I know I can put in an email address in the search box in Gmail to find the messages sent either to or from that email address. However, I have a situation where someone was supposed to send me details about an email address in the body of the email.

I have one message that I know contains the email address in question within the body content, and I'm trying to see if I received others, but when I put that address in the search box, nothing returns. I have tried specifying body: in the search, as well as enclosing the email address in quotes, but it never shows up.

Is there any way to search for addresses that are not part of any to/from fields? Anything special I have to do to escape the @ sign, or something like that?

1 Answer 1


The only way I know of doing this is to limit your search to filter out cases in which you don't want to see that email address. This should at least remove a lot (not all) of false positives from your search results.

-to:[email protected] -from:[email protected] -cc:[email protected] "[email protected]"

What you're doing is filtering out [email protected] from the to, from and cc fields. What should be left is searching for "[email protected]" in any remaining fields.

Again this isn't 100% reliable, but might help you out.

  • The problem is I have never exchanged emails with the address in question, but I have a message that I know contains said address within it. So my search should return at least 1 result, but is currently not returning anything.
    – techturtle
    Feb 3, 2014 at 22:04
  • Restarted browser and now it's working (should have tried this first). I'm accepting this answer, because for general cases, this is what I think will work best for finding it only in the body of an email. Thanks!
    – techturtle
    Feb 3, 2014 at 22:10
  • Glad it's working now! Feb 3, 2014 at 22:12

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