search no longer working

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I just got off chat with Microsoft Support, which apparently even though I said it regarded OneNote, was not specific to OneNote and was not even aware OneNote has a search function (??!!). At any rate my problem is that in the past month or so, any new page I add to my notebooks cannot be searched for text. The customer support posed that this may be because it is image files, but this is not the case because I have used OneNote since August and have always uploaded ppt and pdf files and it always searches. In fact it still successfully searches these old files. I have attached some screenshots so you may see (Ctrl-F in a page with the word "closed" on a recent file does not find it; on an older file it finds it, and it also finds it using Ctrl-E in multiple older files). I have uninstalled and reinstalled both the app and the Microsoft Store version of OneNote (the problem exists in both). I have rebuilt the Windows search terms list and unclicked/clicked the OneNote search box per advice on other chat boards (screenshot attached as I am probably calling these things wrong).

I am told now that this board will go to the developers, so am very much hoping you will have other ideas. Do I need to remove older pages? Create a separate notebook because this one has gotten too large? Wipe and restart my Surface Pro so it can recreate the search database? This is for my doctorate so I am loath to do something that may cause problems. The first time I tried a recommendation from a chat board, which was changing the name of the cache file, it wiped out the last few days of additions to the notebook, which I cannot risk. I have paid for extra cloud storage so everything should be there, but somehow it was not. Thank you for your help!

2 Replies

Are there any experts/developers actually on here? I have found a current workaround - I have to open OneNote2016 (which I had to stop using because it crashes every time I try to write a note in it), select every image in the ppt or pdf file individually, and choose the right-click option to allow text search. This option then somehow syncs with OneNote365 and I am able to search there. Why doesn't it just exist in 365?!? And why did everything I added to 365 since like December (when 2016 started crashing), along with everything I added via 2016 since August, automatically allow this until about a month ago!? Whether I print it to OneNote, or do an insert file to either 2016 or 365, doesn't make a difference - search is disallowed unless I do this manual step. This is ridiculous, guys! Please fix!

@ktaylor011 FWIW, I'm having search issues with OneNote for Windows 10 (UWP) app. I wonder if search for that version goes to the cloud, where OneNote 2016 uses a local database for search. (Sorry if you said/knew this, I didn't quite follow your post and issues).