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Managing email on the go is a lot easier than it used to be thanks to the slick, practical interfaces of our smartphones and tablets, but as powerful as the apps and hardware may be, things can sometimes border tedious. Searching for an old email in the stock iOS Mail app is almost always a cumbersome affair if you happen to have forgotten those key search terms that would locate it with little or no trouble, but since you’re stumped on that one, you’re left hopelessly trawling through tens of thousands of old, mostly useless emails. We did some digging and it turns out that finding an old, important mail is actually not that difficult at all.

There may be countless third-party mail apps designed for iOS, but of all the stock utilities available to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users out of the box, the Mail app is perhaps the most accomplished. It’s simple, functions as any good mail app should, and works, as most Apple software products, effortlessly in sync with the Mail client at desktop level on OS X.

iOS 7 mail icon

As such, most people use Mail on a daily basis, but even if you have been utilizing it for many years, there are still some nifty little tips and tricks that you probably weren’t previously aware of.

Having done what most folks neglect to do, we went through and scrutinized the Apple Support pages, and have discovered that even if you can only remember who you sent a mail to and little else, you can perhaps begin to retrace your steps due to the fact that Mail can understand and process details like dates and days.

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In Search within Mail, you could, for example, type “Flagged October 2013,” and this would show you emails flagged in October 2013, as opposed to just messages containing those words.

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Similarly, if you’re sure you missed an important mail from an iCloud user last week, you could type in “Unread last week from:@icloud.com,” from which you would be able to readily check your unread mails from last week sent by any user at the icloud.com address.

Finally, you could also pinpoint an email sent to a specific contact on a specific day, by typing “to:[name] Monday,” where [name] is the name of one of your contacts.

These tips are, of course, interchangeable, so you could type “unread Monday,” for example, to check unread emails from Monday, and at a time when many of us waste precious hours searching through emails, knowing how to refine a search can only be beneficial to the cause.

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