In this guide, you will find instructions on how to fix the “Outlook search is not working” problem in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 or 2007. On a Windows 7-based computer, we observed this issue: Outlook 2010 returned incomplete search results. In fact, the Outlook email search only showed a few results and did not show the most recent emails that should have been displayed since it matched the search. If Outlook search is not working as expected, the problem may be with the Windows Indexing service. The Windows Indexing service creates an index of files on your computer to improve search efficiency. To fix search problems on a Windows 7 computer, you need to rebuild the “Index” created by the Indexing Service.
Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to reset Windows indexing to solve all problems with the “search” function in Windows and Outlook. (eg: Outlook search not working, Outlook search not “returning” correct search results, Windows search not working, etc.)
How to restore the Outlook index and solve Outlook search problems.
1. If you are using Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 10 after skip first two steps (step-1 and step-2) and go to step-3.
2. Updated July 2017: Before proceeding below, try installing the following updates and then check if the Outlook search issue is resolved:
Step 1. Remove the Windows Search function from Control Panel. *
1. Open the Windows Control Panel. To do this, go to:
- Windows 7 and Vista: Start > Control Panel.
- Windows XP: Start > Settings > Control Panel
- Click on “Windows” + “RClick the ” button to download Running dialog box.
- write “control Panel” and click Enter.
2. Double click to open:
- Add or remove programs if you have Windows XP
- Programs and features (or “Uninstall the program”) if you have Windows 8, 7 or Vista.
3. On the left, clickTurn Windows features on or off“.
4. (click Yes for UAC warning message). Register remove the mark “Windows Search” and then click Yes in the warning message.
5. Finally, click OK to confirm your decision.
6. Now wait for Windows to make the feature changes and restart your computer when prompted.
7. After restarting, open Outlook and allow the program to reset the search function. Then close Outlook and go to step 2.
Step 2. Turn on Windows Search from Control Panel.
1. Navigate again Control Panel > Programs and features > Turn on Windows features select options and “Windows Search“check box.
2. Wait for Windows to change the features and restart your computer when prompted.
Step 3. Restore the Windows index.
1. After restarting, go to control panel and open “Indexing capabilities“.
2. In indexing options, select “Complicated“.
3. In the advanced options, select “Reconstruction“.
4. press OK in the information message and wait until the rebuild is complete.
5. After indexing is complete, near Indexing capabilities mirror and open Outlook.
6. Finally, wait for Outlook to index all Outlook items. Once the indexing is complete, * start using the search again without problems.
* Note: How to make sure indexing is complete (Outlook 2010):
1. Press Ctrl + F buttons to open the search menu.
2. Click the arrow next to “.Search tools“ribbon and select”Indexing status“.
3. When the indexing is complete, you should see an information message similar to “Outlook has finished indexing all your items“.
-If Outlook Search still doesn’t work, try the following:
1. Start Outlook without plug-ins (in Outlook Safe Mode) and perform a search. If the search is running, disable all Outlook plug-ins. Detailed instructions for this task can be found here.
2. Try to repair Outlook.PST file using Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe). Detailed instructions for this task can be found here.