Outlook : Create powerful search folders with Query builder

PC Place has come out with an excellent idea of using Query Builder which is one of the hidden feature in Outlook .  Here is an detailed post on how you can use it.

First thing First, add Query builder to Outlook :

  • Run regedit in your run command. Win + R
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\Office\
  • If you have Outlook 2007 navigate to 12.0 folder
  • Right click on Outlook and Add a new key. Name it as QueryBuilder
  • Exit Registry editor.
Creating  query builder in outlook
Creating query builder in outlook

If you havent open Outlook, just run it or else close and start it again. Move to tools ? Instant Search > Advanced find option

Query Builder in Instant Search
Query Builder in Instant Search

In Advanced Search you would find couple of tabs including Advanced and Query Builder. If you take a look at Advanced Tab it allows you to create only single condition search  but with Query Builder you can combine 2 types of conditions with AND or OR condition.

Creating query builder in Outlook Search
Creating query builder in Outlook Search

After you had created it, the new search can be saved as search folder. These search are similar to search folders which we can also create in Windows 7. They are like always live and whenever you create them it finds the latest thing which matches the conditions.

Saving Query Builder as Search folder
Saving Query Builder as Search folder

Done this you can close it and then you move to your Mail account and right under mail account you can see Search folders. Under that the new folder which you created using Query Builder as explained in the image above.

Save query builder in search
Save query builder in search

So now done this if you are wondering where we can use it, its pretty simple. Concept of search folders is not to make you enter search criteria again and again. Just create once based on which you filter your mails daily and this is where exactly you can use it.

Hats off to Prasanth Chandra which found this and explained to everybody.


  1. Thank you, Ashish.

    This is just what I needed. The query builder can also be accessed from a previously defined/saved search folder: just ‘Customize this Search Folder…’, click the ‘Criteria’ button, and the Query Builder tab is available. I had to clear out the fields I had already defined on the Advanced tab for the QB settings to be effective.



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