Outlook Email Search Function  is not working

Outlook Email Search Function is not working

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Now a days outlook is most famous Email app in use, with the passage of time when size of inbox or number of mail boxes increases the outlook search option either stop working or gets slow. This issue mostly occurs with outlook 2013 when instant search option wont be of use and manual searching eats a lot of time of yours. Below is the solution to get rid of this annoying issue.

Step 1: Verify that indexing is working

To check that indexing in Outlook 2013 is working properly, use the following steps:

  • Click in the Search box
  • In the Search tab, select Search Tools and then click Indexing Status
  • When the indexing status dialog appears, you might see the following:

If you see this message, it means that the index has been done, and Outlook can’t find your item for some other reason.

If Outlook has not finished indexing all of your items, you’ll see a message that says:

Search results may be incomplete because items are still being indexed.

If you see this message, take note of the number of files remaining to be indexed, wait five to ten minutes and then check again. If you still can’t find your files, try removing then adding your Outlook files to the Windows index.

Step 2: Remove Outlook from the Windows Index:

  • Go to File > Options
  • In Search settings, click Indexing Options…
  • Click Modify
  • Un-check Microsoft Outlook from the list of Indexed Locations
  • Close Outlook completely and check the Task Manager (ctrl+alt+del) to see if no Outlook processes are running

Step 3: Make Sure Outlook Files can be Indexed

Outlook PST and OST files are indexed by Windows by default, but it may be that something strange happened during an update to either Windows or Outlook that caused this not to be the case. In order for Outlook to be able to search your emails, the contents of those emails must be allowed to be indexed by Windows. Here’s how to check:

  • Find the location of your PST and OST Files
    • Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings
    • Click on the Data Files tab
    • Select your Outlook file from the list and click Open File Location…

  • Right click on the .pst or .ost file and click Properties
  • Click Advanced
  • Make sure that the box next to ‘Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file’ is checked.
  • Click OK

Step 4: Add Outlook to the Windows Index

Follow the steps outlined in step 2. Make sure this time that the box next to Microsoft Outlook is checked.

Give Outlook a little time to check the state of the indexing. It may be that it needs to add new items to the index. After a few minutes, you can try searching again.

Last Resort: Rebuild the Index in Outlook 2013

If you still can’t find the email you’re looking for, there may be a problem with your index. Rebuilding the index in Outlook 2013 isn’t too difficult, only time consuming. Here’s how to rebuild:

  • In Outlook 2013 click on the File tab, then click Options > Search
  • Click Indexing Options
  • You should now see what locations are being indexed. Click Advanced
  • Under Troubleshooting, click Rebuild
  • Rebuilding will take some time so make sure to leave your PC running for a while, preferably when you don’t need to work with it since indexing can impact the speed of your computer.

Often when you move emails across folder a lot, or use Outlook for a long time, you’re likely to victim of indexing issues. This guideline will help you get Outlook 2013 search back in place.


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