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dh1316 Level 1 Level 1

How do you filter an email search (ie: Subject or From) in iOS 7?

iPhone 5, iOS 7
  • norm123 Community Specialists Community Specialists

    Hello dh1316


    The way iOS 7 searches email has changed. I have made an excerpt of the new way search works.


    iPhone User Guide


    Search for a message. Scroll to or tap the top of the messages list to reveal the search field. You can search the current mailbox, or all mailboxes at once. Searching looks at the address fields, the subject, and the message body.

    Search by timeframe. Scroll to or tap the top of the messages list to reveal the search field, then type something like “February meeting” to find all messages from February with word “meeting.”

    Search by message state. To find all flagged, unread messages from people in your VIP list, type “flag unread vip.” You can also search for other message attributes, such as “attachment.”


    Thanks for using Apple Support Communities.



    -Norm G.

  • StephenBD Level 1 Level 1

    Removing To, From etc from the search function is NOT helpful. I used it most days. Apple, please reintroduce it.

  • shaunamc86 Level 1 Level 1

    I used this feature multiple times per day before...I really wish this feature would come back. I often have to find a specific email and it is close to impossible now. Adding to the frustration - when I do search, all the results come up in a completely non-chronological order. Not happy.

  • shaunamc86 Level 1 Level 1

    Just figured it out and now I feel silly! All you have to do is search "From: name" or "subject: blahblahblah" Yay!

  • jgeissler Level 1 Level 1

    I must say this is one of the worst changes in iOS7 which has made using email on my iPhone and iPad almost dysfunctional. My email inbox has about 20.000 messages, and I get about 200 new ones each day, so manual cleanup into folders is not feasible. On iOS6 and before, locating an email by sender or subject took me seconds, as I could search for these. Now with iOS7, search is stalled as a search in body takes the server minutes to respond, even though body of emails are irrelevant. I tried with entering "from:" in the search field but it still takes minutes, so I assume body search is still performed.


    I have a lot of sympathy for iOS7 and simplicity of interfaces, but in iOS7, Apple has sacrificed key functions, like the picture frame on the lock screen for my iPad which was a key use for the iPad in my living room when not used actively, and making quick email search unusable on large inboxes - in an era where intelligent and rapid search is omnipresent.


    If I had the chance, I would downgrade my iPad to iOS6 and go back from the iPhone 5S to 4S, as search is a key feature in my business life, and I now need to deactivate my notebook to perform a 2-second search on subjects or senders in Thunderbird. A real step back, Apple.



  • Thaatch Level 1 Level 1

    Mail search sorted by date used to be the default. It takes me A LOT longer to find emails I'm looking for now. I often give up. I can't imagine this functionality was removed. Please explain where in Settings I need to go. 

  • climber12we Level 1 Level 1

    Apple must think we are sixth graders who only receive 5 emails a day. This new "functionality" is a huge step backward for Mail.

  • climber12we Level 1 Level 1

    This should be an embarrasment for Apple. I'm so confused that the industry standard for email apps (fine tuned filtered email searches) has been removed. I loved iOS Mail until this update. After looking for a fix for a while (and waiting for the update to fix it) I couldn't wait any longer and decided to pay $2.99 on the App Store for an app called Sparrow which has all the features of the old iOS 6 Mail app and more. The only downside to the Sparrow app is there is no control over the font size.

  • Kentastic Level 1 Level 1

    This is truly a step backwards for iOS mail and I now find it easier to use MS Exchange on my laptop for searches.  I hope that someone at Apple realizes the mistake and fixes it soon. 

  • delaroca Level 1 Level 1

    It seems Sparrow's default search is over *all* your mailboxes... but not including INBOX emails still in the server. Since the product is no longer officially supported, this is no solution.


    The newly engineered search in iOS 7's email app is truly not to up to par. And for those of us making a living with email, the lack of a competent search facility is a show stopper. The present design of search generates excessive number of useless [unordered] results and the networking cost to do so, plus the horrendous load imposed on the servers (imap in my case), is truly horrendous: scanning of entire messages plus multiple simultaneous connections to all servers hosting your mailboxes!


    In iOS 6 one could tune how many messages per mailbox to cache locally, ie., cache a day or two worth of emails, in order to optimize local searches and leave server-side searching for only when needed... and the simple filters of "From", "To", "Subject" and "All" allowed for surprisingly efficient and accurate searches.


    I am staying away from iOS 7 for the time being because of this issue... let's be optimistic that Apple sees the light of day to re-engineer email search this time usefully. Earlier messages suggesting that filtering of a sort could be achieved by specifying search strings such as "From: Smith" do not actually work, sadly!

  • jgeissler Level 1 Level 1

    I couldn't agree more. For me, search in the iOS client is defunct since I upgraded my existing devices to iOS7 and bought an iPhone 5S, as full text search in my large inbox does not deliver any result in adequate time - also earlier suggestions like "from:smith" or "subject:foobar" does not limit search to these mail headers.


    I've tried the Dispatch app but it was an expensive waste of money, given it does what it should do on my inbox, but it does not allow to search other IMAP folders than inbox, e.g. the sent folder, which wasn't clear in the description of the app. Thank you for your note on Sparrow, so I can at least save the money for trying this one...


    Let's hope Apple comes with a solution by bringing back iOS6 functionality in a quick fix e.g. in 7.0.4 and continues to develop the iOS mail app that it becomes up to par of a 2013 IMAP mail folder, as it still misses other essential functions like collapsable folders, but the lack of search is definitely a show-stopper for me as well, given my iOS devices had become essential parts of my everyday professional life.

  • delaroca Level 1 Level 1

    In terms of third-party email apps, it looks like we don't have many choices if looking for  server-side searching capabilities. Look at this article,



    I don't see alternatives. It's curious how the Macworld piece on iOS 7 sings the praises of searching with the new mail app... they were primarily seduced by the "all mailboxes" default option for searching. But they address neither the flood of irrelevant results nor the huge network load this new searching strategy generates.


    I do hope Apple addresses our distress... but as this issue is in no way comparable to the public debacle of their Maps app when first released, I have a feeling the issue may not be addressed. So let us all send relevant feedback to Apple on this issue. For serious users of email, it makes our iOS 7 devices useless. And there isn't an option to go back to iOS 6 to recover the lost functionality! :-(

  • ELSerrell Level 1 Level 1

    Please, everybody, register a complaint about the non-chronological display of search results! That really stinks, and there is no work-around. Go to and put in feedback to say "mail search displays should default to reverse-chronological order, like they did in iOS 6!"

  • Atmospheres Level 1 Level 1

    Filtered search results are so missed by me also, I filled as sent the complaint to Apple as suggested and hope loads of people do the same, right now my iPhone is useless for mail and there seems to be no alternative any more

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