Solutions to Outlook Search Problems

By: standss , Aug 17th, 2011

Since we posted Better Search with Microsoft Outlook earlier this week, several readers have indicated that Outlook’s Search does not return expected results for them. Here are a few tips that may help you solve Search related problems in Outlook.

1.  Rebuild the Search Indexes

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.

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.

You can refer to our earlier post Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 to learn how to rebuild the search indexes.

2. Search all folders instead of just the current folder

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.

You can refer to our earlier post Make Outlook 2007/2010 search ALL folders instead of just the current folder to learn how to force Outlook to search all mail items by default.

I hope this post makes it easier for you to search and find your emails.

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