HomeInternetGoogleGmail: Use Shorthand When Searching for Mail

Gmail: Use Shorthand When Searching for Mail

Gmail has it’s own shorthand to use when searching the built-in labels. This makes it much quicker to type in your search query.


By using the following shorthand in the Search box, you can easily specify the label you wish to search.

You use l to represent the term label followed by a colon then the two character shorthand to represent the label name, as follows:

l:^u – Unread Messages
l:^i – Inbox
l:^t – Starred Messages
l:^f – Sent Mail
l:^b – Chats
l:^r – Drafts
l:^s – Spam
l:^k – Trash

You can mix the shorthand, such as l:^u l:^i which would perform a search on all unread emails in your inbox.

After you input the desired shorthand, add any additional search criteria to your query and click the Search Mail button.

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers
Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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