How to Fix Outlook Search Problem?

Microsoft Outlook is widely used for email communication by individuals as well as businesses worldwide. It offers various advanced features, like scheduling tasks, calendar and contact integration, and more. Outlook also has a search option that helps the users to find specific emails. Users can enter keywords to find email items or add filters to the search function to quickly find the desired items. However, sometimes, users face problems with the Outlook search function, such as search not returning any results, search is not showing all results, search is not showing latest emails or older emails, etc. If you’re facing such issues with Outlook search not working, read this article to know the ways to fix the problem.

Ways to Fix Outlook Search Problem

You can follow the below-given ways to fix the Outlook search problem.

Method 1: Rebuild the Outlook Index

The background process for any kind of search is indexing. If there’s a problem with indexing, it can’t track your emails and other objects. This directly affects the search. You can rebuild the Outlook index to resolve the issue. Follow these steps:

  • Open Outlook.
  • Navigate to File > Options > Search.
  • Select Indexing Options > Advanced.
  • Click the Rebuild button and then click OK.

Outlook will start rebuilding the index. Once the process ends, restart the system.

Method 2: Repair Outlook Profile

Sometimes, issues with Outlook installation may cause search problems. You can repair the Outlook installation to eliminate the problems. Here are the steps:

  • Open the Control Panel and navigate to Programs > Programs & Features.
  • Click on Outlook.
  • Click “Uninstall/Change.”
  • In the dialog box that opens, select Quick Repair.

  • Wait for the process to complete and then restart Outlook.

Method 3: Use the Windows Registry

Windows Registry is the repository that stores configuration values for your operating system and other applications running on it. Let’s see the steps to fix the Outlook search problem through the Windows Registry.

  • Press the Windows + R keys. In the Run dialog box, type “regedit”. This opens the Registry Editor.
  • In the registry, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search.
  • Right-click on Windows Search and create a 32-bit New Dword.
  • Assign PreventIndexingOutlook as the name and value as 0.
  • Finally, click OK and restart the system.

Method 4: Update the Outlook Application

Outdated Outlook application may also cause search problems. So, check and update your Outlook. To do this,

  • Go to File > Office Account.
  • In the Product Information window, click Update Options.
  • Check if there are any available updates. If available, select Update Now.
  • Wait for the process to complete. Restart Outlook and check if the problem is fixed.

Note: If you don’t see the Update Options, check your Group Policy or contact your employer/IT admin.

Method 5: Repair PST File

Another reason why you may face problems with Outlook Search functionality is due to corrupted PST file. To repair the PST file, you can use the built-in repair tool in Outlook, called scanpst.exe. Navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\ folder, look for this exe file, and run it. This tool is helpful in fixing minor corruption issues.

If scanpst.exe unable to repair PST file, your best bet is to use a reliable PST repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. This tool can fix the corrupted PST file of any size. It can recover emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, and other items from the corrupted PST file and save them in a new PST. The highlight of this tool is that you can preview the contents before recovering them.

Furthermore, this tool comes with a simple-to-use interface. You also have the option to save the recovered contents to different formats, like MSG, EML, RTF, PDF and HTML. If you have the Microsoft 365 subscription, you can use the software’s Technician version to directly migrate the recovered PST data to Microsoft 365.

Here are the steps to repair the PST file using the software.

Step 1: Download and Install

As a first step, download the software and run the exe file. Follow the installation wizard to install the tool on your device.

Step 2: Select the PST File

After installation, open the tool. On the home page, you’ll be prompted to select the Outlook profile. You can select from the listed profiles or manually choose the profile.

From the listed profiles, select the PST file that needs fixing.

Click the Repair button. Stellar Repair for Outlook automatically starts the repair process.

This process can take some time depending on the size of the file.

Step 3: Preview and Select

All the contents of your PST file are displayed in the preview pane. You can select the items you want to recover.

Step 4: Select the File Format and Location

Next, select the file format in which you want to save the recovered items. Also, select the location where you want to save this file.

Once done, click OK.

You’ll get a message once the process is complete.

This should fix the Outlook search problem if it was caused due to corruption in PST file.


You can face search issues in Outlook due to many reasons, like failed indexing, outdated Outlook application, corrupted PST file, and more. We have mentioned different methods fix the problem. In case the PST file is corrupted, consider using Stellar Repair for Outlook. It is a powerful tool with a simple user interface that can easily and efficiently repair the PST file.

You Might Also Like