Why Is My Outlook Search Not Working (Windows, Mac)

Outlook Search Not Working (Windows, Mac)

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which may pay us a commission if you opt to purchase a paid plan. This website is not designed to give financial advice and is solely for amusement purposes.

Outlook search not working is a common problem among many users. Arguably among the pioneer email clients, Microsoft Outlook is a powerful tool that rivals Thunderbird and Mail on Mac. It supports all types of email accounts. 

Unfortunately, some users have reported the outlook search tool not working, or in some instances, the search box is not visible. This troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix this issue for Windows and Mac. 

To fix Outlook Search not working on Windows, ensure the indexing is complete, change search settings, add important index locations, rebuild indexing, configure group policies, or create a new outlook account.

The above are just some of the fixes I will guide you through and, navigateMac’sn this article. So read on to understand, in-depth, the best way you can return your outlook search. 

Let’s get started.

How To Fix Outlook Search Not Working In Windows

1. Change Search Results Settings

To change the search results settings, open Microsoft Outlook on your computer and click on the File menu on the top left side of your window. Select Options at the bottom left of the menu. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/GsArfLF1YLh9ZjaK-GdTo5LLGW5dnJbht3vgJyen_HxHViK8xs2za_r4ntgGqLW2uwth97MGHJlrC6s21UpZUinyda63MEDZ5Ec9Kj3KvsZ7FXOESQBMvD0ZYrgGsMVvwuF5Wgrp

By clicking options, a new window will pop up Outlook Options. Select Search from the menu on the left side. 

Check by ticking the boxes against All Mailboxes and Include messages from the deleted items folder in each data file when searching All Items. Click OK. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/1XjBx2PBrru00LIrkZZZrh9-br_k0KD2hCNfuhK4BKoAy-gu9Bq4X7lT7A6L6jcAScsz37-610tr6HkWtpCko8y6Og1E1rQHp4YuatYyGIOo1msZNvyydtASdFimrm7TlaOgoCzD

2. Repair Your Outlook Account

To repair your MS Outlook account, open Outlook on your PC and click on the File Menu. Select account settings, and from the drop-down menu, choose account settings.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fKx-4Ss2TdGJJIJw-5NnvYUVt0gpjN8-r8T2MAdisZK2Dw3Mg4ydCW9BquhFtwpRBLErcPzP1nXKw-fzm1oJKkgROkLiKQe-C-rtwFyPNwNccJ9REbwjnCxVz9DZpBlpcFsuWKmI

Click on the select your account tab and click repair. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/CZpx12kkaXZMwOwJH_ncuZPhzh0aPlvCjDS8mxuVuYeafZbXqik4UBA7WL2ZXVeUNhSu8-6Efu_6q0Ui_WTDxQvccjV4xyRIemxpJd7GLjFFWkFFI9eALuzr7fkEY0LfwqVYQ_gl

You will get a few on-screen directions that you follow easily to complete the repair. If the outlook search is not working, consider the next fix. 

3. Ensure the indexing status is complete

This step should give you the green light on whether the search option is working or not or you are dealing with something else. 

Open MS Outlook and click on the Search box. A search tab will appear at the top ribbon. Click on the Search tools, and from the drop-down menu, click on the indexing status. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/6k9vXxqt-dAbz_9ECTJYWa1yaMWzb-pBE-nJmXnI-uOXt9xYtttu-FP8dsRcXORlesiTLFXaJJjDwgorjmjmdOd_SVIurUWYOPW4Ah0jMCoOVesA33LwAxyIoaS0Ow9dGzmE8TBG

Click on the indexing status to check if MS Outlook indexed all the items. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/toxMU2f9q73d4wRi_IFvFGPvjHemoYpWl91549zynPZW5Iy36gzk-7SAKdh2fF-a5bdFgSdP-247pmHgn9G3HqR0K5IAwtIiFRcabUffd2P6DnAl_rb8Yd5D4BVyS7KS0D4Dh8B_

In case there is an indication that there are some items that are not indexed, wait until Outlook completes indexing them, then go back and run your search again.

4. Repairing the Microsoft Office Application

To repair Microsoft Office that is already installed on the machine. Press Windows plus R simultaneously. Type appwiz.cpl on the window that appears and click OK.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\appw.PNG

It will open the following page containing the installed programs. Right-click on the Microsoft 2016 Professional depending on your type, then click Change.

When you click change, you receive a prompt asking which method to use to repair the program.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\offiv.PNG

Choose the quick repair and click repair. Follow the prompt instructions they will give you until you reach the last step. If the issue resulted from corrupt Microsoft Office, the issue gets solved.

5. Updating the Outlook app

When the outlook app is not updated, it affects the search indexing causing it to stop. Checking updates and installing them is one way of avoiding this.

Press the Windows shortcut plus I to open the settings page to check for updates.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\win.PNG

Click on the update and security tab to check and install all the updates. If no updates exist, then proceed to the next step.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\update.PNG

Proceed to the Outlook app and open it. Click on file the office account. After clicking on the office account, check for updates under the office updates. On the office, updates click on it and update.

After updating the app, restart it to reindex the emails afresh.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\office.PNG
C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\23.PNG

6. Better Configuration of the Group Policies on Search.

It mostly works for Windows 10 users. Press the Windows and R button simultaneously, type gpedit.msc in the box, and click OK.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\gpedit.PNG

A popup of a and, navigateMac’scal group policy editor will open up.C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\gpe.PNG

Click on User Configuration, then Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and lastly, Search.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\group.PNG

When you look at the state, it shows Not configured, meaning they are ok. If they show Configured, right-click on the setting, click edit, and choose not configured. Click OK and then apply to effect the changes.

7. Adding Index Locations

To add index location. Click on the File option after launching the Outlook app.

 Navigate by clicking on the Options tab and then the search tab. Click on the indexing options.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\index1.PNG

Click on Indexing Options to confirm whether Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer History are included among the locations. If they are not listed, you can click on Modify and select them to add them to the locations.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\we.PNG

After that, navigate to Advanced options and head over to the File Types tab.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\gp.PNG

Scroll on the file list until you locate a file with the .pst extension. Make sure the file is among them. If the file is missing below the files, there is a place you can add files by putting a new extension.

Input .pst in the box and click add. Then click ok, and that’s how you add necessary index locations. When you restart the app, it might have solved the issue.

8. Rebuilding the search index

Rebuilding the search index helps in removing some corrupt files or breakage. After rebuilding, it helps in solving all the search issues.

Open the Outlook app and navigate to the file option, then click Options. The following popup box will open. 

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pop.PNG

On the popup box, select the Search tab, then click on Indexing Options.C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\11--.PNG

Click on Indexing Options, then click on the Advanced tab. Then click on the Rebuild tab under the index settings. Restart the app to see if it’s ok.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\index.PNG
C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\build.PNG

9. Repairing the Outlook data files

Outlook comes up with two data files; OST and PST files. Both of the files depend on the version of Outlook you are running.

 Every time the app gets connected to the internet, the files update. They help in displaying the outlook emails when the system is offline.

To locate the files, use the following procedure:

Open the file explorer and locate the files in the disk for the app data of the Outlook app. Or you can achieve the same result by opening the Outlook app. 

Click on the File option, then Account settings and locate the Data Files tab. Remember to copy the location of these data files.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pst.PNGNow, we know how to locate our data files. Let’s now have a look at how to repair the data files.

First, let’s download the data repair tool. Run the repair tool and let the troubleshooter start.

When the repair windows open, browse the folder that hosts the PST/OST files. The tool will run and navigate. It will alert you that there are some errors in case of errors.

After showing you, the errors click on repair the errors. Give it some time to complete repairing the errors. After complete repair, try to use Microsoft Outlook again.

It is achievable by running the SCANPST.EXE app. Go to the root of your office installation, locate scabpst.exe, and run it. When it opens, paste the file’s location as we saw above.

Click on start, and the process of repairing the files begins. Once it finishes, we shall repeat the same procedure we used when using the repair tool. 

How to Fix Outlook Search Not Working On Mac

Here are several ways to solve the Outlook search issue not working on Mac.

1. Make sure the Outlook app is up to date.

One of the common ways of fixing the Outlook search is not working.

If you installed the app from the Microsoft app store, the Outlook app is under the apps section. Updating the app can take as little as five minutes.

Open the app on Mac, and click on the Updates on the sidebar. If there are no updates, you are good to go.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\111.PNG

 If there is an update, several options are provided for updating all the pending updates or updating the app only. Choose the app only.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\44.PNG

Click on the update all to update the app. You can also use the downloadable auto-update tool, where you don’t need to do it manually, but it’s done automatically.

2. Confirm that the Outlook profile name does not have any special Characters.

Special characters like commas, dollar signs, percentages, and ampersand can impact outlook search, raising issues.

To make sure that the profile name has no special characters. Search for applications in the search bar. Locate the Microsoft Outlook app and right-click on it. Then select the show package conteMac’sand, navigates tab.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pic3.PNG

After you click on the option, another prompt of contents will show. Click on it, then share the support option.  On the shared option bar, select Outlook profile manager.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\12.PNG

Check the profile name if it consists of special characters. If it consists of the characters, you will edit them.

To edit the profile name. Search for Go To Folder and add /Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook. Then click go. After clicking that, double click on Outlook 15 Profiles.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\22.PNG

Rename the Outlook 15 into a name without special characters. You can confirm if your profile name has changed by going back to the content profile.

3. Removing and Re-adding the Outlook App from Mac device

It is normally the option that is rarely used as it involves removing the app completely from the device and re-adding it.

Head over to the outlook preferences.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\new.PNG

Then select accounts

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\acc.PNG

Select the account with search issues, select delete from this device, and confirm you have removed the account.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\re.PNG

Go back to the contents so that you can access the profile manager and delete it again.

Once you have done so, relaunch the app and click on Outlook, preferences, and accounts. Click on the + sign to add an account.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\sn.PNG

Enter the email address, and you will get prompts with steps like choosing exchange or Microsoft 365. Follow the prompts up to the last step that will enable you to add the account.

4. By making sure that the Outlook profile is not listed in the Spotlights Privacy Section

Head over to the spotlights icon by clicking the system preference icon.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pic1.PNG

Go to the privacy tab and confirm if the Outlook profile is listed there or not. If it is not listed, go to the next step, and if listed, select the folder and delete it.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pic 2.PNG

How To Fix Outlook Search Not Working On Android

1. Updating the Outlook App.

The outlook app on the android device may not be up to date and needs an update. The new update helps to solve this.

Head over to Google Play Store. Tap on manage apps and devices. Select the outlook app from the list of apps and click update. After updating, try using the app to see if the issue no longer exists.

2. Resetting the outlook android app

Open the settings of your android device. Then click on apps then locate the outlook app.C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\app.PNG

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\out.PNG

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\10.PNG

Click on the app and then locate storage. Click on clear data and cache, then restart the app.
C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\look.PNG

On Android 10 and above, click on settings, then storage. Tap on other apps and then select outlook. You will see the option of clearing both the cache and storage.

How To Fix Outlook Search Not Working On IPad and iPhone

Here are possible ways of fixing Outlook not working on an IPad and an iPhone.

1. Syncing iPad and iPhone accounts

Navigate to the settings of the iPad and iPhone.

C:\Users\COLVITT\Documents\pass.PNG

Tap on passwords and accounts. Head over to accounts and select the Outlook account. Tap on the account and select the number of days for the email to sync.

Microsoft Outlook is among the best emailing software

Outlook is one of the greatest apps on machines and devices for planning yourself, organizing emails, sharing mails, and easily scheduling meetings. It is awesome and very helpful.

Despite being one of the best apps, it also comes with problems like the one we have discussed above of the outlook search not working. If you have been facing the problem either on your Window, Mac, Linux, IPad, iPhone, or Android device, you are now sorted.

It is your time to go through them and understand how to solve them. Most of these search problems can be disappointing, especially when you are fast and the urgent email.

close

Become a VIP member

Sign up to receive updates, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Robert Njoroge

Robert started writing poems and narrations back in high school. Later, he ventured into content writing and has written hundreds of articles, mainly about technology.He is the founder of Know Something which was launched in June 2022. No limits!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *