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How do I Outlook Search Function Not Working?

Despite being one of the most popular and widely used email service providers, you might face some issues while using Microsoft Outlook. One of the most common problems that many users have a complaint about is Outlook search not working Windows 10 problem that makes users unable to find email items based on keywords. In such a ca, you may need to add filters to your Outlook search function to locate specific email items much more quickly.

Outlook Search Not Working

Whenever, you find something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed, apply some specific troubleshooting method to fix your problem. Usually, in such cases you will receive error messages such as ‘Outlook search not working’ and ‘returns no or incomplete results.’ You need to find the exact reason that causes problems with the Outlook search function and then apply some methods to fix such Outlook Problems.

Some Other Relatable Issues with Outlook

There are some more problems that you may face with your Outlook account. You may experience any of these issues when Outlook search not working in Outlook:

  • Outlook may not return any search results
  • Microsoft Outlook search will not show any result
  • Outlook search may not show any recent emails or unable to find any older emails
  • Outlook search does not result any matches

How to Fix ‘Outlook Search not Working?’

There are various methods that you can try to fix any problem with the search function of your Outlook account. You can apply any of the following methods to troubleshoot Outlook search issues:

Method 1: Fix Outlook Indexing Status

Whenever you face issues like the Outlook indexing tool is not working or not functioning properly, immediately check outlook Indexing Status. You can check the status of Outlook Indexing services by following steps:

  • Navigate to Control Panel>Programs>Programs and Features.
  • Click on Outlook 2016 or Microsoft Office and tap the ‘Change’ button located at the top.
  • Select ‘Repair’ and click on the ‘Continue’ button.

These steps will automatically begin repairing MS Office or Outlook 2016 installation and may also fix the Outlook 2016 search issue.

Method 2: Fix Outlook Search Using the Registry

You can also use the Windows Registry to repair Outlook searches. For this, you have to:

  • Press Windows + R Key to open the Run dialog and then type regedit and press Enter key to open the Registry Editor.
  • Now, press Ctrl + F to open the search menu. After this, copy and paste the following registry key:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
  • After reaching the exact path, go to the right-hand panel, and then right-click and select New Dword (32-bit). Name the new Dword PreventIndexingOutlook and assign its value as 0.
  • At last, press the OK button and restart your system.

Method 3: Reinstall Outlook

If both of the above methods haven’t helped, you can uninstall the Microsoft Outlook app from your system. And then reinstall the application again from the official site. Though this is a time-consuming process and even considered not an ideal solution, it will definitely help you to fix any problem with Outlook search issues.


Hope, the article will definitely help you to fix the ‘Outlook search not working‘ issue or any problem related to the application itself. The search functionality may not respond properly due to incomplete Outlook indexing or corrupt PST file. We have mentioned all the related information in this blog that will help you to understand various Outlook search problems and details several troubleshooting methods to fix these problems.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to turn on the Search button in Outlook?

  • Firstly, go to the “File” menu and select “Options” and then locate and click on “Customize Ribbon”.
  • A vast variety of commands, tabs, and ribbons will appear in dialog boxes. Select “Tools Tabs” in the field of “Choose Commands from” and simultaneously select “Main Tab” from the “Customize the Ribbon” field.
  • Next, you will get the “Search” option on the left side.

How do I get instant search back in Outlook?

Click on the Menus tab and then on the Tools menu. Select Search from the drop-down menu and at the top of the submenu, you will get an Instant Search option.

How do I increase search results in Outlook?

To increase the number of visible search results, go through File > Options > Search in Outlook. Clear the “Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown” box and restart the Outlook application. After doing so when you search, it will take more time, but will show you all results instead of just 250.

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