Step Up Your Searches
One of the best things about Gmail is the Google-powered search, which (theoretically) makes finding what you're looking for easy and timely. Sometimes, though, finding exactly what you're looking for requires a slightly more advanced search.
Enter Gmail advanced search. In advanced search, you can specify multiple search criteria. If, for example, you want to find an e-mail message from your mom that has a picture of you as a baby, just type in "from:mom has:attachment" in the search box. If you don't want to bother typing "from:" and "has:" and other operators, click the Show search options
link to the right of the search box.
Useful operators for streamlining your searches include 'subject:' (search for words in the subject line), '-' (exclude messages from your search), 'after:' and 'before:' (search for messages within a certain time frame), and 'is:starred' (search for messages that are starred). An especially helpful operator is '-label:chat', if you're trying to search for an e-mail but your search keeps bringing up chat conversations. You'll find a complete list of available operators on [[xref:http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=7190|Gmail's help site|Gmail's help site]].