Make Outlook 2007/2010/2013 search ALL folders instead of just the current folder

By: standss , Jul 26th, 2010

Search in Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 is awesome. Depending on the way you work, this little tweak will save you a little time every time you need to do a search for emails.

Outlook (by default) searches emails in the current folder you are in. The Search results also come up with a link at the bottom to “Try Searching all Mail Items”. I find myself ALWAYS clicking on the Search All link as I rarely bother to move to the relevant folder first.

Here’s a quick setting changing that will force Outlook to search all mail items by default.

In Outlook 2010/2013, click File-Options and then click the Search tab to display Search Options.

Click All folders and then click OK

In Outlook 2007, click Tools-Options and then click the Search Options button on the Preferences tab to display the Search Options box.

Click All folders and then click OK.

It’s a small tweak but it could save you a lot of clicks.

Do you have any other Search tricks that you find useful. Share it with other readers by leaving a comment on the blog.

Related Links:
Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010


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11 Replies to “Make Outlook 2007/2010/2013 search ALL folders instead of just the current folder”

  1. Hello

    I am a user of SendGuard (and of QuickFile, InsertText and EmailNotes) and, although an experienced user, also always look for anything I can learn in (your) newsletters).

    For once I think the advice given on this topic is counter-productive for heavy uesrs of Outlook. If I would do this for most of my searches, I’d end up loosing a lot of time.

    As an organiser of meetings and events for corporate clients, I easily have 3000-5000 emails per project – and many of the people I email with come back in severtal projects.

    So, instead of an unrefined search across multiple folders, in order to refine my searches as much as possible I ALWAYS use the Advanced Search function, which is quite powerful. A simple Ctrl+Shift+F instantly opens the Advanced Search dialogue.

    Maybe the use of Advanced Search is something for a next topic? I am (still using Outlook 2003), but will eventually move over to 2010 – and hope that the Advanced Search fucntion is still available in 2010 (and simply accessible through a keyboard shortcut).

    Best regards

  2. Thanks for that – it’s always so much easier and quicker to search the web for how to do these things than via the (somewhat redundant) F1 key!! 😉

  3. How do we force Outlook 2007 to search sub-folders in the advanced search? IE ctrl-shft-F..

    I currently have to click several times on every search to make it search sub-folders. With 2003 you make this a default but no option exists in 2007 or 2010.

    Has anyone figured out a way around this for advanced search??

    Microsoft really screwed this up in 2007. Big step backwards:(

  4. @Chris, I have checked on many forums if this was possible but it’s not. The feature to search sub-folders by default when using Advanced search in not available in Outlook 2007. It was only in Outlook 2003.

  5. My Index message is Empty. When I search from all folders it only shows emails of Inbox and personal folders. I want to know how i could activate my Index messages.

    Pls help me.

  6. For about the last year, everytime I download a Microsoft update .. even ones supposedly nothing to do with my Outlook 2010 .. my setting to seach all folders gets changed back to searching the current folder only.

    Most annoying !!!!

  7. Is there a way to create a search folder for all Outlook items (not just email) but calendar, tasks, email and journals?

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