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In Gmail we can filter our search term to a single contact (John Smith) by using the filter search-term from: johnsmith@gmail.com.

Is there anyway to change the search filter to all my contacts instead of only a single contact?

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The closest thing I can find among the advanced Gmail search operators is the has:circle operator.

Search for all messages that were sent from someone who you added to your Google+ circles

Example: has:circle

Meaning: Any message that was sent by a person in any of your circles.

So, if all of your contacts are in a Google+ Circle this'll work for you. Unfortunately there's no is:contact operator.

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Ugh. G+ and G-Mail are not the same thing. – Michael Paulukonis Jan 7 at 16:12
@Michael: Yes, I know that. But G+ Circles are now displayed in your contacts. Blame Google. – Al E. Jan 7 at 16:15
Oh, yeah -- no blame to you. While I like G+, I'm still annoyed at how Google tries to force it on us, especially when it is inappropriate. – Michael Paulukonis Jan 7 at 20:26
Well, they're not really forcing it on us anymore. They've decoupled quite a bit. – Al E. Jan 7 at 20:27

Basically, you can't. There is no such wildcard filter or search operator for gmail. The list of valid gmail search operators can be found here: http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=7190.

One guy on Webapps has asked the opposite (mail from contacts NOT in address book). He couldn't do that either.

I haven't found anything to solve your problem:

  • 3rd party search apps (not allowed)
  • Desktop mail clients (like Outlook) with addins
  • in Gmail Labs.

If it can be done, you'll probaly have to build it yourself (Outlook macro or a Greasemonkey script).

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You can group all your contacts in a contact group and filter by contact group in Gmail. To filter the contact group, you can follow the instruction in the link below:


This requires knowledge of python, however. Below is the Python code used:

original = '[insert email addresses copied from the contact group]'
replaceComma = original.replace(",", " OR")
result = re.sub(r'".*?"', '', replaceComma)
print result
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I believe that


will exclude all email from accounts not in your circle

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FWIW, this search works in the searchbox for searching mail but not in the from: field for filtering rules. Am trying this now, ending up just manually adding people I want to whitelist. – Chris K Jun 30 '14 at 18:55

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