Controlling where Outlook Searches

By: standss , Dec 14th, 2015

I recently upgraded to Outlook 2016 and to my annoyance discovered that Microsoft had reset where Outlook searches from my own customized settings.

I find that Outlook Search (since Outlook 2010) is very useful to quickly find emails but I don’t like the default setting that Microsoft has set which is…

When you do a Search, Outlook will search only in the folder you are in… unless you are in the Inbox. If you do a Search from the Inbox then Outlook will search the entire Mailbox and display the results there.

This doesn’t work for me because when I do a Search from my Inbox, I am generally looking for an email that I know is actually in the Inbox. I don’t want the results cluttered with items in other folders.

Changing Default Search Settings

Here’s what you can do to make Outlook search in the Inbox like any other folder i.e. just search in that folder.

Click File-Options.

Select the Search tab and then click Current Folder as shown below. I have left all other options as they are but you may wish to tweak other settings too.


Now when you do a Search from the Inbox (or any other folder), the results will be from that folder only.

What if you want to occasionally search other folders too (without changing the settings)?

Type your Search text in the Search box like you normally would. Then click the little arrow on the right of the Search box and choose where you want the wider Search to take place.


I hope you found this tip useful. Please share your own ways of tweaking Outlook Search in the comments below.


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