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.
- Navigate again in Control Panel > Programs & Features > Turn Windows features on options and select the "Windows Search" checkbox.
- Wait unit Windows make the changes to features and then restart your computer when prompted.
Step 3. Rebuild Windows Index.
- After the restart, go to the control panel and open "Indexing options".
- At Indexing Options, choose "Advanced".
- At Advanced Options, select "Rebuild".
- Click OK at the information message and wait until rebuilding is finished.
- When the Indexing is completed, close Indexing Options window and open Microsoft Outlook.
- 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.
How To Fix Outlook 365 Search Not Working Properly
Microsoft Office has become a staple in most, if not all, offices around the world. You may be currently using Office 365, which is the newest form of Microsoft Office.
Office 365 Compliance Search
The new office 365 search is called compliance search and can be found in the office 365 compliance center. This office 365 search is perfect to search across all of your programs and data, which also includes Outlook data. The newest Office 365 search will allow you to:
- Search through your Office 365 data without limits
- Use keyword query language for advanced searches
- Preview search results
- Control what can be searched
These new features will help bring your Office 365 searches to a new level. The scale of
your searches is limitless and it even allows you to run multiple searches simultaneously. The ability to preview search results will tell you if a search isn’t working properly.
Outlook 365 Search
When you are using Outlook with Office 365, you can search for messages and search for people. Outlook 365 search is a great and helpful tool to find the items or contacts you need. Here’s how to use Outlook 365 Search:
- Open Outlook and within the navigation bar found in the top-left corner, select the app
launcher icon and then go to Mail.
- Type in what you are looking for in the Search Mail and People
- As you type, Outlook 365 Search will make some suggestions of what you might be searching for.
- You can choose one of the suggestions or you can hit enter and it will show you all possible results.
- When you are done and you would like to clear your search, then choose Discard within the search box of Outlook 365 Search.
Outlook 365 Search in People
You will notice from the steps above that when you start to type in a name in the Search Mail and People search box that the Search People option will automatically come up. When you go into Search People option, you’re given a whole new set of options to work with. You can search for a person, a group, or a resource. NOTE: once you enter the Search People option, the results will be from your contacts or the company’s directory. Here’s how to use this Outlook 365 Search option:
- Click the App Launcher Icon shown above and then go to People.
- Now type in the name of the person you are searching for. If searching for a group or resource, then type in the name of those things and press Enter.
- You can narrow your search by choosing to search in My contacts, Directory, or Groups.
- You may have more options to narrow down your search results within each folder. You can expand each and check the options.
Office 365 Search Not Working
You have been in this situation before—you’re searching for something in Outlook but nothing shows up. What do you do when Outlook 365 search isn’t working?
Well if your Outlook 365 search is not working it is likely to be an indexing issue, and you will have to correct it for the Outlook 365 search to work properly again. The issue may lie in the fact that when you installed Office 365, you could have lost your Outlook index. If your results come up empty, you will need to rebuild the index.
Rebuilding the Index in Outlook 365
Rebuilding the index in Outlook 365 is necessary in when your search results come up empty. Here’s how to rebuild your index:
- In Outlook 365 click on the File tab
- Click on Options and Search
- Next click on Indexing Options
- You should now see which locations are being indexed, click on the Advanced button
- Once the advanced box has opened you will see in the section named Troubleshooting section you have the option to rebuild, click this option
- Rebuilding will take some time, so make sure to leave your PC running for a while
This won’t be the last time you will need to rebuild the index. When you use Outlook for a long time, Outlook 365 search will eventually run into the same issue. It will most likely be another indexing problem, but following the previous steps will give you a heads up and have Outlook 365 search running properly once again.