How to Fix “Outlook Search Not Working” on Windows 11?

Outlook search not working problem affects IMAP, POP, and offline exchange accounts and fails to display emails on the account. The issue is typically encountered on the Windows 11 system.

Outlook search not working Windows 11

The issue mainly occurs due to the incorrect registry or outlook issues. However, there are other reasons also that cause this problem on Outlook. We have mentioned some of the causes below. And then follow the potential troubleshooting solutions that worked for several users to get past the problem.

  • Outlook issue- Outlook’s internal bugs or glitches might cause this problem. You need to repair Outlook on Windows 11 to get past the issue.
  • Windows 11 bugs- It’s possible that internal issues or incompatibility on Windows 11 are causing this problem. In such a case, running the Windows troubleshooter will fix the issue. The troubleshooter will scan for the problems and repair them.
  • Corrupt Outlook installation- If outlook has not been correctly installed, it will lead to its file corruption. In such a situation, reinstalling the app will help you fix the issue on Outlook.
  • Missing or corrupted system files- In case any of your system files go missing or get corrupted, you may encounter this problem on Microsoft Outlook. Here, you need to run the SFC or DISM scan to search for missing or corrupted files and recover and repair them.
  • Inaccurate Indexing status- At times, the inaccurate indexing status or locations may trouble you with this problem on Outlook. Here, you need to check the search indexing and locations to verify that it’s working correctly.
  • Disabled Windows search- It’s possible that the disabled Windows search is causing the Outlook search not working problem. In such a case, we suggest you ensure that your Windows search is enabled to use Outlook without interruptions or issues.
  • Wrongly configured indexing options- If the indexing options are not correctly set or configured, you might encounter this problem. To solve the issue, you must ensure that the Indexing options are correctly configured.
  • Corrupt Microsoft Office suite- Most of the time, the corrupt Microsoft Office suite can also trigger this problem on Outlook. We recommend you repair the Microsoft Office suite to get past the problem.

So, these are some of the causes that cause such issues. Now, let’s proceed with the working solutions to fix the problem.

1. Reset Office on Windows 11

Outlook’s internal issues can be the primary reason for such occurrence. Here, it is suggested to reset the office app on Windows 11 to resolve the issue in the first instance. You can do so by following the below steps:

  1. Press the Win + I key simultaneously to launch Windows Settings.
  2. On the Settings window, head to the Apps section and click on Apps and features on the right panel.
    Click on Apps & Features
  3. Click on the three dots next to Office and choose the Advanced options.
    Click on the Advanced options.
  4. Then scroll down, look for the Reset section, and click the Reset button.
    Click on the Reset Button
  5. As the verification menu appears, click the Reset button.
    Click the Reset button again.

Now, wait for the process to get completed. Once done, restart your system and open Outlook to see if the search is working fine or not.

2. Run the Windows Troubleshooter

Windows offers inbuilt trouble-shooters to resolve various problems with the Windows operating system. And the Outlook not working problem may also occur due to specific Windows issues.

So here we suggest you run the Windows troubleshooter. This will scan for the prevailing issues and repair them automatically.  You can do so following the below instructions:

  1. Hold the Win key and press the I key to launch the Windows Settings.
  2. Now, head to the System tab on the left panel.
  3. Then, choose Troubleshoot option.
    Click on Troubleshoot
  4. Next, select the option, Other troubleshooters.
    Click on Other troubleshooters
  5. Scroll down and navigate to the Search and Indexing option.
  6. Tap the Run button to run the troubleshooter for search & indexing.
    Run the search & indexing troubleshooter
  7. In the window that appears, select Outlook search doesn’t return results and click on Next to continue with the onscreen instructions. 
    Choose Outlook search doesn’t return results option.
  8. When you run the troubleshooter, it will recognize and fix the problems automatically.

3. Check for Search Indexing And Locations in Outlook

You can also look for the search indexing status and location in outlook to ensure that the search is working correctly. Below are the instructions to do so:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Tap the Search icon, i.e., magnifying glass.
  3. Then, head to the Search Tools option at the top-right corner of the search menu bar.
  4. Now, choose the Indexing Status option from the appeared options list.
    Choose the Indexing Status option
  5. Once you are on the Indexing status window, you can view the remaining indexed items.
    Wait for the Indexing process to complete
  6. Wait for Outlook to complete the indexing.
  7. Once done, check for the Outlook search not working problem.

4. Rebuild Windows 11 Search Index

You can try to get past this issue is by manually rebuilding the search indexing in Windows 11. This solution has worked for many users, so it is worth trying. You just need to follow the below simple steps to do so:

  1. Exit from Outlook.
  2. Launch Windows Search by holding the Win key and pressing the S key.
  3. Now, look for Indexing Options by typing indexing on the search bar. Once it appears, double-click to open it.
    Click on the Indexing option.
  4. Head to the Advanced option. 
    Click on the Advanced option.
  5. And tap the Rebuild button next to the Delete and rebuild index option under Troubleshooting.
    Tap on the Rebuild option
  6. Tap OK and click on Close; now, check if the search bar missing in the Outlook problem is resolved.

5. Reconfigure Indexing Options

Windows indexing is a process through which messages, files, and other data are categorized on the PC. This allows you to search for items easily on a PC. And in some cases, tweaking the Windows index options may work for you to fix Outlook search, not working problems.

  1. Close the Windows Outlook app.
  2. Open the Windows search by pressing Win + S keys together simultaneously.
  3. Look for Indexing Options and open it.
    Click on the Indexing option.
  4. Then, select the Advanced option and head to the File Types tab.
  5. Scroll down, select msg extension, and mark the option Index Properties and File Contents.
    Click on the MSG extension
  6. Tap OK and click on Close to exit.

6. Enable Windows Search Service

If your Windows search is disabled, you will undoubtedly encounter this problem. Here, ensure that Windows search is enabled to avoid getting the problem. In case disabled, follow the below instructions as mentioned to enable it.

  1. Launch Windows Run by holding the Win key and pressing the R key.
  2. Type services.msc on the Run box and press Enter key.
    Type services.msc and click Ok.
  3. On the Services window, navigate to the option Windows Search under the name section and select it.
    Click on the Windows Search option.
  4. Next, on the Windows Search Properties window, tap the drop-down menu and select the Automatic option for the Startup type.
    Select the Automatic option for the startup
  5. Tap the Apply button and save the changes.
  6. Then, tap the Start button to execute the service if the status is disabled.
  7. Tap Ok and exit the window.

7. Reinstall MS Office

At times, corrupt or interrupted installation of Outlook might trouble you with such a problem. Also, if you are using the older version of the Outlook app, it might have difficulty executing searches. Here, in such a case, we suggest you uninstall and then reinstall the Outlook app to fix the issue.

Follow the guided steps below to do so:

  1. Go to Windows + I key to open Windows settings.
  2. Head to the Apps category and select the Apps & features option from the right pane
    Click on Apps & Features
  3. Scroll down and select Microsoft Office.
  4. Right-click on Office and choose Uninstall option.
    Uninstall Office
  5. Once done with uninstallation, head to the Microsoft Office installation folder.
  6. Delete all the leftover files in the folder.
  7. Then, go to Microsoft Store and download and install the latest version of the Office app from there.
  8. When installed, open the app and check for the Outlook issue.

8. Repair the Microsoft Office Suite

Sometimes the problem is related to the Microsoft Office suite corruption, so if none of the above-listed solutions works for you. We suggest you repair the Microsoft Office Suite to get past the issue. Follow the steps below to repair the Microsoft Office Suite:

  1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Win and I key simultaneously.
  2. Head to the Apps category and select the Apps & features option from the right pane.
    Click on Apps & Features
  3. Now, scroll down and navigate to the Microsoft Office app.
  4. Tap the three dots on the Microsoft Office program section and choose Modify option.
  5. Click on Yes to give final confirmation of modification of the app when prompted.
  6. Now, choose Quick Repair if you want to repair without the internet. Otherwise, head to Online Repair if you want complete repair service online. This might will take a long time.
    Click on the Online Repair option to repair all issues
  7. Tap the Repair button and press it again for final confirmation.
  8. Wait for the process to get completed.
  9. Once done, reboot your system and open Outlook to see whether the search is not working problem is solved.

9. Perform System Restore

If none of the fixes resolved your problem, it is suggested to perform a system restore. This will let your Windows 11 return to the earlier point where the problem didn’t exist. Follow the below instructions to do so:

  1. Launch the Windows Start Menu. Type create a restore point on the search box and select the appeared first result.
    Search for create a restore point
  2. Head to the System Protection tab and click on System Restore.
    Go to System Protection Tab
  3. Select the recommended Restore Point, or you can also select one by selecting the second option.
  4. Now, follow the on-screen guide to perform a system restore.

I hope the article served you well with all the workable fixes and solved your Outlook search not working Windows 11 problem.


Hardeep Kaur

Hardeep is a passionate technical writer with more than 7 years of experience. She has a keen interest in PC games, Windows OS and everything surrounding it. She is a technology enthusiast and fascinated with technology since her childhood days.