Gmail search operator for all contacts?
November 18, 2011 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Is there a gmail search operator that will return all contacts?

I have some filters that affect certain messages with certain subjects, but if the message is sent from someone in my contacts, I don't want to filter it. I know about the 'advanced search operators' but they don't have anything that addresses all contacts.

So I'm looking for something like -from:ALLCONTACTS, or whatever term would cover all contacts. Closest I could find online was this suggestion, but that is just a shortcut for copy/pasting all of your contacts.
posted by czytm to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If this is so you can export all your contacts (something I did yesterday) then you'll have the option to choose 'all contacts' during the export process. If this is not what you were trying to do, then sorry...
posted by thatone at 11:04 AM on November 18, 2011

Wouldn't that be the default? That is to say, you only want to add the FROM: operator when you're trying to limit the search to a subset, so if you leave it out it will be searching all contacts already.

Maybe if you ask what you're trying to do, rather than how you think you want to do it, it might help us answer the question in a more helpful way...
posted by tiamat at 2:34 AM on November 19, 2011

I think your question is very clear, unlike the previous two posters. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're trying to from a filter like this:

    subject: "Your Business Name"

to a filter like this:

    subject: "Your Business Name"

You might be trying to flag emails from new potential clients while avoiding flagging existing clients and friends.

Sadly, my short answer is that I don't think Gmail offers this filter right now. You'll notice that even if you create a Group in your Contacts, when you compose a new message to this group, it replaces the group name with a list of all of the contacts in that group. Contact Groups seem to be unlike Message Labels, and it is probably this difference that makes it difficult for Gmail to offer this search.

Relevant Gmail Help threads: one, two.

You can suggest implementation of this feature.

In the meantime, if you have a public email address that new people are sending things to, you could modify it a bit and apply a filter to this modified address. If your address is, you will also receive mail from (the '.' can go anywhere), and
posted by heatherann at 5:42 AM on November 20, 2011

heatherann, thanks for the help. I haven't been able to find anything to do what I would like.

The is very useful but it won't do exactly what I want.

It seems as of now the only way to filter emails from a certain contact group ('My Contacts', in my situation) is to use the system I linked to in the OP:

1) Create the group in Contacts
2) Compose an email to said group
3) Copy the "To:" field
4) Paste into the "Convert" textbox here (http://
5) Copy the the "Convert" output into a new filter
posted by czytm at 3:05 PM on December 1, 2011

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