How to search emails with attachments in gmail

Developed by Google, Gmail is a widely used free email service. With over 1.5 billion users, Gmail arguably enjoys the lion's share as the most popular email app. Users can send and receive emails with ease from any device and also enjoy the 15 GB free cloud storage which is shared with Google Drive.

Since storage space is always limited on Google drive, it calls for one to pay extra attention to ensure that space doesn't fill up. One of the ways that this can happen is through the accumulation of hundreds of email attachments over time.

In this brief guide, you will learn how to search for emails with attachments in Gmail. This will help a great deal in deciding which ones to keep and which ones need to be discarded.

There are various ways to search for emails with attachments in Gmail. We will show you how to search for attachments with respect to file type, file size, and other parameters. Let's dive deep and explore.

1. Search for emails with attachments in gmail

Let's begin by checking if any of your emails contain any attachments. On your Gmail page, head out to the search bar located at the top and type:


search Gmail for email attachments

This will scour all your emails for any file attachments of any format including Word documents, Excel sheets, Powerpoint slides, PDFs and so on.

You can also search for email messages with a Google Drive link by typing in the command:


For attachments that contain a YouTube video use:


This is a great way of scanning all your emails for attachments of any file format.

2. Search email attachments for particular file types

You might decide that you want for particular file types among the email attachments. For example, you might opt to have a glance at Word documents, or excel sheets only.

To view emails with a specific file type, use its file extension as shown below. For example, to view attachments containing Excel documents type in the search bar:


search for Excel documents in Gmail

For Word documents with a .doc file extension execute:


Similarly, for those with a .docx  extension type in:


To view attachments containing Powerpoint slides, run:


To retrieve email attachments containing PNG images, type:


3. Filter email attachments based on their size

Over time, attachments in your emails can hog quite a significant amount of space and leave you with limited space to work with. Thankfully, you can easily search for email attachments based on their size and decide to either delete the emails or back them up in another location. Let's have a look at a few filtering options:

You can search for files that are of a specific size in Megabytes denoted as M or MB. This can be in either uppercase or lowercase.

For example, to search for files that are greater than 5 MB, type:


You can also search for attachments that are either greater than or less than a given size. For example, to search for email attachments that are greater than 5MB, type


To search for attachments smaller than 8MB, type


To search for emails attachments that are anywhere in between, run:

larger:5mb smaller:8mb

3. Filter email attachments based on their age

Moreover, you can also filter out emails based on how old they actually are using the parameter older_than

For example, to find email attachments older than 2 years, type:


4. Find email attachments using advanced search

Recalling all these operators can be quite an uphill task especially for beginners. An easy way to comb through your emails for attachments is by clicking on the drop-down arrow at the end of the search bar. This reveals the advanced search pop-up dialog as shown below.

You can filter emails based on a variety of options such as :

  1. Email sender
  2. Email recipient
  3. Using certain keywords
  4. Size
  5. Date sent or duration with which It was sent

Advanced search


This brings us to the end of this tutorial. We do hope that you will now find it easy to comb through your email attachments using the various options that we have discussed herein.