Teams messages search function does not show full conversation

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Iron Contributor

When using the search function in Teams chat, is there a way to see more than just one specific message (I would like to see the response to the message)? For example, I searched for a question that I asked someone but I want to know what their response was. Right now I can only see the question I asked. Here is a screenshot.

Teams search.png


In my opinion, we should be able to navigate through the conversation after searching.


168 Replies

@Markules Great!  But if you specify both of your names, you should see both sides of the conversation.  So you'd use something like this entire string in the search: (Sent:2019-11-13 From:Markules) OR From:OtherPerson Sent:2019-11-13

Yeah, playing a little bit with the search query and the timestamps I could find the history (using the left search menu). So it´s not perfect and I don´t understand why MS makes it unnecessarily complex, but it´s a great workaround from your side. Thanks again.

@Markules Make sure you're doing the entire query she posted (both sides of the "OR")...that will get you both sides of the conversation. (When I first read it, I thought she was giving two examples, but it's actually a single combined query.)

This is literally so annoying. I can find conversations I am looking for but can't find my own replies, or what I actual need FROM the conversation. If only the search function worked like WeChat or ANY OTHER MESSAGING APPLICATION. 


@Jason Drew 

@Jason Drew + everyone. Is there a user voice for this yet? I would love to vote for this to be fixed.


@Jason Drew 


Any updates or user voice because my company is struggling that search works only for a few with showing history and not showing for most.  It's a big issue!!!!

@Jason Drew 

It appears this is still an issue.... HOWEVER, what I have found a trend where I can see the full chat history when doing a search in MS Teams if the person who I was chatting with has their Outlook Calendar permissions set to Read:Free/Busy time, subject, location. 


Would still like to see the full chat history for every 1:1 chat, group chat, and meeting chat! For some reason, I can see the full chat history for one group chat but then not for another when I do a search. 

It was working for me a while ago but it seems broken again. I can only search a message in particular but I can't see the context anymore. It is pretty annoying.

edit to my previous comment: that trend was broken. I stumbled upon searches with the same person that either led to navigate to the full chat history or just the message with the search text. 


I believe Teams will display the surrounding messages depending on how old the chat is. For more recent chats, it will show you the returned search result within the context of the full conversation; older chats will only appear as an isolated message.

As a workaround, once you're able to identify the person and date of the conversation you want to review, perform a search like this: (Sent:2019-11-13 From:Karen) OR From:Brian Sent:2019-11-13

(Use that entire string, both sides of the "OR", replacing "Karen" and "Brian" with your names).

The returned results on the left include all messages from me (Karen) or Brian on 11/13/19, in order of message timestamp. Not perfect, but hopefully will help you until better functionality is available in Teams.

F*** Teams.


I can find the message that I'm looking for. It's displayed on the left side when searching for it. Unfortunatly, when clicking on it, on the right side I get a totally unrelated message from the same day....


And it's the same with every message on that day when I search for all messages between my chat partner and myself on that day.




Thanks this really helped me out!


You can also save a bit of time and not need to put in the users - if you go to the room / chat where the conversation happened, and press CTRL+F then you will get a search box that is specific to that chat.


Now you can enter Sent:2021-02-01 for example and all messages from that conversation will return on the left hand side.

@Jason Drew I had the same issue and managed to find a workaround. Not the best but it does the trick and only need to setup once and won't have to do it again.



- First you need to have power automate installed in your MS Teams (You can install from the apps store)

- Open power automate app in teams and go to the create tab, search for template "follow up on a message" and click on it to start the setup.

- click edit in advanced mode

- In the delay step change the unit from minutes to seconds and save (you will see why later)



- Now search for the message you want as usual

- hover over the message in question, you will see bunch of emojis and three dots.

- click on the three dots, click more actions from the submenu and then choose the flow you created "Follow up on a message"

- once you click the flow you will be prompted to enter a reminder time, choose 20 minutes an submit (we changed the minutes to seconds in the setup step, so it will remind in 20 seconds not 20 minutes)

- after the 20 seconds have passed, you will receive a reminder with a link to view the message. once you click the link it will take you to the original thread you wanted.


ps. you could go into the power automate app to edit the flow adaptive card (first step) to show different values and reminder options if you want. i.e. remine after 1 second instead of 20


Good luck

@ashhashtaka Thanks for sharing, that's a really creative workaround.  I think the success of clicking on "View Message" from the reminder might be dependent on how recent the chat is, or perhaps the size of the data required to search.  The process worked perfectly to navigate back to a 2019 convo I had with a co-worker who I rarely chat with... but it freezes up Teams entirely when I try to do the same thing for a co-worker that I chat with daily (I just get that purple circle that endlessly spins, until Teams becomes unresponsive and I have to force it closed).  Curious to hear if it works for others.

Hi Karen, thanks for the complement. And yes, I had the same problem when I looked for a 1 year old message, I left it for a couple of minutes with the loading circle and went and did some other work and it eventually loaded the thread.

I believe the problem here is exactly the same reason the native search doesn't show the full thread which is 'MS Teams doesn't have those message locally in the cache %appdata%\Microsoft\teams' and have to download it all from MS servers on demand. Same happen if you try to scroll back in a chat, it load bit by bit which is a nightmare if you are trying to scroll back a year in a busy chat.

Defiantly not the best solution, but its worth it if you are looking for something important until MS address the issue.

@Vasil Michev , funny they heard us in 2019 and i am in 2021 searching a fix for the same issue. I know it's supposed to be positive feedback only but it is hard not saying teams is probably the worst chat application around and a terribly developed tool. Sorry guys, but I know Microsoft is capable of much better. 

@OmarMtz I totally agree.  I think the number of times I ONLY want the one message in a conversation is ZERO, the number of times I need to see the ENTIRE message thread is right around 100%, make that exactly 100%.  This is ridiculous.  This is the equivalent to searching in Outlook and all it gives you is the subject line and you have to manually search through your Inbox (and sub-folders) to find the email to read. 

Search in Teams.... 100% USELESS!!!

Never thought something would make me miss Slack but this sure as h3ll does.   

This was working perfectly fine until just recently, what a useless search function now!