The Search functionality in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 is great… unless it is not working. Most of the time rebuilding the search index clears up the problems. Unfortunately it isn’t obvious, at least not from inside Outlook, how you can do this.
Search in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 uses Windows Search Indexes (i.e. it’s a Windows feature and not an Outlook only feature). If Windows Search Indexes are not built properly or corrupt you may find that Outlook Search does not work properly.
Rebuilding the Search indexes is easy if you know where to look:
How to Rebuild the Search Indexes
Warning: This process takes a long time. I suggest you run it just before you leave the office for the day (or just before you go to sleep at night):
Bring up the Indexing Options screen. (Instructions below depending on your version of Windows)
Windows 7/Vista: Click the Windows Start button and type “index” in the Search box. Indexing Options should appear under programs. Click Indexing Options to bring up the Indexing Options screen.
Click the Advanced button on the Indexing Option screen.
Click the Rebuild button.
Your current Search Indexes will be deleted and rebuilt. Once the rebuilding process is complete (I told you that this will take some time so hopefully you’re doing this just before you leave the office or go to bed) you should find Search working perfectly again.