Ask Techerator: How Can I Search Gmail for Specific Attachments?

Techerator team,

I love Gmail, but I’m tired of digging through my inbox to find important attachments from a long time ago.  Is there an easier way to find them?

Absolutely.  Gmail has some fantastic search features (just like the search engine that powers it), and you can use those to make quick work of your attachments problems.

You can display a list of every message with an attachment with the following search query (just type it in the search box):


And if you know what file type you’re looking for, type it after the original query:

has:attachment filetype

Just replace “filetype” with the extension of the file you’re looking for, i.e. “pdf”, “doc”, or “zip”.  The following query will display all emails with PowerPoint files attached:

has:attachment ppt

If you wanted to get fancy and search for both old versions of PowerPoint files (ppt) and new PowerPoint files (pptx, which started in Office 2007):

has:attachment (ppt OR pptx)

You might also want to search for attachments from a specific person.  Check out the following query to do that:

has:attachment from:mom

This query will only show messages from “mom” with attachments.

Using these tips will help you manage your Gmail attachments and be more productive.  Check out our original guide to get even more suggestions, including how to create automatic filetype filters so you won’t have to type any searches in the future.

Have a burning question you want answered?  Send it to us at – we’ll try our best to answer it.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of our helpful guides about Gmail!

Published by Evan Wondrasek

Evan Wondrasek is the founder and editor-in-chief of Techerator and is a software engineer in Minneapolis, MN. Evan holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and is also the creator of MarkdownPad.