How to fix Outlook search not working on Windows 10 

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Microsoft Outlook is one of the most powerful, oldest, and longest-running desktop email applications available. It is able to compete with Mail on macOS and Thunderbird from Mozilla. It is compatible with any and all kinds of email accounts, it supports rules for managing inbound and outgoing messages. It also works with many add-ins to various applications. If you are facing a problem regarding [pii_email_c1646d6cd617ef1be6ab]


Solution Outlook search that isn’t working 

It can be difficult to track and frequently, regardless of how organized you are, and search for emails is the only way to locate it. Outlook offers a comprehensive search feature that lets you specify the search criteria quite well, but sometimes, it’s not working. 

If Outlook search isn’t working properly on your system or working only in a limited way i.e. it’s able to locate older emails, but not the most recent ones, check out the suggestions below. 

1. Repair Microsoft 365 

Microsoft 365 apps are prone to issues just like any other application. If Outlook search doesn’t work then try fixing Microsoft 365. It will not reset the applications, but it can fix issues with the files. 

  • Open Control Panel. 
  • Go to Programs > Uninstall a program. 
  • Search for and choose Microsoft 365. 
  • Select to the Switch button. 
  • Select Quick Repair. 
  • Permit Microsoft 365 to repair and then restart the system. 


2. Allow indexing of the system 

Outlook indexes new messages, but when you receive lots in the way of notifications, Outlook may pause indexing until the system is in idle and it is able to access additional system resources. 

The issue is that the system usually goes into sleep after few minutes of idle which stops Outlook from indexing the items. Set the sleep time of the system to ensure it remains awake longer. 

  1. Open Control Panel. 
  1. Go to Hardware and Sounds> Power Options. 
  1. Select the option to change plans settings in the middle of your power plan currently selected. 
  1. Set the sleep time and change it to a few hours. 


3. Update Microsoft 365 

When the Outlook client isn’t current it could result in the index of search to cease functioning. This will stop Outlook search from functioning. Look for any updates that are compatible with Microsoft 365 and install them. 

  • Launch your Settings app using the keyboard shortcut Win+I. 
  • Go to Update & Security. 
  • Choose the Windows Update tab. 
  • Click to check for Updates. 
  • Install the latest updates available. 
  • Open Outlook. 
  • Go to File>Office Account. 
  • Choose Update Options>Update Now. 
  • Install updates available. 
  • Restart Outlook and allow it to index emails. 


4. Verify the indexing settings. 

Check that Outlook is configured for indexing everything. You can modify the settings for indexing to correct this. 

  • Open Outlook and go to File>Options. 
  • Click from the Tab for Search. 
  • Click the Indexing Options button. 
  • Click Modify and Display every location. 
  • Choose them all and select OK. 
  • Let the locations be indexed , and Outlook search will be able to begin working. 


5. Rebuild the search index 

Similar to Windows 10, Outlook’s search index is susceptible to breaking or becoming damaged. The easiest solution to repair it is to restore it. It’s a long process, but it can solve issues in Outlook’s search. 

  • Open Outlook and go to File>Options. 
  • Choose on the Tab for Search. 
  • Choose Options for Indexing > Advanced. 
  • Click on your Indexing settings Tab and select Rebuild under the Troubleshooting section. 


6. Fix Outlook data files 

Outlook includes an inbuilt tool to assist in repair of the data file. 

  • Open File Explorer. 
  • Go into in the Outlook folder to download the version you have that comes with Outlook. 

Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15 Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12 

  • Start the program SCANPST.EXE. 
  • Choose to open the PST file to be used for the profile of your Outlook profile. 
  • Hit Start to start the scan. 
  • Select Repair to address any issues discovered. 
  • Restart Outlook. 


It can be difficult to keep track of and regardless of the number of labels you put on or the special inboxes you make, you’ll always be using the search function to locate an unread message every often. If Outlook is able to find older and more recent messages but you can’t locate the message you’re looking for, the issue might not be in Outlook’s search. Extend your search criteria, and you’ll be able to locate the message that’s not appearing in the results of your search. 


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