How to Fix Search in Outlook Not Working?

Fix search in outlook not working

Check why the "search in Outlook not working" error occurs and the solutions to fix this error.

Outlook has been quite definitive across the personal and professional scales. From being the basic email client to the email resource, Outlook has come a long way. Many issues have been reported involving Outlook's operation. This article is based on discussing one such issue faced by you.

Indexing Outlook is an essential and basic feature of this platform. With the function not operating properly, multiple issues come to rise. Thus, this article is about a guide to fix Outlook indexing. Let's look ahead into the details of fixing this feature of Outlook.

Part 1: What is The Function of Outlook Index?

Outlook Index is a very interesting feature of the email client. Talking about the basis of this feature, it is all about keeping a catalog of important terms from emails. It works similarly to a reference book, where a user searches for a specific item under a term. Outlook Index is a digital version of a complete reference book introduced in 2010.

Outlook 2007 users do not enjoy the feature of indexing their signed and encrypted email messages. For the Outlook versions beyond this, any signed and encrypted email was indexed. The intensity of data being indexed depends on the folders chosen by you. The choices determined by you become the scope of the search. This, essentially, varies for the Outlook versions regarding selecting data.

Part 2: What Will Cause Search in Outlook Not Working?

What might be the probable causes of the search in Outlook not working? Although the reasons might be quite prominent, you need to realize them. This realization will help you amend every possibility that leads to this problem. Let's look ahead to what causes the indexing Outlook problems:

PST Files Are Corrupt

Corrupted PST files turn out to be the first thing on the list. This can corrupt the email data, which would fail the search feature. As the PST file is not operating perfectly, there is a fair chance that the indexing feature is not up to mark.

Outdated Microsoft Outlook

Your Microsoft Outlook can be outdated in terms of your device. Ensure the version is updated, as some bugs would make things difficult. This difficulty would malfunction different features across the platform. It includes the issue of search in Outlook not working.

Issues with Registry

The indexing Outlook problem can lead back to Windows Registry. Issues across the mentioned element can cause issues across Outlook in many ways. It includes problems caused while searching across Outlook.

Indexing Status Problems

The Outlook Indexing status needs to be checked in depth. The search function would be useless if no items are selected to index in the process.

Part 3: How to Fix Outlook Index?

Let's dive into the details of fixing the indexing Outlook feature. There are solutions of different magnitude that can be practiced across this problem. Use the most appropriate solution to fix Outlook indexing.

Fix 1: Update Microsoft Outlook

We will start our solutions with the easiest and most probable reason for the indexing issue. Outlook, if not updated, can become a haven for multiple bugs. This would malfunction various features, which may include indexing Outlook. Let's look into the details of how one can update their Microsoft Outlook:

Updating Outlook 2013,2016 and 2019

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Outlook on your computer and proceed to the "File" tab.

There, find the option of "Office Account."

access office account

Step 2: Under the "Product Information" section, you will find the "Update Options" button.

Make sure the updates are enabled for your Outlook. Next, click on the "Update Now" button across the drop-down menu to update your Outlook.

choose update now option

Updating Outlook 2010

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook 2010 across your Windows device and access the "Help" tab.

Now, click "Check for Updates" to proceed from the available options.

click on check for updates

Step 2: If the "Install Updates" or "Check for Updates" button is available, select it to execute.

Otherwise, access the option of "Automatically Download and Install." Select "Check for Updates" from the menu to update your Outlook.

Fix 2: Rebuild the Outlook Index

Regardless of the configuration, Outlook Index can malfunction anyhow, which leads to the corrupted index, which needs to be rebuilt. For this, two dynamic procedures can be used to rebuild Outlook index.

Method 1: Use Programs and Features

Step 1: Access the search bar from the "Windows + S" shortcut key and type "Control Panel."

As it opens up, lead to the "Programs & Features" across "Programs."

access program and features

Step 2: Scroll down through the apps to search for your version of Outlook.

On selecting it, click on the "Change" button on the top.

tap on change button

Step 3: Select the option of "Quick Repair" for fixing the indexing problem without the internet.

Click "Repair" to execute and initiate the recovery.

proceed with quick repair

Method 2: Use the Outlook Index Repair Menu Option

Step 1: This requires you to access your Microsoft Outlook.

As it opens up, it leads to the "File" tab. From there, find the "Options" button to lead ahead.

access outlook options

Step 2: You will be redirected to a new window in the "Search" tab from the left panel.

Across the "Source" section, find the "Indexing Options" button and click on it.

tap on indexing options

Step 3: On the new window, proceed to the "Advanced" button to open another window.

Now, you need to select "Rebuild" and click "OK" to execute the task.

choose rebuild option

Fix 3: Fix Outlook Search Using the Registry

The issue of indexing Outlook can lead to problems with the registry key setup. We have presented a solution that can fix Outlook search using the Registry.

Step 1: Launch the "Run" program using the Windows + R shortcut keys.

Next, type "regedit" and press the Enter key on your keyboard to open a new window.

open the registry editor

Step 2: In the search bar above, type the following command:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search

As you lead to the respective window, right-click across its empty space. From the "New" tab, select "DWORD (32-bit)."

choose dword 32 bit value

Step 3: Name it "PreventIndexingOutlook" and set the value to 0.

Tap "OK" to conclude the procedure and restart your computer.

rename the name

Fix 4: Use Email Repair Software

There's always a more straightforward solution to the issues across Outlook. Although Outlook Index can get very complicated, it still can be resolved. It's all possible because of the Email Repair feature of Wondershare Repairit for Email. This feature introduced across the repair tool is a game-changer in the market.

While it repairs OST and PST data files for you, it resolves all prevailing Outlook errors. The automatic procedure of Repairit makes it quite unique.

Wondershare Repairit for Email

5,481,435 people have downloaded it.

  • Repair damaged PST & OST Files in Outlook in all Email corruption scenarios, such as hard disk crashes & bad sectors, virus attacks & tojan horse, outlook corruption & malfunctions, improper shutdown procedure, etc.

  • Restore Outlook emails deleted for a long time and extract the email messages, folders, calendars, etc. within seconds.

  • Restore Outlook Emails deleted for a long time with a 100% success rate.

  • Repair emails in bathes without size limits and support to preview all of them before saving.

  • Compatible with Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11, Windows Server 2012/2016/2019, and MacOS X 10.11~ MacOS 12 (Monterey).

Step 1: Access the Email Repair Tool of Repairit.

Wondershare Repairit for Email is available as a separate application. Download and install it across your Windows, and then launch it.

launch Repairit for email

Step 2: Add Outlook Data File and Repair.

You can either add the Outlook data file or let the tool find it. Select any respective drive and click "Find" to find the data file. Once discovered or added, click on "Repair" to start.

add corrupted data files

Step 3: Preview and Save Repaired Data.

The tool repairs the complete data file for you and displays it across the preview window. If satisfied, click on the "Save" button to save the fixed data.

save the repaired data

Fix 5: Repair Your Outlook Personal Folder File (PST)

As we've discussed that corrupted PST file can be a reason for this issue, and it needs to be fixed. Scanpst.exe is the most immediate and basic solution to repair PST files. Implement this to repair Outlook indexing.

Step 1: The first step requires you to look for the Scanpst.exe tool.

You will find it across the following locations as shown below:

Typical Location

Outlook Version

<disk drive>\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

For Outlook 2016 Click-to-Run installation &  32-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

For Outlook 2016 Click-to-Run installation & 64-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16

For Outlook 2016, MSI-based installation & 32-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

For Outlook 2016, MSI-based installation & 64-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15

For Outlook 2013 Click-to-Run installation & 64-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15

For Outlook 2013 Click-to-Run installation & 32-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

For Outlook 2013, MSI-based installation & 64-bit Version

<disk drive>\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15

For Outlook 2013, MSI-based installation & 32-bit Version

<disk drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

For Outlook 2010 - 64-bit Version

<disk drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Office(x86)\Office14

For Outlook 2010 - 32-bit Version

Step 2: Next, look for the location of your PST file.

It can vary according to your Outlook version, for which we present the table below:

Outlook Version

Windows Version

Default Location

Outlook 2010

Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\Outlook Files\

Outlook 2010

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 8, or Windows 10

C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Outlook Files\

Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016

All Windows Versions

C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Outlook Files
OR
drive:\Users\ username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
OR
drive:\Users\username\Roaming\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
OR
drive:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
OR
drive:\Users\username\My Documents\Outlook Files

Step 3: Launch Scanpst.exe and browse your PST file according to the provided locations. Click "Start" to initiate repair.

start the repair process

Fix 6: Check the Outlook Indexing Group Policy Setting

Another thing to check for this issue is your Outlook's Group Policy Setting. If you wish to resolve the indexing Outlook problem, look into the steps in detail:

Step 1: You must type "gpedit" across the Search box and select the best option.

As you lead to the next screen, proceed to "User Configuration."

choose user configuration option

Step 2: There, find the "Administrative Templates" option and select "Search."

You need to alter data for your Outlook. For that, check the state of "Default Excluded Paths" and "Prevent Indexing Certain Paths."

Step 3: If these options are set to "Not Configured," it's all good across Group Policy Settings.

confirm the not configured state

Fix 7: Check Outlook Index Locations

If you find that the search in Outlook not working properly, you should look into the index locations. It is important as the basic configurations need to be assured. Look ahead to the detailed steps for ensuring clarity in index locations:

Step 1: Launch Outlook on your Windows computer and proceed to "File."

From there, look for "Options." As the new window opens, lead to the "Search" tab and select "Indexing Options."

open indexing options

Step 2: On the next screen, ensure Microsoft Outlook is listed in the list.

If not, click on "Modify" and check the option. Click "OK" to change settings for index locations, if required.

add the microsoft outlook option

Fix 8: Reinstall Outlook

If none of the methods work for you, the only thing that you can do is reinstall Outlook. To do this, you need to look into the details provided:

Step 1: From the "Search" icon on the taskbar, search for "Apps & features."

As the window opens up, scroll down to find your Microsoft Office version.

search for apps and features

Step 2: Click the "Microsoft Office Version" option and select "Uninstall."

Follow the window to remove Outlook from your Windows completely.

choose the uninstall option

Step 3: Open your browser again and download the latest version of Microsoft Office, in which Outlook will be added.

Install it successfully across your device to ensure its complete operation.

Conclusion

This article has been quite conclusive in offering a guide to repairing the indexing Outlook issue. With the available solutions, you can surely figure out a way to this Outlook issue.

Go through the provided solutions in detail as it would help to repair Outlook indexing. Among these solutions, you'll find Wondershare Repairit for Email to be the most effective for repairing your Outlook problems.