How to fix Outlook search not working on Windows 10

Microsoft Outlook is one of the oldest, most powerful desktop email messengers available. It can compete with both Mail on macOS and Thunderbird with Mozilla. The client works with any and all email accounts, supports rules for managing incoming and outgoing messages, and works with lots of add-ons for different apps.

repair Outlook scan

Fix Outlook search not working

Emails are hard to keep track of and often, no matter how well you organize everything, the only way to find it is to find an email. Outlook has a robust monitoring feature that allows you to pretty much define the search criteria however, sometimes it doesn’t work.

If Outlook search is not working on your system or is only partially working ie it can find old emails but not recent ones, try the solutions below .

1. Microsoft 365 repair

Microsoft 365 apps are more error-prone than any other app. If Outlook Search doesn’t work, try fixing Microsoft 365. It will not restore the applications but will fix problems with its files.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. go to Programs> Enter a program.
  3. Look for and select Microsoft 365.
  4. Click on the Change button.
  5. Choose Quick repair.
  6. Let Microsoft 365 repair and restart the system.

2. Allow system index

Outlook indexes new messages however, if you tend to receive a lot of messages, Outlook may stop indexing so that the system will idle and access more system resources.

The only problem is that a system usually goes to sleep after a few minutes of idle leave which prevents Outlook from making records of items. Change the sleep time on the system so that it stays awake longer.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. go to Hardware and sounds> power options.
  3. Choose Change plan settings next to the conventional power plan.
  4. Change the sleep position time and set for a few hours.

3. Update Microsoft 365

If the Outlook client is not up to date, it may cause the index to stop working. This will prevent Outlook search from working. Check for updates to Microsoft 365 and install them.

  1. Open the Configuration application with keyboard shortcut Win + I.
  2. go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Windows Update Tab.
  4. Click Check for updates.
  5. Install the available updates.
  6. Open Preview.
  7. go to File> Office Account.
  8. Choose Update Options> Update Now.
  9. Install available updates.
  10. Restart Outlook and let it index emails.

4. Check index options

Make sure Outlook is ready to index everything. You can change the index settings to adjust this.

  1. Open Preview and go to File> Options.
  2. Select the Search tab.
  3. Click on the Index options button.
  4. Click Modify and then View All Locations.
  5. Select them all and click OK.
  6. Allow the locations to be indexed and Outlook scan will start working.

5. Reconstruction index

Just like Windows 10, an Outlook scan index can be broken or corrupted. A simple way to fix it is to rebuild it. It will take some time but it will solve problems with Outlook scan.

  1. Open Outlook and go to File> Options.
  2. Select the Search tab.
  3. Choose Index Options> Advanced.
  4. Go to Index Preferences Table and click Rebuild under the Troubleshooting section.

6. Repair Outlook data files

Outlook comes with a built-in tool to repair data files.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the Outlook folder for your version of Outlook.
Outlook 2019: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16
Outlook 2016: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16
Outlook 2013: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice15
Outlook 2010: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14
Outlook 2007: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice12
  1. Run the SCANPST.EXE file.
  2. Select the PST file for your Outlook profile.
  3. Click on Start to start scanning.
  4. Click Repair to correct any problems found.
  5. Restart Outlook.


Email is difficult to keep track of and no matter how many labels you submit, or specific inboxes you create, you can still find yourself using the check feature to miss a missed message. -now and then. If Outlook finds both older and newer messages, but you still can’t find the one you’re looking for, the problem may not lie with Outlook scanning. Expand your search criteria and you will get the message that does not appear in the search results.

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