Tip of the Day – Outlook 2007: Finding Related Messages in Your Insanely Unorganized Inbox

This is usually not a big issue with me because I use Xobni which has similar functionality coupled with the way they handling email threads.  Sometimes, Xobni doesn't quite give me accurate chronological order of the emails in a simple UI so the method below has helped me on occasion.

Find Related Messages
Searching for related messages in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is easy.


  1. Open an e-mail message, and in the Find section of the Ribbon, image
  2. click Related, and then
  3. click Related Messages. Outlook quickly displays a list of related messages.


Comments (10)

  1. lockhaca says:

    I use Find All by right clicking in the message in my message listing, before opening the message.  Is there a way to add the Find All to the Standard Toolbar?


  2. SY To says:

    I have the same Advanced Find box shown above but it did not find all the related emails for me.  I can even see a mail which I want with the key word I keyed into the ‘Search for word(s)’ box as well but still it just did not find it out for me????  I don’t understand why???  

  3. valter says:

    I have exactly the same problem as the one above fro January 04, 2010. It only sometimes finds the related messages but not always. Very strange as the setting is the same for all.

  4. Billy Scales says:

    I used "Related Messages" constantly in 2003 to keep my outlook cleaned out of irrelative emails.  

    I try related messages in 07 and it does not even bring up the email I am in and if I even put the title in the box, I still do not get them.

  5. jamie says:

    If you STOP the search that starts initially, then BROWSE and change the settings to look in your entire mailbox, (remove Inbox and Sent, etc), then it may work better.  I have the same problem with it not find all the emails in the string.  Perhaps we need to research how to get our mail re-indexed.  That’s usually the problem with a "find command".  But I don’t know how to do that either!

  6. bgoodr says:

    I used to use a ALT keyboard shortcut to find related messages in Outlook 2003, but in 2007 it no longer works. I believe the short cut was ALT-T, then t, then a, then r, but somehow the Related Messages cannot be gotten to with the keyboard.  And, asking me to use the mouse for that very common operation is a non-starter.

  7. Bill Mortlock says:

    Similar to the comments above I’ve experienced problems with finding messages since I moved to Outlook 2007 – both from Desktop Search and using Find Related Messages (right click on an unopened messag). I followed the instructions under Outlook Help – see item ‘Instant Search is not finding items’. I tried all of the options with the exception of the last and still got nothing from any search. The last option was to rebuild the indexes – answering Jamie Jan 28 – I’m on XP where you find this on the Control Panel > Indexing Options > Advanced > Rebuild – takes quite a time (less than an hour).  I’m happy to say that I can now find Outlook Items from the Desktop Search and I can now use ‘Find Related Messages’ as I did under Outlook 2003. On the Outlook Help there are also details on how to rebuild for Vista. It appears that maintaining the indexes is performed on a ‘Nett Change’ basis i.e. ongoing only new items are addressed.

  8. Syed Ali says:

    To add "Related Messages" to your toolbar in outlook 2007 do the following:

    – Right click on your toolbar and click Customize

    – Go to the "Commands" tab if not already there

    – On the left, click on the "Tools" category

    – On the right, look for the item "Instant Search"

    – Drag the instant search item onto some place on your toolbar.

    – Click on the newly added "Instant search" button to expand it.

    – Look for an item "Related Messages"

    – Drag this item to the desired location on your toolbar.

    Now you can use this button to quickly get to all related messages to the message you have selected.

    One followup is that by doing this you have actually modified the "Instant Search" menu and have removed the "Related Messages" option from there.

    You should do the following steps to reset the "instant search" menu back to the default.

    – Get to the Customize Toolbar dialog box as before.

    – In the "Commands" tab click on the button "Rearrange Commands…"

    – In the drop down for Menu Bar, select "Tools | Instant Search"

    – You will see that "Related Messages" is not there now.

    – Click on the "Reset.." button on the bottom left.

    – The "Related Messages" will now appear as per the default.

    – You can now close out of all the dialog boxes.

  9. RichUE says:

    Before my PC was recently re-built, there was an orange "Find related messages" feature in the message header. It's not there now and I can't find how to restore it.

  10. Fran R says:

    What if you also want to have the search pull up names under 'To' ?  Can use either Field Chooser, or Customize and select fields wanted BUT the choices made don't stay when doing a new search.  Have to start it all over again.  Is there a way to 'save' it to make the changes made stay?

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