Microsoft Outlook 365 search not working

Last Updated on May 14, 2020 by Next Century

If you have any of the following search issues in Microsoft Outlook 365:

  • Outlook search returns no results
  • Outlook search returns incomplete results
  • Outlook search can’t find older emails

Then try the following:

Run the Windows Search Troubleshooter

  • Click on Start and type Troubleshoot in the Type here to search box, then click on Troubleshoot settings or open

    NOTE: If you cannot see the Type here to search box, after clicking on Start just start typing and it will appear

  • Scroll down the list on the right to Find and fix other problems > Search and Indexing, then click on Run the troubleshooter

  • If your issue is that emails are not been displayed when you search in Outlook, then tick E-mail doesn’t appear in the search results and then click Next

    If you are next prompted that issues might be found troubleshooting with administrator permissions, then click on Try troubleshooting as an administrator which will then re-prompt you with the what problems do you notice, click Next again

  • The Search and Indexing troubleshooter will then either find issues and resolve them, otherwise advise that Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem.

Rebuild the Search Catalog

  • In Microsoft Outlook, click on File > Options

  • Then in Indexing Options, click on Advanced

  • Then click on Rebuild

  • Click OK on the Rebuild Index prompt to continue

  • Now it will go back to the Indexing Options page and you will see the items indexed at the top increasing.

    This can take quite some time, normally hours depending on how many emails you have and the speed of your computer.

    You can either leave this screen open to watch the progress or close the screen to continue with your work.

    IMPORTANT: The Outlook search will not work until the indexing is complete

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