The new Outlook search in the title bar is disconnected from the content it searches

Steel Contributor

I appreciate the benefits of Microsoft Search in the Office apps but I'm getting feedback form multiple people that having the search in the title bar is unhelpful because they need to use the title bar for dragging the window around. In Outlook in particular, having the search box so far away from the content that you're searching is jarring. I understand the value of consistency, but I think that the utility of putting search with the content it searches overrides being consistent at all costs. Can we have an option to move the search box back down to the content in Outlook, and perhaps not to have it in title bars at all?

222 Replies

I see the consistency between MS Office products to be completely irrelevant and a huge negative if it detracts on everyday usability. To use this as a justification for the change is crazy and given the number of comments a poorly researched one.  It assumes users are incapable of knowing which product they are in and to adjust accordingly.  And this is the reason I so object to this backward step. The position of the outlook search box was much better and the interface better (less clicks) to achieve the everyday searches.  It should stay there or users should have the option to revert to the previous position.  As a user of two screens its place in the blue bar is at best annoying as it makes moving around apps on the screens more difficult.  

In term search functionality I have not seen any benefit and I also find the fact that is searches across all MS Office products to be a real pain.  I'm in Outlook, I want to search just my emails not a word or excel or whatever!  Just emails!  If I want to search for other files I'll use a different app to search for them.  


Overall, as with many other users I dislike this "improvement" and find it affects my productivity.  

@Mary Branscombe 


The search box constantly conflicts with the full-screen title bar of the remote desktop connection.

This is the daily bread of many people in the home office in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore especially unpleasant.

Well, in latest updates search bar is moved to just above list of e-mails, but it is still in title bar.


What I LIKE about it is maybe the consistency between all MS products, search in the same place in any app. Ok, makes sense.


What I HATE about it is that they obviously did not think about it at all:

  1. When you click on it, suggestions cover just the mail list and if you wanted to search for something in one of top 10 e-mails, you cannot see it, because it is covered by search suggestions.
  2. In GREY or DARK design cursor is not vicible in search box, so you do not know if you clickec at start or end of search word, neither you know whether you double or tripple click selected or not the search word. Annoying.
  3. And last but not least, MS is still the only company in the world, which considers text with non-alphanumeric characters as SEPARATOR. So searching for "e-invoice" finds everything containing letter "e" OR "invoice". Useless, stupid and ....aghrrrrrrrr!
  4. Slow? I have the same mailbox presented in Outlook and via WebClient (zimbra webmail). Searching for anything via Zimbra WEB client is much, much faster than in Outlook. I do not know how, but MS somehow managed to make it slower. Most probably by using objects and exchanging a lot of unnecessary data for every task within every MS app.
  5. There are Suggested Actions there on the bottom of Search suggestion box. Actions like "Signature" or "Sent Items" or something you did lately. What's this doing in SEARCH box? I think it is waste of time, resources and space. Remove those, please.



@Ed_Watkiss I registered on this forum just to agree with you.


I'm not sure if the developers of office are using 14" laptop screens as it may not be as disruptive for them but using a 24", 27", and 32" high DPI monitors, this search box is seriously disruptive to my work flow. Everything about it is wrong. I just want to search for text related to an email I need to find, I don't care about all of this other garbage that comes up. 


Honestly, stepping back and looking at this objectively it makes zero sense why a developer would do this and that someone would actually sign off on this. I can only assume they don't search as regularly as most business workers do. 

@Mary Branscombe 

If anyone knows how to remove this terrible way MS has made in Outlook I am all ears. Moving the search function are one thing but crashing the search function totally are another. SHAME on the guys how have made this bad bad bad issue. I my company we are 16.000 colleagues where this have been ruined. 

Looking forward to get this fixed.

Just changed this week. It´s just terrible. My work flow just went out of the window. I get dozens, if not hundreds of mails each day and need to filter and search all the time. Need the search bar on top of the content!

We absolutely need the option to bring it where it was before. It's horrible.

The new location in the title bar is a wrong move, against any kind of good user experience expectation and just impacts the natural flow for how to conduct search. Please make the position a configurable option. The cycnic in me is thinking MS are doing away with embedded search and that will be through some general Office/Delve/teams mechanism down the line.

I also do not like this change.


That said, they did a better job with this in the latest version of Outlook for the Mac.  There are a lot of nice design changes there and the larger size of the search box and the closer proximity to the inbox make it work well.


Microsoft’s new Outlook for Mac design launches in October - The Verge


My concern is that this change is now in the stable release of Office, so it sounds like Microsoft has decided to stick with this change.  And we are probably a long way off before the Mac design changes make it to the Windows version.

I don't want a "work around" - I want the search bar back where it was!!!@CapPike 

Couldn't agree more & such a nuisance..... just doesn't work! I want my old search bar back!@btankwart 



Mine also just changed this week. Clearly MS is not listening to feedback. This is an awful update.

Outlook 365 has come out with disgusting feature :  search bar inserted in to title bar. is there any way to move back to outlook content below the mail listing. I did not pay for this bad feature


Thank you @Mary Branscombe 


everyone I have spoken to dislikes this new "feature" as well.  The top bar should be sacred for moving windows, we all use 2-4 monitors on our team and we need to frequently move windows around.  This search in the window bar is disconcerting and hurting productivity.  These forced feature updates and lack of customizability are what is keeping me from embracing office 365 on my personal machines.

Now I'm 100% sure Microsoft hire people who has mental problems.

They are in trouble and they feel comfortable by creating problems for other.

It is really annoying that a dropdown menu pops up and hides the ribbon that contains the search options!

I can't believe this thread has been going for coming up to 2 years and it looks like nothing has been done. No flexibility has been provided for the user to put the Outlook search where they find it most useful.


Microsoft please provide user customised search field placement.


We just changed ours here and I as well would like to voice my annoyance with the new location!

1. Only users who closed has closed outlook windows received a tooltip that search has shifted on top, while users like me who have outlook opened for a week didn't receive and I thought its a bug in the system. After I searched online I realized it shifted above. 

2. It's dragging the cursor extra

3. It's not noticeable plus disconnected to the major work area of the user 

@Mary Branscombe 

This just changed for me within the last few days.  Horrible UI choice.  The search bar makes all my Outlook folder windows look the same... can't tell which folder the window content is for anymore (or even which application the window belongs to, for that matter, if only the title bar is visible).  Completely obliviates the purpose of the title bar, as now no window-identifying description is visible in the title bar.  Seriously, all I see in the window title bar is the search input box, even though there is space for a window title.


Tried to provide feedback/vote at user voice ( but they have shut it down.


I am an IT professional and have designed GUIs myself, but it is hard to fathom what the product managers were thinking when this design decision was made.  Maybe they need to read "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum" (seriously, this is a book about interface design).  Developers love to overload UIs with functionality, to the point it gets in the way of usability, or to drive the design by what is easiest to implement, rather than what will be most user-friendly.


@Mary Branscombe