This function returns an array of messages matching the given search criteria (PHP 3 >= 3.0.12, PHP 4, PHP 5)
array imap_search ( resource imap_stream, string criteria [, int options [, string charset]] )

This function performs a search on the mailbox currently opened in the given imap stream. criteria is a string, delimited by spaces, in which the following keywords are allowed. Any multi-word arguments (e.g. FROM "joey smith") must be quoted.

  • ALL - return all messages matching the rest of the criteria
  • ANSWERED - match messages with the \\ANSWERED flag set
  • BCC "string" - match messages with "string" in the Bcc: field
  • BEFORE "date" - match messages with Date: before "date"
  • BODY "string" - match messages with "string" in the body of the message
  • CC "string" - match messages with "string" in the Cc: field
  • DELETED - match deleted messages
  • FLAGGED - match messages with the \\FLAGGED (sometimes referred to as Important or Urgent) flag set
  • FROM "string" - match messages with "string" in the From: field
  • KEYWORD "string" - match messages with "string" as a keyword
  • NEW - match new messages
  • OLD - match old messages
  • ON "date" - match messages with Date: matching "date"
  • RECENT - match messages with the \\RECENT flag set
  • SEEN - match messages that have been read (the \\SEEN flag is set)
  • SINCE "date" - match messages with Date: after "date"
  • SUBJECT "string" - match messages with "string" in the Subject:
  • TEXT "string" - match messages with text "string"
  • TO "string" - match messages with "string" in the To:
  • UNANSWERED - match messages that have not been answered
  • UNDELETED - match messages that are not deleted
  • UNFLAGGED - match messages that are not flagged
  • UNKEYWORD "string" - match messages that do not have the keyword "string"
  • UNSEEN - match messages which have not been read yet

For example, to match all unanswered messages sent by Mom, you'd use: "UNANSWERED FROM mom". Searches appear to be case insensitive. This list of criteria is from a reading of the UW c-client source code and may be incomplete or inaccurate (see also RFC2060, section 6.4.4).

Valid values for flags are SE_UID, which causes the returned array to contain UIDs instead of messages sequence numbers.

Parameter charset was added in PHP 4.3.3.