Summary: This blog outlines Microsoft Outlook search problems such as ‘Outlook search not working’ and ‘returns no or incomplete results’. It also describes workarounds on ‘how to fix Outlook problems’. These workarounds apply to Microsoft Office 365, Outlook 2019, 2016, and 2013.
Microsoft Outlook features a search option that helps you find email items based on keywords. You may further add filters to your Outlook search function to locate specific email items much more quickly. In outlook, Sometimes you get surprised when you find something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed you encounter problems with the Outlook search function such as Outlook search does not find any matches, won’t work & Other Outlook Problems.
When Outlook search not working in outlook, you may experience any of these issues:
When the Outlook indexing tool is not working or not functioning properly, It is required to check outlook Indexing Status. Like, it may not show the recent email search result due to the outlook email search which is not working. Further, it may display results like Outlook search by date or may show that items based on search criteria waiting to be indexed in the output panel. This indicates a problem with the Outlook Indexing services.
Following are some workarounds that you can try to resolve Outlook 2016 search not working issues:
|Note: In case, the Outlook search bar isn’t visible, perform the below steps or else proceed with the following workarounds. Go to File > Options > Customize. Select All Tabs under ‘Choose commands from’ section.From the list of tab selections, select ‘Search’, click ‘Add’, and then click ‘OK’ (refer to Fig 1 below).|
Note: If you find that problem is due to damage in an Outlook PST file then, try PST file recovery software to make Outlook error-free and to fix “outlook 2016 search not working” related problems.
To check the indexing status in Outlook 2016, follow these steps:
When the indexing is complete, Outlook will display mailboxes awaiting to be indexed. You can use the search function but may not find the desired mails or get incomplete results due to incomplete indexing status. So, if the indexing does not finish, try rebuilding the Outlook index.
There are two different ways to rebuild the Outlook index and resolve the Outlook 2016 search issue.
Outlook 2016 also features ‘Indexing options…’ to fix Outlook index related issues. Follow these steps to rebuild the Outlook Index and fix the Outlook search problem:
Once the Indexing process is complete, check if the ‘Microsoft Outlook search not working’ issue is resolved. Once the Indexing process is complete, check if the ‘Microsoft Outlook cannot perform your search’ issue is resolved.
TIP: You may also search and open ‘Indexing Options’ from the Control Panel (as shown in the image below).
Outlook search function not working that indicates to if the search results are incomplete or missing older email items, apply the following methods:
This will enable Outlook to sync and index the older emails that may be missing in the Outlook search results. Follow these steps:
When you enter a search query in Outlook, it displays 250 search results by default. To show all results, follow these steps:
NOTE: This will show you all results but the search will be slower.
TIP: You may click ‘Include messages from Deleted items folder …’ checkbox to improve search results.
To fix the greyed out search bar, you need to repair the MS Office or Outlook 2016 installation. To do so, follow these steps:
A corrupt Outlook data file (.pst) can cause severe issues including Outlook search problems. However, Outlook provides an Inbox Repair Tool or SCANPST.EXE to analyze and repair a corrupt or damaged PST file. The tool comes integrated with all the versions of Microsoft Outlook email client.
The default PST file location in Windows is: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
To access and use the SCANPST.EXE tool, follow these steps:
Or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
NOTE: SCANPST.EXE supports the PST file of size up to 2GB. It doesn’t support an encrypted PST file.
Now you may restart Outlook and check if the search not working in outlook problem is resolved.
Alternatively, you can use a PST repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Outlook to fix a corrupt PST file. The software can also fix oversized, encrypted, or severely corrupt PST Outlook data file.
It not only helps resolve Outlook search problems by fixing corrupt PST files but also lets you save the repaired PST mail items to various file formats such as MSG, PDF, HTML, RTF, and EML.
Outlook add-ins help add features and improve productivity. However, sometimes an incompatible or outdated Outlook add-in can cause chaos and lead to issues such as Outlook crash, Outlook not responding, or Outlook search problems.
Follow these steps to disable Outlook add-ins and fix the Outlook search issue:
To inspect Windows Search Service status, follow the given steps:
You may face ‘Outlook search not working’ issue due to incomplete Outlook indexing or corrupt PST file. This blog helps you understand various Outlook search problems and details several troubleshooting methods to fix these problems.
For instance, if the cause of the Outlook search problem is a corrupt Outlook data file, you can repair the PST file by using Stellar Repair for Outlook or Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE). These utilities can repair PST file and recover the entire mailbox data. After the damaged PST file is repaired, the ‘Search’ feature in Outlook should work properly.
Stellar Repair for Outlook is a recommended solution for fixing such issues caused by corrupt PST files as it provides several advantages over the SCANPST.EXE tool. The software supports encrypted Outlook data files, shows a preview of recovered mailbox data before saving, saves the recovered Outlook data file in multiple file formats, and more.
It works in almost all situations when the Inbox repair tool fails to resolve the issue. Check what the other MVPs and other experts have to say about this software: Click Here.
Check What MVP says about our software:
Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers.
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