Windows Search Advanced Query Syntax

Search syntax

Property Example Function
author:name author:patrick Finds items with patrick in the Author property.
author:(name) author:(patrick hines) Finds items with patrick hines in the Author property.
author:(name OR name) author:(patrick OR bob) Finds items with patrick or bob in the Author property.
author:name name author:patrick bob Finds items with patrick in the Author property and bob anywhere in the document.
from:name from:patrick Finds items with patrick in either fromName OR fromAddress, since “from” is a property name for both fromName and fromAddress.
before:date before:10/9/2007 Finds items whose PrimaryDate field contains a date before 10/9/2007.
after:date after:10/9/2007 Finds items whose PrimaryDate field contains a date after 10/9/2007.
has:attachment report has:attachment Finds items containing the word report that have attachments. Same as hasattachment:true
is:attachment report is:attachment Finds items that have attachments containing the word report. Same as isattachment:true

Numbers and ranges

To specify a date range, type the property followed by two dates. For example, type from:david sent:11/05/06..11/05/07. Windows Search recognizes all Windows date formats and also recognizes the following values:

  • Relative dates: Today, tomorrow, yesterday
  • Multi-word relative dates: week, next month, last week, past month, or coming year. The values can also be entered contracted, as follows: thisweek, nextmonth, lastweek, pastmonth, comingyear.
  • Days: Sunday, Monday … Saturday
  • Months: January, February … December


Size and date ranges

Syntax Results
size:>50KB <70KB Searches for files with a value in the Size between50 KB and 70 KB, excluding the end values.
size:>=50KB <=70KB Searches for files with a value in the Size property between 50 KB and 70 KB, including the end values.
size:50KB..70KB Same as size:>=50KB <=70KB
date:>2/7/05<2/10/05 Searches for a date in the Date property between the values 2/7/05 and 2/10/05, excluding the end dates.
date:>=2/7/05<=2/10/05 Searches for a date in the Date property between the values 2/7/05 and 2/10/05, including the end dates.
date:2/7/05 .. 2/10/05 Same as date:>=2/7/05<=2/10/05

Note: on Windows Vista and higher, search syntax supports dates in the user’s current calendar. A query can use any of the formats defined in their Regional Options.


Common file properties

The terms listed in the preceding table can be used with any of the following file properties. For example, to find e-mail from “patrick” that was sent in 2008, your query would look like this: kind:email author:patrick after:12/31/2007. 

To restrict by file type Use Example
Communications communications kind:communications
Contacts contacts
E-mail email kind:email
Instant Messenger conversations im kind:im
Meetings meetings kind:meetings
Tasks tasks kind:tasks
Notes notes kind:notes
Documents docs kind:docs
Music music
Pictures pics
Videos videos kind:videos
Folders folders kind:folders
Folder name foldername foldername:mydocs
Programs programs kind:programs
Recorded TV tv kind:tv
Link link kind:link
Journal entry journal kind:journal


To restrict by file store

If you use multiple e-mail accounts and you want to limit a query to either Microsoft Office Outlook or Outlook Express, you can use the store: indicator to narrow your search scope. 

Store Use Example
Files file store:file
Offline Files csc store:csc
Outlook mapi store:mapi
Outlook Express outlookexpress store:outlookexpress

Properties for file type: All

Property Use Example
Title title, subject, about title:manager
Status status status:active
Date date date:lastweek
Date modified datemodified, modified modified:lastweek
Importance importance, priority importance:high
Size size size:>50MB
Deleted deleted,isdeleted isdeleted:true
Is attachment isattachment isattachment:false
To to, toname to:johnsmith
Cc cc, ccname cc:david
Company company company:adventure-works
Category category category:business
Keywords keywords keywords:sports
Album album album:greatest
File name filename, file filename:2006hits
Genre genre genre:jazz
Author author, by author:david
Folder folder, under, path folder:adminstration
Ext ext, fileext ext:.rtf
Tags tag, keyword tag:personal
Type type type:image


Properties for file type: Contact

Property Use Example
Job title jobtitle jobtitle:manager
IM address imaddress
Assistant’s phone assistantsphone assistantsphone:555-1212
Assistant name assistantname assistantname:roberto
Profession profession profession:accountant
Nickname nickname nickname:louis
Spouse spouse spouse:susana
Business city businesscity businesscity:redmond
Business postal code businesspostalcode businesspostalcode:98052
Business home page businesshomepage
Callback phone number callbacknumber callbacknumber:882-8080
Car phone carphone carphone:555-1212
Children children children:anna
First name firstname firstname:maria
Last name lastname lastname
Home fax homefax homefax:555-1212
Manager’s name manager manager:carlos
Pager pager pager:882-8080
Business phone businessphone businessphone:555-1212
Home phone homephone homephone:555-1212
Mobile phone mobilephone mobilephone:882-8080
Office officelocation officelocation:red/101
Anniversary anniversary anniversary:yesterday
Birthday birthday birthday:tomorrow


Properties for file type: Communications (e-mail, appointments)

Property Use Example
From from, organizer from:simon
Received received, sent sent:yesterday
Subject subject, title subject:budget
Has attachment hasattachment, hasattachments hasattachment:true
Attachments attachments, attachment attachment:presentation.ppt
Bcc bcc, bccname bcc:michael
Bcc address bccaddress, bcc
Cc address ccaddress, cc
Follow-up flag flagstatus
To address toaddress, to
Due date duedate, due due:10/15/2008
Read read, isread isread:false
Is completed iscompleted iscompleted:true
Incomplete incomplete incomplete:true
Has flag hasflag, isflagged hasflag:false
Duration duration duration:>120


Properties for file type: Calendar

Property Use Example
Recurring isrecurring
Organizer organizer, by, from organizer:jonas
Location location location:calgary


Properties for file type: Documents

Property Use Example
Comments comments comments:excellent
Last saved by lastsavedby lastsavedby:josh
Document manager documentmanager documentmanager:jonas
Revision number revisionnumber revisionnumber:4a
Date last printed datelastprinted datelastprinted:yesterday
Slide count slides slides:>20


Properties for file type: Music

Property Use Example
Bit rate bitrate bitrate:>150kbps
Artist artist, by artist:U2
Year year year:1977..1987
Album album album:”greatest hits”
Genre genre genre:rock
Lyrics lyrics lyrics:”happy birthday to you”
Track #, track track:12
Year year year:>1980<1990


Properties for file type: Picture

Property Use Example
Camera make cameramake cameramake:nikon
Camera model cameramodel cameramodel:eclipse
Dimensions dimensions dimensions:8×10
Orientation orientation orientation:landscape
Date taken taken
Width width width:33
Height height height:66
Flash mode flashmode flashmode:no flash


Properties for file type: Recorded TV

Property Use Example
Broadcast date broadcastdate broadcastdate:2005
Channel number channel channel:7
Closed captioning closedcaptioning closedcaptioning:true
Date released datereleased datereleased:2007
Episode name episodename episodename:zeppo


Properties for file type: Video

Property Use Example
Name name
Ext Ext

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