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How to search Gmail for attachments

How To
November 23, 2021
Gmail on Windows laptop
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

When sending an email, it’s very common to attach a file, whether it’s a picture you just took, a file needing to be looked at by your colleague, or a video clip of a dog on a skateboard. But as the attachments start to build up in your Gmail archive, how do you find those attachments again to free up space? Here’s how to search Gmail for attachments.

Read more: How to create folders and labels in Gmail


To search Gmail for attachments requires the filename: search string. If you’re looking for all attachments in a particular file format, go to the Gmail search bar and type filename: followed by the type of file you’re looking for. You can also add other search strings if you want to filter by sender, size or date.


The basic parameters to search Gmail for attachments

gmail search 1

Whether you’re searching for Gmail attachments on your phone or a desktop, it all comes down to the same certain search strings, such as the filename: modifier.

If you simply want to view all emails with all attachments, just type in the Gmail search bar:


If you’re looking for all attachments of a particular file format, you would type:


and so on. Notice there are no spaces between each word. Anything matching these search strings will now show up.

Narrowing down your attachment search in Gmail

But what if you want to get more granular? What if you need all file attachments from a particular sender? Or all particular file type attachments from a particular sender? Then you would also say:

has:attachment from:diana
filename:pdf from:diana

Or if you’re looking for a file you sent to a person, you would use the to: string:

has:attachment to:diana
filename:pdf to:diana

You can also add extra filters to narrow down when you sent the attachment, and the size of the attachment. The latter is especially good if you’re looking to free up some space in your Google account. For more search strings, check out our article on sorting emails by sender, size, date, and unread in Gmail.

A more advanced way to search for attachments in Gmail

In the Gmail search bar, on the far right, are three horizontal lines. If you click that, you’ll see more advanced options.

gmail advanced search

After filling in what you’re looking for, make sure, you tick Has attachment. Then select Search to get your results.

Read more: How to delete all emails in Gmail