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


Agreed, just awful and doesn't work for the user at all. Over-designed but not thought through for the actual user.

Just one other observation I meant to make...  When I first saw that the search input box was in the title bar, I thought Outlook had malfunctioned, that some kind of bug had manifested itself that's how discordant this felt.  (I don't think I'm alone in having this reaction.)  Honestly, it really seems like a hack rather than a well-designed interface change.

@SQLEngineer   I totally agree! Now how can we get MS to listen to its paying users?

The appropriate term to describe putting the search bar in the title bar is "stupid".  The appropriate term to describe not including the ability to have people put it back in the Inbox, that would be "asinine".  And, the combination of these items results in a situation that can only be described as "grabasstic".


I'm not sure what designer came up with the idea but put them back on the "Teams" team and put my Search bar back.

@Mary Branscombe Moving the search bar to the header for outlook has significantly interfered with my ability to use the search feature (which I use many times a day).  Formally the search bar was inline with All and Unread at the top of the email results grid.  Clicking into the bar enables the "Search" menu and adds new options such as From, To, Subject, etc.  At the same time, the type ahead window opens down and covers nothing of importance. 


However, in the new position in the header of the app, the type ahead covers the search options so I have to click away from search to enable the From, To, Subject commands.  Moving the search bar makes the experience clunky, it now requires more clicks, and it feels frustrating.   For Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc haveing the search in the header is fine.  In Outlook the placement does not support the user because it hinders the full functionality of the search feature. @Microsoft Support How do I move the search bar back? 

Replying to myself now a number of months on I've got more used to it, but there's no consistent way to work round the fact that working from home via remote desktop becomes quite a chore when the connection bar for RD sits right over the search bar and I have to keep resizing windows or moving it to see the search bar and often just typing blind
This is a terrible change. The search effectively acts as a filter on the message list, and so removing it from the context of the list pane is downright confusing, besides requiring extra mouse movement as many have already stated.

If Microsoft cannot or will not make this a configuration option, they should at least add a quick search/quick filter bar (giving immediate feedback / live preview) back in at the top of the list view. Actually, that would be similar to how Thunderbird handles filters/search.

@FlorianStallmann Comparing Outlook to Thunderbird is like comparing a pickup truck to a sports car. The best I could do is to add the legacy Advanced Search tool to the Outlook Ribbon:



@Mary Branscombe 

For those who opt not to spend all their time filing emails a quick, intuitive search function is essential.

With the recent update to the Outlook 2021 interface and ribbon was extremely disappointed to find that the search functionality was significantly degraded.

I have found little guidance other than to use either the advanced search feature or search folders instead.

However, I have now found that you can still use the same filter criteria by firstly clicking into the search bar above and *then* clicking on the "Current Mailbox" text that appears to the right. This then restores the classic search and filter fields you could affix using the green cross icon previously.

I've put a couple of printscreens below highlighting where to go. I hope this helps people - was a massive relief to rediscover this functionality after a few weeks of frustration!Outlook Search.PNG

@Mary Branscombe 

This design is awful. Always wondered how Microsoft manages to screw up things that were working fine.

I agree. The search option in the title bar does not make any sense to me. First time, I could not find the search option.
Unfortunately the fields are just dumb text boxes. With the old version when you typed a few characters of contacts name Outlook provided a list to choose from. The From and To dates had date pickers, etc. Also, it makes you type the seach criteral in each place you want to search. So if I want to search for something in the Body or the Subject I have to enter the criteria in two places.

@Mary Branscombe Perhaps the most "brilliant" feature is the way the search bar expands when you click in it, covering up all the various search icons.

@Potters1981 Then there's that too! Why don't they listen to their users??? This has been such a heated topic for so long.....

*sigh* sometimes, "advancement" is nothing but massive steps back!

I really don't know who's bad idea was this, but I'm positive he never used outlook search feature ever before.


try using outlook search when you RDP into a remote computer.




smartest engineers on the planet, great job, keep up the bad work

@samimetro - I agree 110% - this is how I use Outlook all the time, and its damned near impossible to use the ridiculous search when its stuck up in the title bar.  Totally rubbish MS - for goodness sake LISTEN to your users.


Did you know that you can resize and reposition the RDP bar?  You should get a resize arrow if you hover near the slanted ends of the bar.  Drag in the middle of the bar to move left or right.


That doesn't change the search bar for Outlook, but hope this helps.