Outlook 365 Search Not Working| 5 Solutions To Fix It

Somehow, if Outlook 365 search not working, you can’t rebuild the index in this Microsoft application. 

If you use this particular mailing service, you may miss many features due to the lack of its search option. With this specific feature, it does a great job of helping you send, manage and archive all your emails. 

Although problematic, especially if you have a sizeable inbox, you can still fix this problem in your Outlook search. So, let’s discuss some of the effective hacks to try when the search is not working in Outlook. 

Possible Reasons Why Outlook 365 Search not Working 

Before we go ahead and check out the solutions, let’s discuss the factors that might cause the problem. 

  • The most common issue is an outdated system program. That can create various problems including disabling the search panel on Outlook. 
  • If the index location of Outlook within the system is not correct, then this problem can occur. So, Outlook may not run the search feature because of that. 
  • Virus attacks are more common on Outlook than you might think. Mainly from spammed emails, these virus programs can slip through the security programs.
  • Due to corrupted or missing system files, you will find Outlook 365 search not working
  • If the Indexing Group Policy Settings is not correct, it can create such a technical glitch. 

Moreover, the personal folder that you have for Outlook may be damaged. However, no matter whatever is the reason, you can still resolve this Outlook search issue. 

How to Fix When Search not Working in Outlook 365?  

Now that we have discussed all the possible reasons why Outlook 365 search not working. Let’s put forth all the solutions that will help you fix the problem. 

Use Windows Registry

The Windows Registry is a very useful software tool that you can use to fix the Outlook problem. It can help you fix the corrupted system files directly. Here are the steps that you will need to apply. 

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key and the R key at the same time. 
  2. In the text entry panel within the dialog box, type ‘regedit and press the Enter key after that. 
  3. This is going to open the Windows Registry Editor, where you will be able to make the necessary changes. 
  4. Enter the command – HKEY5LOCAL5MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search into that window. 
  5. After this, look for the “New Dword (32-bit)” option. Change its name to “PreventIndexingOutlook” and then set its value to ‘0’. Finally, click on the OK button to complete the process. 

After completing all the steps of this process, you will have to restart your computer. After that, you are good to go ahead and check if the Outlook search is working or not. 

Go Through Group Indexing Policy Settings 

To fix this problem, here are the steps that you need to make the Outlook search feature workable. 

  1. Go to the search menu from the home screen of your Windows computer. Next,  type “gpedit” and press the Enter key to bring up the options. 
  2. Go to the User Configuration section and look for the Administrative Templates option. So, click on it. 
  3. Select the Search option under that section. Then click on the checkboxes next to Default excluded paths and the Prevent indexing certain paths option. 
  4. Check if the setting for it is set as “Not configured” or not. 

If you find that “Not configured” is set for Group Indexing Policy, it is a confirmation that the problem is not with the policy settings.

Update Outlook 365 

Having an Outlook program that is out of date can be problematic and cause this error. So if you find that the search is not working in your MS Outlook 365, try is to update the entire software. Here is how you can do it. 

  1. Go to the Outlook icon on your computer and then click on it to start the program. 
  2. Once you launched the program, look for the File option and click on it. After that, look for the Account option and click on it. 
  3. Look for the Update Options within the Product Information section and click on it. This will start the update process. 
  4. Now click on the Update Now button to start downloading and install the update. 

After some time, as the installation of the updates complete, relaunch the Outlook program. Now you can check if the search feature is working or not. 

If you are still facing the problem, then go ahead and apply the next solution. 

Fix Through Programs and Features 

You will be able to fix this problem using various software tools that are there on your computer. To try this fix, you will have to use the options available from the Programs & Features section. 

Use Quick Repair

Here are the steps that you are going to need to repair Outlook files. 

  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel section, look for the Programs option and click on it. 
  2. Now, find the Programs & Features section to bring up the list of programs running. 
  3. Look for the Outlook 365 option and then right-click on it to bring forth the dropdown list. 
  4. Click on the Change option that you will find there. After this, select from either the Quick Repair or the Online Repair option. 
  5. The better option between the two will be to select the Quick Repair option. Then select the Repair option. 

Now just wait for the repair process to complete and relaunch Outlook 365. Now, there is another way to achieve the same outcome. That is by using the Outlook Index Repair feature. 

Use Outlook Index Repair

The following are the steps to do this repairing. 

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook, click on the File option and then on Options
  2. Thereafter, look for the Search option and click on Indexing Options. Then click Advanced
  3. To repair the index, select the Rebuild option and click on the OK button. 
  4. From this point on, you will have to wait for this repairing process to complete. 
  5. Now, look for the Search Tools option and go to the Indexing Status section. 

As you go there, you will find the number of indexed items. This will indicate if the ongoing process is over or not. 

Repair Personal Outlook Folder 

In many cases, the personal folder of Outlook can be corrupted. Because of that, you might face this issue. So to repair the corrupted personal file/folder of Outlook, here are the steps.

  1. First, you have to find where the repair tool is, which is the scanpst.exe.
  2. In this case, you will have to use the path “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\office15\”.
  3. As you come across the scanpst.exe file, right-click on it and select the Run as Administrator option.
  4. In the next window, click on the Browse button and paste C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.
  5. Pick the account that you use from the list. Click on the Open option and then click Start.

As you start the Outlook repair process with this, wait for it to complete. Then restart your computer.