To fix the issue you need to rebuild the search catalog, which restarts the indexing of your data files. The search catalog is a file where all of your Outlook and Microsoft Windows items (data files) are indexed. To rebuild your search catalog, do the following for your Microsoft Outlook version:
Microsoft Outlook Search Not Working For Windows
Step 1. Remove Windows Search feature from Control Panel.
1. Open Windows Control Panel. To do this, go to:
- Windows 7 & Vista: Start > Control Panel.
- Windows XP: Start > Settings > Control Panel
- Windows 8 & 8.1: Press “Windows” + “R” keys to load the Run dialog box. Type “control panel” and press Enter.
2. Double click to open:
- Add or Remove Programs if you have Windows XP
- Programs and Features (or “Uninstall a Program”) if you have Windows 8, 7 or Vista.
3. At the left, click "Turn Windows features on or off".
4. (Click Yes to UAC warning message). From the list uncheck the "Windows Search" feature and then press Yes at the warning message.
5. Finally, click OK to confirm your decision.
6. Now wait until Windows make the changes to features and then restart your computer when prompted.
Step 2. Enable the Windows Search feature from Control Panel.
1. Navigate again in Control Panel > Programs & Features > Turn Windows features on options and select the "Windows Search" checkbox.
2. Wait unit Windows make the changes to features and then restart your computer when prompted.
Step 3. Rebuild Windows Index.
1. After the restart, go to the control panel and open "Indexing options".
2. At Indexing Options, choose "Advanced".
3. At Advanced Options, select "Rebuild".
4. Click OK at the information message and wait until rebuilding is finished.
5. When the Indexing is completed, close Indexing Options window and open Microsoft Outlook.
6. Finally wait until Microsoft Outlook indexes all Outlook items. When indexing is completed, start using Microsoft outlook search again without problems.
How to ensure that Indexing is complete (Microsoft Outlook 2010):
- Press Ctrl + F keys to bring up the search menus.
- Click at the arrow next to "Search Tools" ribbon and choose "Indexing Status".
- You should see a similar information message when indexing is completed "Microsoft Outlook has finished indexing all your items".
Microsoft Outlook Search Not Working for Mac:
If you do not see any search results coming up in your Microsoft Outlook, you may want to rebuild search index on your machine. This can be done through the Spotlight control panel. Note that your computer may be working slowly during reindexing. To start reindexing process of an entire drive follow these steps:
- Exit Microsoft Outlook. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Under Personal click on Spotlight.
- Switch to the Privacy tab. Click the "+" button and choose your Macintosh drive (and other drives if necessary) or simply drag it and drop into the Spotlight window.
- Now select the drive(s) you just added and click the "-" button to remove it from the list
- Spotlight will start indexing of the removed drive automatically. To view the remaining time click on search button.
Note: if a drive is left in the Privacy list, it will be excluded from Spotlight indexing completely. You will not be able to get any search results.
It is also possible to rebuild the indexing using the Terminal. To manually reindex Spotlight via Terminal follow these steps:
- Double-click the Hard Drive icon and navigate to Applications > Utilities.
- In the Utilities folder, double-click one Terminal
- In Terminal, type: sudo mdutil -E /
Note: You will be prompted to enter your password from the device.
When your index has finished rebuilding, you can go ahead and restart your Microsoft Outlook searches. This should have fixed your Microsoft Outlook search not working problems.