Top tips and secrets of the search function in Microsoft Teams

Arif Bacchus

The search function is the core of Microsoft Teams as it helps you discover messages and other items you might be looking for. While we’ve already covered how you could use filters in search to get better results, there are some additional secrets and tips that are still left to share. Here’s what you need to know.

Use search modifiers for better results

search teams terms

One secret to gettering better search results in Microsoft Teams is to use what Microsoft calls Keyword Query Language. This is a combination of terms that you can use to narrow the focus of the search to match only results based on a specified condition. Some of the most common of these can help you find someone or something in a specific location in Teams.

To find a person, for instance, you can type From:Person’s name. To look for content in a channel or chat, you can type In:Channel or group chat name. To find a subject, you can type Subject:keyword. And, to find something from when you sent it, you can type Sent:Date. Some other examples are below.

  • Find documents authroed by a person: author:authorname
  • Find a Word document :docx
  • Find a document with the file name and type: documentname:.filetype

In all these situations you can replace our sample text with what you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that there is no space in between the colon and the search terms. You can see a list of the other search terms that you can use here at Microsoft.

Other tips to help you narrow your searches

search with tags teams

In addition to what is listed above, Microsoft does have some additional tips for searching in Teams. The first involves using an asterisk (*) to get any words with matching prefixes when you search. You can type the first few letters of a word followed by the (*) to get better results. As an example, you can type the word “Win*” in the search box, and you’ll see results that start with those three letters.

Another tip involves using some old school search engine terms. You can use quotation marks to search for an exact word or phrase from anywhere inside Microsoft Teams. Say, you’re looking for that monthly invoice. Simply type “monthly invoice” into the search box to find it.

How will you search?

Once you know these shortcuts to search in Teams, you’ll become a pro at finding the documents and content you’re looking for. There’s still a lot of tricks for Teams though, be it with the camera, chats, or even customizing the look. Our Microsoft Teams hub has you covered with all the latest news and guides.