How To Search by Date In Gmail — Desktop & Mobile (Updated For 2020)

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Depending on what your Gmail inbox looks like, it might not be all that easy to manually find a single message in a sea of emails.

Luckily, Google provides a number of ways for you to search your inbox that don’t involve mindlessly scrolling for what feels like hours.

Here, we’re going to show you how to search by date in Gmail via desktop, as well as on iPhone and Android devices.

Let’s get to it.

How to Search Your Gmail Inbox by Date Range

You can search your Gmail inbox by date range in a few different ways.

Search for Gmail Messages from Before a Certain Date

To search for messages you received before a given date, click on the search bar in your Gmail inbox and type:

before:YYYY/MM/DD

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Desktop)

Note, in the screenshot above, that the first email shown is from February 9, 2020—with all emails received after this date being filtered out.

The same instructions apply when using the Gmail app on iPhone:

Gmail Search By Date - Mobile Inbox

You can also use the word “older” in place of “before,” to search for older Gmail messages:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Desktop) - 2

One thing to note is that the filter doesn’t work unless you input the entire year (e.g., “2019” instead of “19,”) and two digits for months and dates (e.g., “01” instead of “1”). This applies to the other queries we’ll mention in this article.

Search for Gmail Messages from After a Certain Date

If you’re looking for an email you received after a specific date, you’ll follow a similar procedure to the one discussed above.

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For desktop users, navigate to your Gmail search box and type:

after:YYYY/MM/DD

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Desktop) - 3

Here’s how it looks on the iPhone app:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Mobile) - 2

If you’d like, you can use the search term “newer” in place of “after”:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Desktop) - 3

Again, be sure to format your search query correctly, or Gmail won’t filter your messages as you’d hoped.

Search by Date Range in Gmail

There are a few different ways you can search your Gmail inbox for emails received within a certain time period.

First, you can simply use both of the above filter types within a single search query. Here, you’d type:

before:YYYY/MM/DD after:YYYY/MM/DD

Again, you can use the terms “older” and “newer,” respectively…

Here’s how it looks on iPhones:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Mobile) - 3

You can also search for emails that are older or newer than a given time frame using the search filters “older_than:xx” or “newer_than:xx”.

The second x, here, can be “d” for days, “m” for months, or “y” for years, with the first x being the appropriate numerical value.

For example, searching for “older_than:10d” will bring up emails that are older than ten days:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Inbox (Mobile) - 4

You can also combine these terms, as well. For example, if looking for messages between one year and 300 days old, you would type “older_than:300d newer_than:1y”.

Another way to search by date is to click on the arrow towards the right of your Gmail search box, which will bring up the following menu:

Gmail Search By Date - Search Gmail

From there, click the menu next to “Date within” to choose from a selection of time periods:

Gmail Search By Date - Search Gmail 2

Then click the field to the left of the calendar icon to choose a date:

Gmail Search By Date - Search Gmail With Calendar

Note that once you apply the filter, the search field will update with the appropriate criteria:

Gmail Search By Date - Search Gmail With Filters

From there, you can adjust the dates within the search field as needed to find the messages you’re looking for.

Adding Search Terms

Once you’ve added the necessary time-related filters to your Gmail search query, you can also add search terms to further narrow your inquiry.

So, for example, if I’m looking for emails I received between January 1st 2020 and February 1st 2020 that contain the phrase “marketing,” I’d type in:

newer:2020/01/01 older:2020/02/01 marketing

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Search Results

You can also add “from:” and “to:” filters to find emails sent to or from a given individual within your defined time period:

Gmail Search By Date - Gmail Search Results 2

Wrapping up Gmail Search by Date

Looking for emails you received days, weeks, even months or years ago can be a daunting task.

(Especially if you let your inbox fill up like I do!)

But, with a few easy-to-remember search filters, you’ll find your Gmail inbox much more navigable…and will save a ton of time in the process.

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I hope you found this gmail search by date tutorial useful.

Happy searching!

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