Outlook Search Isn’t Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2024 by

Outlook is a popular email and calendar application used by millions of people around the world. However, like any software, it can sometimes experience technical issues. One common problem that users encounter is when the search function in Outlook stops working. This can be frustrating, especially if you rely on Outlook for work or personal use. In this article, we will discuss some troubleshooting steps to fix Outlook search when it’s not working.

Check for Updates

The first step in troubleshooting any software issue is to make sure that you have the latest updates installed. In Outlook, go to the File tab and click on “Office Account.” From there, click on “Update Options” and then select “Update Now.” This will check for and install any available updates for Outlook. Once the updates are installed, restart Outlook and see if the search function is working again.

Rebuild the Index

If updating Outlook does not fix the search issue, the next step is to rebuild the search index. This index is what allows Outlook to quickly search through your emails, contacts, and calendar items. To rebuild the index, go to File > Options > Search and click on “Indexing Options.” From there, click on “Advanced” and then “Rebuild.” This process may take some time, but once it is complete, restart Outlook and try searching again.

Check Your Search Settings

Sometimes, the search function in Outlook may not work because of incorrect settings. To check your search settings, go to File > Options > Search and make sure that the correct folders are selected for indexing. You can also try changing the settings to “All folders” to see if that fixes the issue.

Repair Outlook

If none of the above steps work, it may be necessary to repair Outlook. This will fix any corrupted files or settings that may be causing the search function to not work properly. To repair Outlook, go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and select “Microsoft Office.” Click on “Change” and then select “Repair.” Follow the prompts to complete the repair process and then restart Outlook.

Use the Outlook Search Troubleshooter

If you are still experiencing issues with Outlook search, Microsoft offers a free tool called the Outlook Search Troubleshooter. This tool can help identify and fix any problems with the search function. Simply download and run the troubleshooter, and it will guide you through the steps to fix the issue.

Contact Microsoft Support

If all else fails, it may be necessary to contact Microsoft support for further assistance. They may be able to provide more specific troubleshooting steps or even remote assistance to fix the issue.

By following these steps, you should be able to fix any issues with the search function in Outlook. Remember to always keep your software up to date and to regularly rebuild the search index to prevent future issues. Have you encountered any other problems with Outlook? Let us know in the comments.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.