Outlook's Hidden Query Builder


Most MS Office users have used Advanced Find in Outlook which allows you to choose individual Outlook mail, calendar, and contact fields to search for strings. Multiple fields can be added, but you don't have the option to structure Boolean searches among the fields. The results will have to include all of the selected values for each chosen field. However, Outlook has a hidden secret. It's called 'Query Builder'. You can activate it by making changes in the Windows Registry. However this can be tricky. When I follow online instructions on how to edit the registry, they do not lead to Query Builder being added in Outlook 2016 on my Windows 7 OS. Changes to the registry can also cause unwanted modifications to the operations of Windows. Instead try installing KuTools for Outlook. See link on this page. Scroll down to where it says, "Easily enable Query Builder with KuTools for Outlook".

KuTools contains many shortcuts which you may find helpful. To get Query Builder, go to Options on the KuTools ribbon, click on the 'Others' tab and simply check off the option for, "Restore 'Query Builder' tab in Outlook Advanced Find Dialog.".

Restart Outlook. If Advanced Find is not is not available on the ribbon menu go to File . . . Options, select Customize Ribbon, pick the All Commands, menu and add Advanced Find in a new group.

Compare this test search using the standard Advanced Find options, where the four selected fields must all have the chosen values . . .

. . . with these settings in Query Builder, where we pick all emails received last month OR those which refer to Enron in the subject that also both have someone named Smith blind copied and are sent to a person named Wilson.


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