Trusted Solutions for Outlook Search Not Working Problem

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Outlook Search Not Working

The Outlook email client has various features. One of them is allowing users to look for particular information in an email. However, sometimes, you may find Outlook search not working. This can happen because of an outdated program, problems in the indexing function, or a temporary glitch in the program. There are various ways to resolve the problem, such as changing indexing locations, updating Outlook, and using the in-built repair tool.

In this post, you will find all these fixes to repair the search function in Outlook.

Fixes for Outlook Search Function Not Working

Now that you have a greater understanding of the problem, use these resolutions to fix it.

Employ the index repair menu to rebuild the search index

This is an easy yet effective method to fix the search issue. In Outlook, do the following.

  1. Move to ‘File’ and choose ‘Options.’
  2. Now, select the ‘Search’ option.
  3. After that, choose ‘Indexing Options’ followed by ‘Advanced.’
  4. Below ‘Troubleshooting,’ choose ‘Rebuild.’

Rebuild the instant search catalog

The signs of Outlook email search not working can sometimes include either no search results being returned or returned partially. Besides, the items you expect to appear as per search criteria may not show. To fix it, rebuild the instant search catalog.

  1. Exit Outlook if it’s open.
  2. Now, move to the ‘Control Panel.’
  3. In the search box, input ‘indexing.’
  4. Now select ‘Indexing Options.’
  5. In the ‘Indexed Locations’ box, choose the checkbox for the location you wish to edit and hit ‘OK.’
  6. In the ‘Advanced Options’ box, go to the ‘Indexed Settings’ tab.
  7. Here, below ‘Troubleshooting,’ choose ‘Rebuild.’
  8. You will see the Rebuild Index box opening with the warning, ‘Index might take a long time to complete.’
  9. hit ‘OK’ to begin rebuilding the index.

Also Read: Outlook Search Not Showing Recent Emails

Turn off Windows Desktop search.

If you find Outlook search not working after rebuilding index, try this method. It involves turning off Windows Desktop Search, which causes Outlook to use its own search. However, note that this may impact the search performance because the group policy has been disabled in the Windows Search service. Turn off Windows Desktop search using these points.

  1. In your Windows system, right-tap ‘Start’ and choose ‘Run.’
  2. In this box, input ‘regedit’ and hit ‘OK.’
  3. The Registry Editor will open.
  4. Here, find the following subkey: ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  5. After finding it, tap it, and choose ‘Edit.’
  6. Select ‘New’ followed by ‘Key.’
  7. Give Windows Search the name of the new key.
  8. Now select this key and choose ‘Edit.’
  9. Select ‘New’ followed by ‘DWORD Value.’
  10. For the DWORD name, input ‘PreventIndexingOutlook’ and hit Enter.
  11. Right-tap ‘PreventIndexingOutlook’ and select ‘Modify.’
  12. Input ‘ 1’ in the Value Data’ box to turn on the Registry key.
  13. Now choose ‘OK.’
  14. Close Registry Editor.
  15. Finally, start Outlook again.

Use the Windows search troubleshooter.

The Windows search troubleshooter helps resolves various issues. You can use it when you notice the search function not working in Outlook.

  1. Go to ‘Start.’
  2. Next, select ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Update & security.’
  3. Opt for ‘Troubleshoot.’
  4. Head to ‘Additional Troubleshooters.’
  5. Use the ‘Search and Indexing’ option.
  6. Now, tap ‘Run the troubleshooter.’
  7. After the troubleshooter completes its work, check if the search function works in Outlook.

Also Read: Outlook Search Bar Is Missing

Look for updates in Outlook.

You can update the application if you find Outlook not searching emails. Here are the steps for Outlook 2019, 2013, and 2016 users.

  1. Open Outlook and choose ‘File.’
  2. Next, choose ‘Office Account.’
  3. Below the ‘Product Information’ section, view ‘Update Options.’
  4. Pick ‘Enable Updates’ if you see it.
  5. Lastly, choose ‘Update Now.’
  6. If you use Outlook 2010, select ‘Help’ in the ‘File’ section.
  7. Then opt for the ‘Check for updates’ option.
  8. Select ‘Install Updates.’

Repair a corrupt PST file.

Microsoft uses the PST file format to store emails, contacts, and calendar info. If one of these files is corrupt, it leads to the search function not working in Outlook. To repair PST files, follow these points.

  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. Now go to C:\Program Files in ‘File Explorer.’
  3. In the search box, input ‘scanpst.exe’ and double-tap the search result to run this file.
  4. In the ‘Enter the file name to be checked’ field, your main . PST file will get entered automatically.
  5. But if it doesn’t, go to this path: drive:\Users\<username>\Roaming\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  6. Hit ‘Start.’
  7. Wait till this process finishes.
  8. Choose ‘Repair’ if the tool detects errors.
  9. Finally, restart Outlook.
  10. See if the search works properly.

Examine the indexing group policy settings in Outlook.

If you find your Outlook not searching emails and are a Windows 11 Pro or Windows 10 Pro user, use this technique. Here are the points to modify Outlook indexing group policy settings.

  1. In the ‘Start’ menu, input ‘gpedit.’
  2. Now tap on its search result.
  3. Go to the ‘User Configuration’ followed by ‘Administrative Templates.’
  4. Now, choose ‘Search.’
  5. Place a check beside ‘Prevent Indexing Certain Paths’ and ‘Default Excluded Paths’ for modifications regarding Outlook.
  6. If you find the policy state set to ‘Not configured,’ this isn’t the cause behind the Outlook email search not working.

Also Read: Outlook Email Not Working

Disable indexing on Outlook

Try disabling indexing on Outlook on noticing Outlook shared mailbox search not working. Utilize these steps to disable it.

  1. Tap ‘File’ in Outlook followed by ‘Options’ and ‘Search.’
  2. Click ‘Indexing Options.’
  3. Tap the ‘Modify’ button.
  4. Uncheck ‘Microsoft Outlook’ and hit ‘OK.’
  5. Open ‘Control Panel.’
  6. Here, tap the ‘Mail (32-bit)’ link to launch the mail setup of Outlook.
  7. Tap ‘Open file location.’
  8. Right-tap and choose ‘Properties’ for the OST file of your account.
  9. Click ‘Advanced.’
  10. Check ‘Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties.’
  11. Hit ‘OK’ through all the windows.
  12. Now, go to ‘File’ followed by ‘Options’ and ‘Search.’
  13. Click ‘Indexing options.’
  14. Hit the ‘Modify’ button.
  15. Check the ‘Microsoft Outlook’ option.
  16. Now, try searching the shared mailbox. It should work.

Add your shared mailbox as a secondary exchange account

Sometimes, Outlook won’t give the search ‘all mailboxes’ any results from all mailboxes. You may enable ‘All Mailboxes,’ but it only applies to your primary personal account. Fix this issue by adding the shared mailbox as a secondary exchange account.

  1. Go to ‘File’ menu in Outlook.
  2. Here, choose ‘Account Settings.’
  3. Next, choose ‘Account Settings.’
  4. Double-tap your Exchange account.
  5. Select ‘More Settings.’
  6. Now, pick the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  7. In the ‘Open these additional mailboxes’ section, pick the shared mailbox and choose to remove it.
  8. Now, in the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Add account.’
  9. Type the complete mailbox name in the dialog box.
  10. For the password, select the ‘Sign in with another account’ option.
  11. Use those Exchange credentials with permission to access the shared mailbox.

Also Read: Outlook Not Showing Attachments

Run SFC and DISM scan

Corrupt system files can be a reason for Outlook search not working after rebuilding index and examining group policy settings. Run these two scans and see if the issue resolves.

  1. Hit the Windows key.
  2. Look for ‘PowerShell’ and choose to run as an admin.
  3. Use this command: PS C:\Users\User> sfc/scannow
  4. Post this scan, run a DISM scan through the command below.

PS C:\Users\groov> DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Reinstall Microsoft Outlook

Reinstalling Outlook can also troubleshoot this problem with its search feature. The previous Outlook app may have some technical glitches.

  1. On your Windows system, use the Start menu to access ‘Settings.’
  2. In the search field, input ‘office.’
  3. Now tap the three-dot menu and choose ‘Advanced Options.’
  4. Go to the right side of the ‘Reset’ section.
  5. Tap the Reset button.
  6. The verification menu will appear on the screen.
  7. Here, tap the ‘Reset’ button.

Also Read: Outlook Rules Are Not Working

Make Outlook Search Work Easily Again!

Use this stepwise guide to fix Outlook search not working. There are many resolutions for this issue. Ensure to follow the instructions carefully. Contact a printer technical expert if you need further assistance with the issue.

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