Saved searches are groups of search parameters for searches that run continuously on incoming messages, filtering messages that meet the search criteria into a folder. They are an efficient way to save time and typing on searches you run frequently.
When you create a saved search, you can select search criteria such as email addresses, keywords and dates. Thunderbird then creates a folder that stores messages that meet your criteria. Once created, new messages will be automatically added to the folder as they are received.
For example, you might keep messages from your high-school friends in a folder called “Highschool.” You could then add your high school friends’ names to a saved search so they would be automatically added to the “Highschool” folder as they arrive.
Saved searches are especially useful if you regularly receive a large number of messages, and have an ongoing need to quickly pick out those of special interest.
Your new saved search folder “Unread work attachments” will contain all messages that are unread, have attachments, and were sent from the "MyWorkplace" domain. All future messages meeting all three criteria will show up in your new folder as well.
Your new saved search folder “Promotional Stuff” will contain any messages that are from the address “firstname.lastname@example.org”, OR have “discount” in the subject line, OR have the word “customer” somewhere in the address or display name (“customer.service”, “Customer Support” etc.) After a quick read you can then delete those messages individually.
The most commonly used properties are described below.
The following properties refer to the email message “headers” (as opposed to content in the body of the message):
The sender and recipient properties can contain one or more email addresses, and sometimes also a display name. In the example "John Doe" <email@example.com>, "John Doe" is the display name, and "firstname.lastname@example.org" is the email address. When you enter the value for the search, Thunderbird will search for the value in both the display name and the email address. For example, if your filter is:
From > Is > "email@example.com"
Thunderbird checks if the display name "John Doe" is the same as "firstname.lastname@example.org" (which fails) and also if the email address is the same as "email@example.com" (which succeeds).
Searches are case-insensitive, so capitalization does not matter. If the sender of the message used "JohnDoe@Example.com", it would still succeed when compared with our test value of "firstname.lastname@example.org". Searches on display names are also case-insensitive.
Tags are used to mark messages with a special designation and highlight color. Thunderbird provides the tags Important, Work, Personal, To Do, and Later, as well as the ability to create custom tags.
Contains: Succeeds if the tag is present on the message.
Doesn't Contain: Succeeds as long as the tag is not present on the message.
Is: Succeeds if the message has only the specified tag present. So if your filter is Tag > Is > Important, a message tagged with "Important" and "Work" would not match until the "Work" tag is removed.
Isn’t: Fails if the message has only the specified tag present. So if your filter is Tag > Isn’t > Important, then a message tagged with "Important" and "Work" would match until the "Work" tag is removed, at which point it would fail to match.
IsEmpty: Succeeds if the message has no tags applied.
Isn’tEmpty: Succeeds if the message has any tags applied.
This lets you check the subject of a message. It will include the "Re: " prefix if one is present, but ignores capitalization.
This lets you check for the presence of a word or phrase in the message body. These searches are subject to some important limitations:
Date and Age in Days
The Date property lets you check the date of the message (as provided by the author of the message, not when you received it) against a specific date you provide as the value.
The Age in Days property lets you check the age of the message (using the date provided by the author of the message, not when you received it). The age is always calculated using the instant the message is checked for a match.
The Attachment Status property lets you check whether messages have attachments (by using Is > Has Attachments) or have no attachments (by using Isn’t > Has Attachments) .
Tests and values
Is / isn't: Checks if either the display name or email address match the value provided in the filter, ignoring differences in capitalization. Use this to match specific email addresses.
Is in my address book / isn't in my address book: Use this to match multiple email addresses, and possibly as a shorthand for people whose messages are important to you. For the value, choose between Personal Address Book and Collected Addresses:
Ends with: Checks if the display name or email address ends with the provided value, ignoring differences in capitalization. You might use this with something like "@example.com" to match all the email addresses from a single domain.
Begins with: Checks if the display name or email addres starts with the provided value, ignoring difference in capitalization. You might use this with something like "webmaster@" to match emails to webmasters across multiple domains.
Contains / doesn't contain: Checks if the provided value can be found anywhere in the display name or email address, ignoring differences in capitalization. Use this test cautiously because it can often match things you don't actually want it to match. Consider using "is" or "ends with" instead.