What Should You Do if Outlook Instant Search Doesn’t Work?

Faced with a plethora of items in Outlook, we tend to use instant search to locate the desired ones. But it can malfunction as well. If it doesn’t work, take the following methods to bring back it.

As a regular user of Outlook for decades, I’ve held a host of items in Outlook. So whenever I need to find out one item amongst them, I will resort to search tool in Outlook. But one day, I found it cannot search out anything, which is exactly a nightmare for me. Fortunately, my friends help me to fix it eventually. Here are their means.

1. Verify if the Search Index Includes Your Outlook Data File

  1. At the very outset, launch Outlook application and open the Instant Search Tool. You can just click on the search box or just press a keyboard shortcut, namely “Ctrl + E”.
  2. Then in “Search Tools” ribbon, locate and click on “Search Tools” button and select “Search Options” from the dropdown list.Search Options
  3. Next in the new window, hit “Indexing Options” button.Indexing Options
  4. Later in the popup window of “Indexing Options”, click “Advanced” button, which will bring out another dialog box.
  5. In the dialog of “Advanced Options”, switch to “File Types” tab. Then you need to ensure that the .pst and .ost are selected.Verify if the Search Index Includes Your Outlook Data File
  6. Finally click a series of “OK” to back to home page and try instant search again.

Provided that both the two file types have been selected already but instant search still cannot work. Then you ought to verify whether the indexing status is complete or not.

2. Check if the Indexing Status Is Finished

  1. At the beginning, open Search ribbon by clicking the search box or hotkey.
  2. Then click “Search Tools” button and select “Indexing status” option.
  3. Next in the popup dialog, you need to make sure that “0 items remaining to be indexed” is shown. If not, this indicates that the indexing is not complete. Thus you ought to wait until the indexing is complete.Check if the Indexing Status Is Finished
  4. Finally after it’s complete, you should restart Outlook and try it again.

In general, if the problem stems from uncomplete indexing status, Outlook will absolutely recover as soon as it finishes. But if the issue still persists, there are great chances that the search catalog has been botched up. In this case, you have to rebuild index.

3. Rebuild Index in Control Panel

  1. To start with, close Outlook application and head to “Start Menu”.
  2. Then enter “Control Panel”, in which click “Indexing Options” applet.Indexing Options Applet in Control Panel
  3. Next in the new dialog, click “Advanced” button.
  4. Later in another dialog box, click on the “Rebuild” button.Rebuild Index in Control Panel
  5. Finally after the rebuilding process, you can restart Outlook and try again.

The above three methods are extremely effectual when dealing with search tool malfunction. But supposing that the issue hasn’t been solved by the above three methods, you can also ask Microsoft for support.

Eliminate Outlook Errors

Like search tool glitches, various errors may occur to Outlook from time to time. Thus it is particularly essential for regular users to learn how to eliminate them. Firstly, you can utilize built-in repair tool, Scanpst.exe to check and fix errors. If it fails, you have to take aid of external tool like DataNumen Outlook Repair, which is expert at Outlook recovery. It can check out and eradicate the errors that Scanpst.exe isn’t adequate to solve.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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