The latest Gmail update will make it effortless to search for messages

As an early adopter of Gmail, I live and die by the contents of my Gmail account. From professional contacts to real estate brokers I’ve worked with, jobs I’ve applied to and more, being able to easily pull up an email from a few weeks or a few years ago is essential for me.

Luckily, Google has been keen on optimizing Gmail’s functionality and capabilities on a regular basis. As most business correspondence continues to be conducted virtually, a reliable inbox has become more essential than ever before.

The latest update to Gmail’s search functionality is another step in the right direction for inbox improvements, making it easier than ever to find what you need from any past contact you’re looking to reach. Here’s a look at the Gmail updates that have been made and what this new change means for your inbox.

Noteworthy Gmail updates

The Gmail platform’s masterminds have been hard at work over the past year to ensure users have a seamless experience. This past May, Google’s Gmail update incorporated a new “quick settings” menu. Appearing in the top-right section of Gmail, this update offered new options for adjusting your inbox look, making it easily customizable. With quick settings, Gmail users were able to change their main Gmail theme, select emails to prioritize within their inbox and select from three varying layouts – the default version, a more compact version and an easy on the eyes version called “comfortable.” This update did a lot for Gmail users who wanted the ability to easily change and customize their inbox – but not much in the way of making Gmail’s inbox more easily searchable. 

Gmail’s latest update

You sit down to write an email to a contact you haven’t reached out to in a while – but you’re not sure if the email address in your inbox is their most current contact.

If you’re looking to reach a contact in your Rolodex that has switched companies, changed their last name or happens to have more than one email address associated with their account, Gmail’s new update has you covered.

Google has implemented new functionality that will now show all emails that are connected to the address you’re searching for, which will be pulled from all fields of past emails (to and from fields, as well as cc and bcc fields).

If the email happens to exist in the body of an email rather than the to and from fields, it will also populate in the search results. Meaning, an inbox search of the person’s name will bring up all the past correspondence linked to this person. 

How the new update helps others

Previously, if you were to rebrand your business, change your last name after getting married or start working for a different company, you’d need to create a new Gmail account altogether. With the latest update, your new and old accounts will all be searchable via an email alias automatically for the contacts you communicate with. 

An email alias can be used in a variety of ways. Users can link it to their primary email address to ensure all correspondence reaches them. Email aliases can also be connected to multiple people – for example, members of a specific department.

Before this update, searching for an individual contact who was part of a department email alias was a bit cumbersome, with users having to search for individual aliases rather than the name of the person they’re looking to reach. The new Gmail update rectifies this issue. 

Can you still search the old way?

If you’re looking for a particular email from a specific email address and don’t want your search to turn up every email from the contact you’re looking for, don’t fret.

Users will still be able to isolate search results for a specific email address by placing it in quotation marks in the search bar. 

When can I start using the new update? 

Gmail’s new search update is available now for all Google Workspace customers, as well as users who have the free version. 

If you’ve been using Gmail for so long that you haven’t paid much attention to the platform’s past updates, Google has plenty of information pages where you can learn more about the best methods for using Gmail efficiently.

Take a look through Gmail’s search functionality, and learn more about creating an email alias or changing an email address on Gmail’s resource pages.