In summer 2011, the Windows Live team has added a nifty feature to the online version of Hotmail (visible when you check your emails from a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox, for example), which allows you to find email messages based on date. To illustrate the convenience, here's how you would proceed before that upgrade: sort your messages by date (they are sorted like this by default), and then navigate through screens and screens of emails until you reach the desired date! (We'll talk further below about another, still available, approach which retains some advantages.)
First, navigate to the email folder whose messages you want to filter by date: once you are inside the folder, look near the navigational arrows at the bottom of the screen, and you'll notice a "Go to" link - click on it, and read on for help using the calendar popup:
And this is how you can quickly isolate emails received at a certain date in your Hotmail account - read the trick below to leverage that same functionality for sent messages:
Tip: to locate email messages you have sent from Hotmail at or around a particular date, click on the "Sent" folder on the left, and then use the "Go to" link to narrow it down!
Note: only emails you sent through Hotmail from within a web browser will show in your Sent folder in the browser; if you also use Hotmail from an email program like Windows Live Mail or Outlook, check that program's "Sent" folder as well (if needed, obviously).
If you can not remember where you stored a particular message, but remember that you sent or received it around a certain date, it's time to brush up on your skills and use the Hotmail Email Search functionality, a powerful tool (but intuitive to use) that will let you restrict the search based on date, and even to find emails by date range!