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
That option not available in Outlook??
So the developers even use these features before releasing them? I use the Search Ribbon tools daily and now they are obscured by a new search drop down, which gives no additional value.
Retire please. Nothing wrong with the old search bar.
Way more clicks and totally inefficient for those that display the ribbon.
Old method - Ctrl +E then click the refiners on the ribbon. Super efficient.
Wow! What an incredibly condescending reply. However, I agree he was wrong for saying "a feature designed by someone who doesn't actually use Excel." He should have been more accurate and say "a feature designed by someone who has never used Office." See... my statement takes into consideration that this stupid design change has rolled out to most Office 365 apps.

The search box takes up ~20% of the title bar. It's also obvious that they are planning on doing away with the search tab completely as you can't access it anymore when customizing the ribbon. Perhaps maybe monotykamary doesn't mind being slow and methodical when doing simple tasks, but I've got work to do so when a window needs moving, I shouldn't have to think about it. Just click the title bar and drag. But if I happen to click on the overly large search box, no dragging.

Hopefully, the feature in Word to collapse the Search Box will be brought over to Outlook where it's really needed. Also, they should really re-think the "Suggested Actions". They're never relevant.

@Adam Lein 

And most importantly - you can't see the name of the folder you are in!  Especially, for those of us that have multiple mailboxes, you can't tell which one you are in.. very bad design.!

I agree 100%. The Outlook search in the title bar is awful.  Please put it back!

This is an extremely unfortunate design decision, especially if they're not giving us a way to revert or choice where our search field is.  The Title bar, is for me the please to display the ... wait for it ... Title of a document or email, or the closest equivalent to that.  I could see some people arguing over what the Title of any particular piece of information is -- Is a Filename a title?  If so, should it include a path? What about Inbox, or mailbox folder name?  Perhaps the subject line of an email?


But you know what isn't a Title --- a search field input box.  That is not a Title.

Putting the search into the title bar is horrible and unnatural (and make its harder to drag around the window). One of the Microsoft Office apps gets so bad that there is literally nothing to "grab" to drag the window -- you have to use ALT-Space and M to move the window. But Microsoft Program Managers will sit there and defend it as "great and innovative" - despite feedback here and on many other forums. So we are probably stuck with this poorly conceived UX design for the next decade. 

@Mary Branscombe 

This decision by MS to move the search bar without flexibility is extremely shortsighted.

The functionality obviously was not tested by heavy Outlook users.


ere are a few comments.  I am dealing feedback from a sample set of about 5000 users many who use the search bar frequently.


1) I very much like the filter drop down,  Great addition.


2) The position of the search bar.

Moving the bar above the ribbon to the top left of the window and makes it much less user friendly.  Sounds petty but time wasted accumulates when you have to move the mouse further especially if you are a frequent searcher.  The current location, pre-update on the right side below the ribbon, works just fine.


Standardization is nice but Outlook is not Word and Outlook is not Excel.  They are used differently. 

MS .... Please reconsider or at least do some additional research.



@Gfyrlwwhen I first brought this up nearly a year ago, the Microsoft response was that they were going to wait and see what the wider group of users thought about it; I see that I'm going to be reporting back the next time I talk to anyone on the Outlook team that the wider group of users finds it as annoying and displaced as I continue to do a year later ;) 

Ever since they fixed the ribbon so that the search ribbon tab stays selected more easily, when you've clicked into the title bar search box, I have started to no longer mind it. As long as the ribbon tab is still the same as before, all they've done is move the little search box which is puny and not a big deal. It was just the shock factor that got me initially.

With Click to Run, the whole world is on a conveyor belt and so the shockwaves keep coming here. Eventually it will dwindle and be just fine as is.

@Mary Branscombe I couldn't agree more. The new search is a total pain. In every task preformed with search I have 50% more clicks and navigation. This is a unnecessary time waster and there is no benefit. This is proof positive that the engineers and designers at MS have nothing to do, so they just messed up a perfectly functional and useful part of Outlook so they could claim to be doing some work. They haven't even integrated a connection with Outlook and Skype after all of these years and they mess with search?  

@Mary Branscombe I agree with most of the other posters. It was much easier to find and use in its old location. The title bar location is awkward to use and requires too much mouse movement to access.

@Mary Branscombe 


i also feel it is not a good "upgrade". The feel and ease of use is definitely degraded when the search box is in the title bar. i agree that its location should be customizable. 

@Adam Lein - I agree this is so totally annoying I have no idea why they thought it would be a good idea to put it above the Ribbon UGH!!

The new layout is really annoying and very poor UX. Please roll back the feature or at least make it optional so users can change it back to where it was.




@Mary Branscombe Hi all, this request should be posted at UserVoice as all other suggestions for product improvements. For the Outlook client  

(my apologies if it has already been done).


*edit* I am using O365 ProPlus version 2002 and when toggling off "coming soon" at the menu bar (upper right corner) the search bar goes back to the previous location. Maybe that solves the problem for some of you, at least for now.

@Mary Branscombe 

Try this..., it worked for me... 

Look for the switch button located on the upper right corner of your Outlook window.

Toggle the switch to "off" and restart Outlook.


Search Bar from Title Bar to Original Location