Outlook Search Not Working. How to fix?

Microsoft Outlook is well known for providing robust and reliable email services to users. However, sometimes, many users experience an issue with the Search option in their Outlook program. If you are also experiencing the problem with Search option in your Outlook account, following the below-mentioned instructions will help you overcome the issue.

Ways to Troubleshoot “Search Issue” in Outlook

1. Use the Window Search Troubleshooter

  • Select the Start button in your Windows 10 computer and go to the Settings section.  
  • Under settings option, select the Update & Security section.
  • In the Update & Security section, select the Troubleshoot option.
  • Next, find and click on the Search and Indexing option and then click on the Run the troubleshooter option.
  • The troubleshooting process will then help you overcome the problem in your Outlook program.

2. Verify Indexing is Complete

  • Go to the Search box in your Outlook program.
  • Select the Search Tools option and then click on the Indexing Status option.
  • In the Indexing Status section, a box with a message will be displayed which reads –

Outlook has finished indexing all of your items.

0 items remaining to be indexed”

  • If you see this message, click OK button on your screen. However, if there are some items remaining to be indexed, wait for a few minutes and then check again. In case, still there are items remaining to be indexed, go to the next steps.
  • In your Outlook program, click on the Search box.
  • Next, select the Search Tools option.
  • In the Search Tools option, select Locations to Search in the Search menu.
  • Here, make sure that all data files/stores listed are selected.

4. Verify Windows Search Service is Enabled and Running

  • Click on the Start menu and select the Search box on your computer.
  • In the Search box, you will need to enter services.msc and press “Enter” key on your keyboard.
  • Next, double-click on the Windows Search option in the Name column.
  • Then, set up the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start) if it was not set to it to already.
  • If the Service status is not displayed on your screen, click on the Start button underneath it to begin the service.

5. Inside Outlook Data in Indexing

  • Quit from your Outlook program and go to the Indexing Options dialog box. Here, you will need to ensure that the Microsoft Outlook is listed in the Included Locations column.
  • Next, select the Modify option if Microsoft Outlook is not listed.
  • Then, click the checkbox located next to the Microsoft Outlook option.
  • After that, you will need to select OK and hit Close button.

6. Configure Indexing Options

  • Quit from Outlook and go to the Indexing Options in the Windows control panel.
  • Next, select the Advanced option in the Indexing Options box.
  • Then, click on the File Types tab, scroll down until you find msg in the Extension column.
  • Select msg option and make sure that the Index Properties and File Contents option is activated.
  • After that, select the Ok button and click on the Close option.

7. Rebuild the Search Catalog

  • Quit from the Outlook program and open Indexing Options section located in the Windows control panel.
  • Next, select the Modify option in the Indexing Option box and deselect the checkbox next to the Outlook and press OK button.
  • Then, you will need to select the Advanced option in the Indexing Options and Rebuild option in the Advanced Options dialogue box.
  • Then, simply click on the OK button and then on the Close option.

8. Check if the Search Option Works in a New Profile

Sometimes the problem with the Outlook search could be occurring because of the problem with the Search option. To check that, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Go to File > Account Settings > Manage Profiles option in your Outlook program. Alternatively, you can quit from Outlook and open Mail in the Windows Control Panel section.
  • In the Mail Setup Outlook dialog box, select the Show Profiles option and then click on the Add option in the General tab.
  • Next, in the Profile Name box, you will need to enter a suitable name for the new profile and click OK button.
  • If prompted, you can provide account information like email address and password. Then, click on the Next option.
  • After that, you will need to select the Finish option where you will find the new profile name you added in the General tab of the Mail dialogue box.
  • Then, you will need to select the Prompt for a profile to be used in the When starting Microsoft Outlook, use this profile section and click OK button.
  • Then, you will need to restart Outlook to check if the problem is fixed.
  • After that, you will need to select the New profile name you created and choose the OK button from the drop-down menu list in the Choose Profile dialog box.
  • Finally, you will need to click on the Search box and try performing a search in your Outlook program.

In case the Search option functions properly with the new profile, this means the problem was with your previous Outlook Profile.

9. Try Repairing Office from the Control Panel

NOTE: The steps mentioned below are based on the Windows 10, the steps may vary for other Windows OS.

  • Right-click on the Start button and select Apps and Features option from the displayed menu.
  • Next, select the Microsoft Office product you wish to repair and click on the Modify option.
  • Now, as per the type of Office (Click-to-run or MSI Based), follow the steps below:

For Click-to-run: In the “How would you like to repair your Office Programs” section, select the Online Repair > Repair option to ensure that everything gets fixed.

For MSI-Based: In the “Change your installation” section, select the Repair option and click on the Continue button.

  • After that, just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair process.

10. Reinstall Office

In case you are unable to overcome the search problem in your Outlook program, it is suggested to uninstall and reinstall the Outlook program on your computer. This should help you overcome the issue.

So, these are the workarounds that you will need to follow in order to fix the “Outlook search not working” issue.

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