlook? Try below solution:

Search with escape/special characters by Advanced Find feature in Outlook

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arrow blue right bubble Search with escape/special characters by Advanced Find feature in Outlook

This method will guide you to search with escape/special characters by the Advanced Find feature in Outlook. Please do as follows:

1. In the Mail view, open the mail folder where you will search with escape/special characters.

2. Press the Ctrl + Shift + F keys simultaneously to open the Advanced Find dialog box.

3. In the Advanced Find dialog box, please go to the Advanced tab, and (see screenshot below):

(1) Click Field > All Mail fields > Subject (Message, or any other field as you need);

(2) Select contains from the Condition drop down list;

(3) Type the escape/special characters into the Value box;

(4) Click the Add to List button.

4. Now the custom search criteria has been added into the Find items that match these criteria section. Click the Find Now button, and then all emails whose specified fields contain the escape/special characters are found and listed at the bottom of the Advanced Find dialog box. See screenshot:

5. Close the Advanced Find dialog box as you need.

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