How To Fix Outlook Search Not Working

Outlook is a handy tool that incorporates messaging, time management, and other automatic features. It’s especially helpful for locating important mail quickly. But when the “search” feature malfunctions, the program will cut off access to important information. However, several methods can help users effectively scan their inboxes.

How To Fix Outlook Search Not Working

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can repair your Outlook’s “search” feature on a Mac or Windows PC.

Outlook Search Not Working on a Mac

If you’re using Outlook on a Mac, there’s a chance that your Outlook search will display no results. However, there are several ways to resolve the issue, and all of them are relatively straightforward.

“Spotlight” is the “search” feature’s central aspect, and it’s responsible for filtering all new information. Sometimes it can stop working, so you’ll need to get it to reindex all your mail information. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the “Apple Menu” and tap “System Preferences.”
  2. Select the “Spotlight” button and choose the “Privacy” option.
  3. When you see your Outlook profile, tap it and press the “minus” icon under the list to remove the profile.
  4. Exit the window.
  5. Restart your device.

When you’ve restarted the Mac, go to Outlook and check whether the issue has been resolved.

If your profile name contains any unusual characters, it may be blocking Outlook from performing searches. Renaming your profile using only letters and numbers will enable Outlook to search efficiently. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open your Mac’s “Applications” folder.
  2. Navigate to the “Outlook” option and right-click.
  3. Choose “Show Package Contents” from the pop-up list and tap the “Contents” section.
  4. Select “Shared Support.”
  5. Double-click when the cursor is above “Outlook Profile Manager.”
  6. Check your profile name in the new window for any unusual symbols (anything other than letters and numbers).
  7. If the name contains special symbols, go to the menu bar.
  8. Select the “Go” menu and tap “Go to Folder.”
  9. Insert “~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook” into the text field and press “Enter.”
  10. This action will open a new folder. Select “Outlook 15 Profiles” and rename your Outlook profile folder. Use only letters and numbers.
  11. Restart the Mac to save the changes.

When the device is powered on again, retest the search feature to ensure it’s working correctly.

Another reason why you can’t search through your inbox could be outdated software. If you haven’t updated your Outlook in a while, upgrading it should fix the search problem.

  1. Enter the “Applications” folder and enter the Mac “App Store.”
  2. Tap the “Update” option in the menu on the left part of the interface.
  3. If there is an available Outlook update, select the “Update” button beside it.
  4. When the installation is finished, restart your device.

To see whether the method was effective, enter your Outlook and search your inbox.

Outdated Mac software may also be interrupting the searches. Performing a macOS update should allow Outlook to run smoothly. To update the operating system:

  1. Open the “Apple Menu” and select “About this Mac” to see what macOS version you’re using.
  2. If the Mac operates on an older version (like macOS Monterey 12.0.1), return to the “Apple Menu.”
  3. Choose “System Preferences” and tap the “Software Update” button.
  4. Install the newest macOS update
  5. Once the installation is completed, restart your device.

Another effective method of repairing the search function is transferring your Outlook profile to the “Outlook 15 Profiles” directory. The steps are as follows:

  1. Navigate to the “Start Menu” and select “Go.”
  2. Enter “~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook” into the search field and tap “Return” (Enter).
  3. Select the “Outlook 15 Profiles” folder and delete your Outlook profile folder.
  4. Go to the “Applications” folder and transfer the Outlook app to the “Trash/Bin.”
  5. Empty the “Trash/Bin.”
  6. Return to the “App Store.”
  7. Find the “Microsoft Outlook” app and reinstall it.
  8. Launch the app and sign in with your account.

Try using the search feature to see whether the app is functioning correctly.

Outlook Search Not Working on a Windows PC

There are several methods to fix Outlook on a Windows PC.

First, try using a Windows troubleshooter. These tools are an effective solution for many Windows software troubles. To troubleshoot your Outlook:

  1. Go to the Windows “Start” menu and enter “Settings.”
  2. Choose the “Update & Security” option.
  3. Select “Troubleshoot” and tap “Additional troubleshooters.”
  4. Click “Search and indexing” and press “Run the troubleshooter.”

This method should automatically fix any Outlook glitches.

Perhaps Outlook is not registering new mail information. In that case, you’ll have to help it process the new data. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the search bar and enter “control.”
  2. Open the “Control Panel” when it appears in the search results.
  3. Select “Programs” and choose the “Programs & Features” option.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and pick your Outlook version, the name of your Office package, or “Office 365.”
  5. Press the “Change” option in the upper menu. You’ll now have two choices: “Quick Repair” and “Online Repair.”
  6. Select “Quick Repair” and press the “Repair” button.
  7. Once the process is done, restart your PC.

There’s an additional way of repairing Outlook’s indexing.

  1. Launch Outlook and press “File.”
  2. Choose “Options” and select “Search.”
  3. Pick “Indexing Options” and click the “Advanced” button.
  4. Press “Rebuild” under the “Troubleshooting” section.
  5. Tap “OK” at the bottom of the window.
  6. Restart the PC when the system rebuilds the index.

To see whether the method was successful, make sure Outlook is listed as an indexed program:

  1. Open Outlook from your desktop.
  2. Press “File” and select the “Search” option.
  3. Choose “Indexing Options” and pick “Modify.”
  4. Ensure that the box next to “Microsoft Outlook” has been selected.
  5. Hit the “OK” button.
  6. Restart the computer.

The Windows Registry also allows you to fix Outlook’s search issues. To use the Registry, do the following:

  1. Simultaneously hold the “Windows” and “R” keys to launch the “Run” function.
  2. Insert “regedit” in the textbox and click “Enter” to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Hit “CTRL+F” to pull up the search menu.
  4. Insert the following key: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search“.
  5. Choose the panel on the right and right-click.
  6. Pick the ” New Dword (32-bit)” option.
  7. Rename the Dword as “PreventIndexingOutlook” and set its value at 0.
  8. Select “OK” and restart the PC.

Upgrading your Microsoft Suite will improve the functioning of all your PC’s programs, including Outlook. To perform an upgrade, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Outlook from your desktop.
  2. Tap “File” and select the “Office Account” option. Sometimes the option appears as “Account.”
  3. Find the “Update Options” menu under the “Product Information” section.
  4. Press the “Update Now” button if it’s visible.

If the process detects no updates, you can visit the Microsoft Updates page and find an update you’ll install manually.

Outlook Search Not Working Office 365

Office 365 users are likely having trouble searching their inboxes because Outlook has failed to process all the data. Repairing Outlook’s index will enable the app to scan all incoming information.

  1. Launch Outlook 365 and press the “File” tab.
  2. Select “Options” and tap “Search.”
  3. Choose “Indexing Options.”
  4. You’ll see a list of locations Outlook is indexing. Tap the “Advanced” option.
  5. Press “Rebuild” under the “Troubleshooting” tab.
  6. The index rebuild might take a while, so make sure to keep your PC powered on until the process is completed.

Outlook Search Not Working After Update

New software updates can disturb existing programs. Try reinstalling Outlook to iron out the search issue.

  1. Go to the “Start” menu and open the “Control Panel.”
  2. Double-tap the “Add or Remove Programs” or “Program and Features” button. You’ll see a list of every app you’ve installed on the PC.
  3. Scroll down until you reach “Microsoft Office.”
  4. Press the “Change” icon.
  5. And a new window will pop-up.
  6. Select “Online Repair” and hit “Repair.” The action will start reinstalling Outlook and other necessary Office software.
  7. Press “Repair” when the software has been reinstalled.

If you’ve recently updated your Microsoft software, it might be incompatible with the other programs on your PC. When there’s an incompatibility issue, it’s best to return to an earlier OS version until Microsoft comes out with an option that will work on your device.

  1. Visit the Microsoft website to see the name of the older Office version. Pick the option that came directly before the version you’re currently using.
  2. Download and activate the Office Deployment Tool file.
  3. Launch Notepad and enter:
    <Updates Enabled="TRUE" TargetVersion="16.0.xxxxx.yyyyy" />

  4. Replace the “16.0.xxxxx.yyyyy” portion with the older Microsoft Office version you want to revert to.
  5. Save the Notepad file and the Office Deployment Tool file in the same folder on your PC.
  6. Press “Start” and enter “cmd” in the search field.
  7. Right-click on “cmd.exe” and select “Run as administrator.”
  8. Choose the folder location of the Notepad and the Office Deployment Tool files.
  9. Execute this command: “setup.exe /configure config.xml
  10. Launch a Microsoft Office Program (like Word or Excel).
  11. Press “File” and tap “Account.”
  12. Under the “Product Information” section, tap “Update Options” and pick “Update Now.”

The system could ask you to reactivate your Office suite. Use your account and password to enable the newly-installed Office version.

No Search Comes Up Empty

Outlook is a great program, but problems occur from time to time. It’s essential to resolve them quickly so that you can access and manage your emails.

Hopefully, this article has taught you how to repair Outlook “search” feature so that you can access your online correspondence at any time.

Have you ever had trouble searching your Outbox inbox? How did you fix it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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