Outlook: How to Search Unread Messages Only


Often you may want to search through only your unread emails in Outlook.

The easiest way to do so is by typing the following formula into the Search bar:

isread:no

This will display all of your unread emails in the current mailbox.

You can also search for specific words to filter unread emails even further:

isread:no "updated"

This particular example will display all unread emails that contain the word “updated” in the email.

The following example shows how to use these formulas in practice.

Example: How to Search Unread Messages Only in Outlook

Suppose that you would like to retrieve all unread emails in your current email inbox.

To do so, click the Search bar along the top ribbon in Outlook and then type the following:

isread:no

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

Outlook search unread messages only

We can see that this returns two unread emails in the current mailbox.

Note that we could also filter the unread emails based on a specific keyword.

For example, we could type the following into the Search bar to display all unread emails that contain the word “updated” in the email:

isread:no "updated"

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

Outlook search unread emails for specific word

Notice that this only returns the one unread email that contains the word “updated” in the email itself.

Note that you could also use the OR operator to filter for unread emails that contain one of several specific words.

For example, you could use the following formula to search for unread emails that contain the word “updated” or “new” in the email:

isread:no "updated" OR "new"

Feel free to use as many OR operators as you would like to filter emails using as many specific words as you’d like.

Related Tutorials

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Outlook:

Outlook: How to Search Emails by Date Range
Outlook: How to Search for Multiple Keywords in Emails
Outlook: How to Search for Emails with Attachments

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