You can find archived emails in Gmail using simple Gmail search commands, but searching for older emails can get tricky if you have a lot of already archived emails in your inbox.
I have been using Gmail and Google Apps for the last 4 years and there are hundreds of emails already archived in my inbox. I never delete email messages and thus finding archived emails in gmail can take up an enormus amount of time and effort.
Of late I found, Cloudmagic – a useful browser extension for Firefox and Google Chrome which allows you to find older email addresses and conversations very quickly. The extension regularly indexes your inbox and sent mail folder and stores the email header information locally on your computer. Once the extension is installed, you will notice a simple search box at the right top corner of the screen.
Once the indexing is complete, simply start typing the keywords in the search box and Cloudmagic will show relevant email messages as you type. The existing Gmail search operators also apply for Cloudmagic, following is a small list of commands you can use:
From: sender – This command will show all email messages sent to you from a specific person. Example - from: email@example.com
To: sender: – This command will show all email threads sent by you to a specific person. Example - To:Harry@gmail.com.
Subject: Keywords: This will search for all emails in your inbox and show only those messages which contain the specified word or phrase in the subject line. Example - subject: vacation trips
is: chat keywords: This will let you search Gmail chat conversations which contain a specific word or sentence. Example - is:chat college assignment
has: attachment: Shows all email messages that contains an attachment. You can further use a wild card character to search for emails which contain a specific attachment type. This will be useful when you have an overwhelming number of attachments and want to filter the most important ones. Example - filename: *.extension
AND operator: If you are a power user and want to apply advanced rules to your search, try the AND search operator. This command allows you to merge two rules together and find all the emails which satisfy both the rules.
Example: to:john AND has:attachment, this will show find all email headers and show the messages sent to john and has an attachment.
There aren’t any risk involved if you use Cloudmagic because the account credentials, data and the index is stored locally in your computer and not available to anyone else. The advantage of Cloudmagic is that the extension shows only a preview of a message from the result box, which makes searching fast if you are using Gmail on a slow connection. You can click through a result to load the entire message in a new browser tab or window.
Here is a quick video demonstration of Cloudmagic:
Cloudmagic currently works for Gmail and Google Apps accounts, the developer claims to add support for Google docs in the near future.