September 29, 2022
  • If Outlook search isn’t working, it’s not uncommon, but there are ways to fix it relatively quickly.
  • You must make sure that the search feature still indexes Outlook and includes email message files in its index.
  • Here are the top seven ways to troubleshoot Outlook when search isn’t working.

In principle, Outlook’s search box provides a useful way to quickly find the needles in your email haystack, by combing through a massive database of messages almost instantly. In practice, it’s not uncommon to find that Outlook search sometimes stops working, leaving you with no way to find what you need. While there are a variety of reasons why Outlook may stop searching, the root causes are generally well understood. Here are seven ways to troubleshoot Outlook when search isn’t working.

Close and restart Outlook

Whenever you notice Outlook behaving strangely or unexpectedly, the first thing you should do to try to fix the problem is to close and restart the program. This gets rid of any temporary data that could be causing the problem. Unfortunately, you can’t simply close the Outlook window in the usual way, because Outlook leaves services running in the background. To make sure that it is actually closed, you need to use the task manager.

1. click beginning Then type “task manager”.

2. click Task Manager in search results when you see them appear.

3. click Microsoft Outlook Then click finish the job.

4. beginning prospects repeatedly.

Task Manager in Windows 11.

Use Task Manager to end all instances of Outlook and its services at once.

Dave Johnson


If that doesn’t solve your search problem, try the next troubleshooting option.

Restart your computer

Another simple troubleshooting step that can solve this problem (and many other common problems) is to restart your computer. click beginningthen Energy and select Restart. After turning off the computer and starting up again, open prospects And see if the search feature is restored.

Run the search troubleshooter

Search problems are common enough that Microsoft created a troubleshooter in Windows. This troubleshooter can often solve Outlook search problems because Outlook takes advantage of the search services built into Windows.

1. click beginning Then click Settings.

2. In the Find a place Search box, type “trouble” and tap Troubleshoot other problems When you see it appear in search results.

3. In the else section, click Being on right Search and indexing.

4. In the Search and indexing window, click all the problems you encounter, including Outlook search does not return results.

5. click next one And let the troubleshooter run.

Troubleshooters in Windows Settings.

Microsoft has made a troubleshooter specifically for search problems.

Dave Johnson


Outlook has its own search settings which you can check as well. One of the most common issues is that the search engine stops indexing Outlook for search. This is easy to determine.

1. In Outlook, click a file then choose Options

2. In the navigation pane on the left, click seek.

3. In the Sources section, click Indexing options…

4. On the Indexing Options dialog box, you should see Microsoft Outlook In the list of sites that are indexed.

5. If you don’t see Outlook listed, tap Modifycheck the box for Microsoft Outlook Then click yes.

Indexing Options for Windows 11.

Ensure that Outlook is actually indexed by the Windows Search Indexer.

Dave Johnson


Make sure Outlook messages are indexed

Even if Outlook is included in the search index, the search can still fail because the filter type is not indexed for emails. Here’s what to check:

1. In Outlook, click a file then choose Options.

2. In the navigation pane on the left, click seek.

3. In the Sources section, click Indexing options…

4. On the Indexing Options dialog box, click Yes advanced.

5. tap on File types tab and check the file extension msg Examined. Also, in How should this file be indexed? select the option Index properties and file contents.

6. click yes.

Delete and rebuild the Outlook search index

Even if everything is configured correctly, Outlook search will fail if the search index is corrupted. To solve this potential problem, you can rebuild the index.

1. In Outlook, click a file then choose Options.

2. In the navigation pane on the left, click seek.

3. In the Sources section, click Indexing options…

4. On the Indexing Options dialog box, click Yes advanced.

5. On the Index Settings tab, in the Troubleshooting section, click Rebuilding.

Windows Search Indexing Options in Windows 11.

If the search index is corrupted, rebuilding it can solve search problems.

Dave Johnson


Rebuilding the index will take some time. When done, restart your computer and test Outlook search again.

Make sure Outlook is up to date

Although it is relatively unlikely, it is possible that a bug or incompatibility in the current version of Outlook is preventing Search from working properly. You can eliminate this potential glitch by making sure you are running the latest version of Outlook with all available updates and bug fixes.

1. In Outlook, click a file then choose office account.

2. On the right side of the window, click Update options.

3. In the dropdown menu, click update now.

4. Outlook will check for and install updates, if they are available.

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