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How To Search Twitter Direct Messages

I have to admit I never really check my Twitter Direct Messages (DMs) as much as I should.

Since stopping most of my Direct Message spam recently, I found that managing my DM inbox has become a lot easier.

In saying that, one of the main limitations of your Twitter inbox is that there is no way you can search your Direct Messages.

Twitter only stores DMs for the last two months.

This can be a real problem if you are wanting to search DMs sent to months ago.

I stumbled across this today when trying to search for a particular Direct Message. I just couldn’t do it.

Which got me thinking – ”How can I search Twitter direct messages?”

After a bit of investigation I found a work around.

It involves archiving your Direct Messages and using your email client to search.. and is only valid going forward (can’t search on existing DMs).

Here’s how..

Direct Text Emails

Login to your Twitter account.. click on your username > then click on Settings,

Select the Notices tab > then check Email when I receive a new direct message.. click <Save> when you are done,

Everytime someone sends you a Direct Message on Twitter, you will now be emailed.


To test this out I have logged into another Twitter account (@MatthewTommasi) and sent a Direct Message to myself (@SocialGuide),

This DM has been successfully received via email,


All good email clients have filtering.

This enables you to filter messages, based on a certain condition, into folders.. helping to manage your daily influx of mail.

Since I am using Gmail I am going to setup a filter for all Direct Messages coming from Twitter (this filtering process is very similar across all good email clients).

Open up the email then click on More actions > Filter messages like these,

In the From: field enter – twitter-dm.

In the Has the words: field enter – Direct message.

Then click on <Next Step>,

Check Apply the label:.

Then select New Label,

Enter the name of your new label.. then click <OK>,

Click on <Create Filter> and check Also apply filter to messages below,

Searching Direct Messages

When anyone DMs you on Twitter you will now receive an email notifying you.

These Direct Message emails will also be filtered as they come in.

To search your DMs in Gmail click on the label you have just created,

This will display all your received Twitter DMs,

Now that everything has been setup, you can easily and quickly search your Twitter Direct Messages.

Just enter the word you want to search for.. then click on <Search Mail>,

If the search term exists in a DM it will display,

When this email is opened up.. it will contain the word you are searching for,


You can now search Twitter Direct Messages.

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