I use subadressing in Gmail to tag incoming message, something like [email protected].

Now I want to filter all messages that contains ABC in the body but if I make a naive search for that string all messages that are addressed to [email protected] are also found. I want to exclude all messages that ONLY contains ABC in to/cc/bcc and ONLY find those messages that contains that string in their body.

If I do -to:abc AND abc messages to:abc are excluded even if they also contains abc in the body.

I can't wrap my head around the booleans here. Does this make sense:

if (to:abc AND not body:abc) exclude if (to:abc AND body:abc) include if (not to:abc) AND (body:abc) include

Is that possible to construct in Gmail?

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot do this in Gmail

Gmail searches do not provide BODY as a search parameter.

Gmail searches do not provide unless as a search parameter.

To solve your problem you need to rethink your search approach and/or your plus labelling approach.

Example: Instead of seeding your plus address with potential search terms, use either nonsensical terms (name+zy06@gmail.com) or alternatively add a delimiter(s) ([email protected]; [email protected]). Neither labc, labcl, nor zy06 will be found by search term +abc.

See: Search operators you can use with Gmail

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.