I need to perform a text search in Outlook e-mails subject and/or body, looking for two-character string that represent a code in our business. The problem is that these codes can assume forms like '@B', '£Z', etc. One of the characters could be a symbol.

For example, when I try to search for a string like '#R', Outlook is giving me lots of results with subject starting with 'R'. It seems like special characters are ignored when specifying text to search for.

I tried surrounding with quotation marks or apostrophes, no way. I tried escaping the special character as '/#' '\#' and '&hash;' but nothing changes either.

How can I search symbols in the e-mail subject?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


Please take a look:

If the word starts with a special character, then Instant Search will ignore this special characters as the index of Instant Search is word-based only. In that case, you’ll need to use Advanced Find instead. When you want to include words which start with special characters in your search query, you’ll have to use the Advanced tab of Advanced Find.

Open Advanced Find (shortcut key: CTRL+SHIFT+F) Select the Advanced tab Create the following search query Field: Subject Condition: contains Value:

enter image description here

Of course you’ll replace with your own search phrase containing your special characters.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    That worked fine! Well, it requires a bit more input than standard search but don't see other ways :) thanks. – ManuelJE Jan 18 '16 at 11:20
  • 1
    NOTE: If you want to search subfolders with this (for example, an "archive" folder within the main inbox folder), you need to click "Browse" in the top right of the Advanced Find window posted by duDE, then check the box in the bottom-left that says "Search subfolders". Search me why that's disabled by default . . . – Daniel Fletcher Jan 27 '18 at 0:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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