In this article, you’re going to learn two different methods for how to search by date in Gmail.

You’ll learn:

  • How to search by date in Gmail using Gmail’s “Advanced Search” option
  • How to search Gmail by date using Gmail search operators

So if you want to learn how to search a date range in Gmail, this post’s for you.

Let’s get started!

If you’re here, you probably get a lot of emails per day, and many of them stick around in your inbox indefinitely.

It’s a practical necessity for the modern world, since you never know when you might need to go back and refer to a document a colleague sent you in the past. But when it comes time to actively search for a past message, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Gmail is a Google product, and Google has mastered the art of search—so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Gmail has some incredible built-in search tools to make it easier to find those long-lost messages.

Make sure to check out our guide on Gmail filters for more advanced tips on Gmail searching, but for this article we’re going to do a deep dive into one important feature: how to search by date in Gmail. If you prefer a video walkthrough, here’s a video we made to walk you through both methods!

Method 1: Use Advanced Search

The first method for how to search emails by date in Gmail is to use advanced search.

1. First, log into the desktop version of Gmail (ie, not the mobile app). At the top of the screen, you’ll see a search bar. This is where the magic happens.

Gmail search bar

2. Enter whatever keyword terms you wish to search for. By default, you’ll be searching the subject line and body content of your messages. Note that you don’t have to include text here to search by date, but it’s helpful to narrow things down.

For example, let’s say we’re searching for taco recipes that our friend sent us last Cinco de Mayo—so we know the email was received in or around May of last year. We can search for the term “taco” and apply a date range to narrow things down.

3. Click the down-pointing arrow on the right of the search bar.

Gmail advanced search box

Here, you’ll get a list of advanced search options you can apply to your search. For now, let’s just focus on the “date within” section.

4. On the right, choose a date. In our case, we’ll choose May 5, 2019.

5. On the left, you can choose a “date within” parameter, with an interval somewhere between 1 day and 1 year. In our case, we’ll choose 2 weeks.

How to search by date in Gmail

This will search for all emails containing the word “taco” that were received or sent within 2 weeks of May 5, 2019. Feel free to modify your search in other ways that you deem relevant.

6. When you’re ready, click “Search.”

Method 2: Use Search Operators

There’s another way to search by date in Gmail, and it’s ideal if you’re using the mobile app (but it also works in the desktop app); you an use Gmail search operators right within the search bar to conduct your search.

In this case, you’ll enter your search term like normal (this is optional, but helpful for narrowing things down). After your keyword, you’ll include one or both of the following parameters.

after:YYYY/MM/DD

before:YYYY/MM/DD

The “after” parameter will search for all emails after a certain date, and the “before” parameter will search for all emails before a certain date. Use both if you want to search within a custom date range. Of course, you’ll need to substitute the YYYY/MM/DD with your actual target dates.

In our case, we’ll search for “taco” in emails after April 5, but before May 6, 2019.

how to search emails by date in gmail

Hit Enter when you’re ready to search.

Improving How You Use Gmail

Learning how to search by date in Gmail can help you become a more efficient emailer, but there’s a lot more you can do to save time, stay organized, and communicate more effectively with your team.

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How to Search by Date in Gmail Quick FAQ:

How do I go to a specific date in Gmail?

In your Gmail search bar, enter the following search operator: after:YYYY/MM/DD before:YYYY/MM/DD . To ensure you are searching for a specific date, the date you set in the 'before' operator should be one day later than the date set in the 'after' operator.

How do I search Gmail by date for emails with attachments?

Click the drop-down arrow on the right-side of your Gmail search bar to open the Advanced Search module. Enter your date range, and check the box that says 'Has attachment.' Click search.

How can I search by date in Gmail for Google Hangouts chats?

Click the drop-down arrow on the right-side of your Gmail search bar to open the Advanced Search module. Enter your date range. In the 'Search' drop-down, change it from 'All Mail' to 'Chats.' Click search.