Create a Search Folder

Search Folders are a way to gather e-mail messages and other Microsoft Outlook items into a folder based on search criteria. For example, you want to see all messages that you have not yet read. The messages can be viewed from but are not stored in Search Folders. Search Folders are virtual folders that contain views of messages that might be in the Inbox and other folders you have created.

In All Mail Folders, in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), there are three default Search Folders — For Follow Up, Large Mail, and Unread Mail. Any e-mail item with a flag appears in the For Follow Up Search Folder. E-mail items that are larger than 100 kilobytes (KB) appear in the Large Mail Search Folder. All unread e-mail items appear in the Unread Mail Search Folder.

Mailbox, Archive Folders, and Personal Folders, with Search Folders specific to each of those three

Callout 1 Your Mailbox already contains three default Search Folders, which can be modified or deleted.
Callout 2 Other storage locations such as Archive Folders or Personal Folders will have their own Search Folders.

In addition to the default Search Folders, you might want to create new Search Folders. Some examples are Search Folders that find all:

  • messages with attachments.
  • messages marked as important.
  • messages within a specific category.
  • meetings attended or organized by a specific person.

Create a new Search Folder

  1. In Mail, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Search Folder.
  2. Do one of the following:

ShowUse a predefined Search Folder

  1. Click a predefined Search Folder.
  2. If prompted, under Customize Search Folder, specify the criteria to use.
  3. To select a different mailbox to search, under Customize Search Folder, click the arrow, and then select a mailbox from the list.

ShowCreate a custom Search Folder

  1. Click Create a custom Search Folder.
  2. Under Customize Search Folder, click Choose.
  3. Type a name for your custom Search Folder.
  4. Click Criteria, and select the options you want, and then click OK.
  5. Click Browse, then select the folders that you want the search criteria to search, and then click OK three times.

 Note   You can also create a Search Folder from searches you create on the Find Bar or Advanced Find.

Commands to create Search Folders: File, New, Search Folder, or "Save Search as Search Folder" on the Find Bar

Callout 1 Start from the File menu.
Callout 2 Save a search on the Find Bar.

 Important   When you delete a Search Folder, the e-mail messages shown in the Search Folder are not deleted, because those items are never saved, only viewed, in a Search Folder. However, if you open or select one or more e-mail messages shown in a Search Folder and delete the e-mail messages, the messages will be deleted from the Outlook folder where they are stored.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003