How to Remove “App Search Bar” in Outlook [All Versions]

Key Takeaways
  • The app search bar in Outlook can be irritating as it consumes valuable screen space and may distract users from their primary tasks.
  • Adjusting the reading pane view to "Bottom" provides a more efficient reading experience, eliminating the App Search Bar.
  • If nothing works, contacting Microsoft Support can be an effective way to resolve issues or seek assistance with technical problems.

Are you frustrated by the clutter caused by Outlook’s App Search Bar? It’s a common issue that many users face. Luckily, removing it is straightforward and easy.

We’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions to regain control of your Outlook interface. Once it’s gone, you’ll have more space and less distraction. Let’s simplify your Outlook experience for smoother navigation and increased productivity.

App Search Bar | Reddit

Why Remove App Search Bar in Outlook?

Removing the App Search Bar in Outlook can enhance your user experience in several ways:

  • Declutters the interface, providing more screen space
  • Reduces visual distractions for better focus
  • Streamlines navigation process, especially if alternative search methods are preferred
  • Tailors Outlook environment to individual preferences
  • Optimizes productivity by creating a more efficient workspace

READ MORE: Is Your Search Bar Missing in Outlook? Try These Fixes! ➜

How to Remove the “App Search Bar” in Outlook (Recent Version)

Here, we have mentioned different ways to remove the App Search Bar in Outlook in the recent versions. So, let’s get into it.

1. Set the Reading Pane to the Bottom or Off

Follow the below-mentioned process to set the reading pane to the bottom or turn it off:

Different versions of Outlook on different platforms, depending on whether you are enrolled in the Beta program or not, have varying appearances in UI elements. However, the general steps are the same as follows.
  1. Click on the “View” tab in the Outlook ribbon.
    Select View
  2. Navigate to the “Reading Pane” section.
    Click on Reading Pane
  3. Select either “Bottom” or “Off” from the options provided. This will quickly remove the app search bar from your Outlook interface.
    Now, choose Bottom or Off

READ MORE: How to Fix Outlook When It’s Stuck on the Loading Profile Screen? ➜

2. Revert the Office M365 Click-to-Run installation

Implement the following procedure to revert your Outlook to the older build:

  1. Close all Office applications that are currently running.
  2. Click on the Start menu.
    Click on Start
  3. Type “cmd” in the search box and select “Run as administrator” from the context menu.
    Choose Run as administrator
  4. In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands one by one, pressing Enter after each:
    • cd %programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun
      officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.17126.20132

      Type the commands
  5. These commands will trigger the repair process for Office. Wait for the repair to complete.
  6. Now, launch Outlook.
  7. Click on “File;” and choose “Office Account” from the list of options.
    Select Office Account
  8. Here, select “Update Options” and click on “Disable Updates.”
    Disable Updates

READ MORE: How to Create a new Outlook Profile (All Versions) ➜

How to Remove the “App Search Bar” in Outlook (2016 or Earlier)

To remove the App Search Bar from Outlook 2016 or earlier versions, follow this process:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Access the “File” tab positioned at the top left corner.
  3. Choose “Options” from the left-side menu.
    Select Options | Shoviv
  4. Within the “Outlook Options” window, navigate to the “Advanced” section.
  5. Find the checkbox named “Show Apps in Outlook.”
  6. Uncheck this option and confirm by clicking on “OK.”
    Uncheck the box | Slipstick Systems

READ MORE: How to Select Multiple Emails in Any Outlook Version [2024] ➜

What to Do if None of the Methods Work

If you’re encountering a specific issue with the App Search Bar, and it seems unusual or unintended, you may want to try the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Restart Outlook: Simply restarting the Outlook application can sometimes resolve minor display or functionality issues.
  • Check for Updates: Ensure that your Outlook application is up to date. Sometimes, issues like this can be resolved by installing the latest updates, which may include bug fixes and improvements.
  • Disable Add-ins: Sometimes, third-party add-ins or integrations can cause unexpected behavior in Outlook. Try disabling any recently installed add-ins to see if the issue resolves.
  • Contact Support: If you’re still experiencing the issue after trying the above steps, it may be helpful to contact Microsoft Support for further assistance. They can provide more specific guidance and troubleshooting steps based on your version of the app and the nature of the issue you’re encountering.
Microsoft Support

READ MORE: How to Fix an Email That Won’t Send in Outlook? ➜

Final Words

In conclusion, by following the provided steps, you can effectively remove the App Search Bar from Outlook, thus enhancing your productivity and streamlining your email management experience. Remember to restart Outlook to ensure the changes take effect. Enjoy a clutter-free workspace and smoother navigation as you focus on what matters most in your inbox.


What should I do if Outlook keeps crashing or freezing?

Try repairing your Outlook installation through the Control Panel or restarting Outlook in Safe Mode.

How do I clear the search bar in Outlook app?

To clear the search bar of your Outlook account, log into your account on Outlook Web. Click on Settings at the top and select General > Privacy and data > Delete history here.

How do I hide the apps bar in Outlook?

To hide the apps bar in Outlook, right-click on the navigation pane and uncheck the Apps for Office option. However, if this option isn’t visible, click the three dots at the bottom of the pane, choose Navigation Options, and adjust the display settings to hide the apps bar.

How can I change the default font and formatting in Outlook emails?

Go to File > Options > Mail > Stationery and Fonts to customize your email formatting.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.