Outlook search is not working

Copper Contributor

Unable search an emails in the inbox of outlook mail, please help .

20 Replies


If Outlook search is not working, there could be several reasons for this issue. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can try to fix the problem:

  1. Check Indexing Status: Make sure that Outlook is indexing your mailbox. To check the indexing status, go to File > Options > Search, and click on "Indexing Options." In the Indexing Options window, verify that Microsoft Outlook is listed and has the "Indexing in progress" status. If it's not indexing, click on "Modify" and select the mailbox to include it in the index.
  2. Rebuild Index: If the indexing status is stuck or not working correctly, you can try rebuilding the search index. Go back to the Indexing Options window, click on "Advanced," and then click on "Rebuild" under Troubleshooting. This will rebuild the search index, which may fix the issue.
  3. Check Search Options: In Outlook, go to File > Options > Search, and check the Search Options. Ensure that the folders you want to search in are selected. Also, make sure the "Include results only from" option is set correctly.
  4. Reset Outlook Cache: Sometimes, issues with search can be related to the Outlook cache. Close Outlook, go to the following folder location:
    • For Outlook 2016/2019/Office 365: C:\Users<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
    • For Outlook 2013: C:\Users<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook Delete all .ost files in this folder (don't worry, they will be recreated when you reopen Outlook). Then, reopen Outlook and let it resynchronize your mailbox.
  5. Repair Office Installation: If the issue persists, you can try repairing your Office installation. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features, find Microsoft Office in the list, and click on "Change." Then, choose the "Repair" option to repair your Office installation.
  6. Check for Updates: Make sure that Outlook is up to date with the latest updates and patches. Go to File > Office Account > Update Options, and select "Update Now" to check for updates.
  7. Create a New Outlook Profile: If none of the above solutions work, you can try creating a new Outlook profile and see if the search works in the new profile.

If the issue still persists after trying these steps, it might be helpful to contact your IT support for further assistance. They can help you diagnose and resolve any deeper issues with Outlook search. The text and the steps are the result of various AI's put together.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.

@NikolinoDE I have the same problem.


There is no "File" or "Options". There is only "Home" "View" or "Help" and a setting icon wheel. None of these seem to contain anything about the search bar. No matter where I look I cannot find "Indexing Options" anywhere in my version. 


I cannot find any search index. Please let me know the updated way to find it, and include photos if possible. Thank you.

I understand, you are talking about the desktop version of outlook. I need the answer for the online version of outlook.

Search works on the desktop version but not on the online version.


If you are experiencing issues with Outlook search not working in the online version of Outlook (Outlook on the web), you can try the following troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem:

  1. Clear Browser Cache and Cookies: Sometimes, browser cache and cookies can cause issues with web applications. Clear your browser's cache and cookies, and then try searching in Outlook again.
  2. Use a Different Browser: If the issue persists, try accessing Outlook on the web using a different web browser. This can help determine if the problem is specific to your browser.
  3. Use a Private or Incognito Window: Open your web browser in a private or incognito window, which doesn't use stored cache or cookies. This can help identify if the issue is related to cached data.
  4. Check Internet Connection: Ensure that your internet connection is stable. A slow or unreliable connection can affect the performance of web applications, including Outlook.
  5. Verify Search Query: Double-check that you are entering the correct search terms. Outlook on the web's search should work with a variety of criteria, such as sender, subject, or keywords from the email's content.
  6. Disable Browser Extensions: Browser extensions or add-ons can sometimes interfere with web applications. Try disabling or temporarily removing any browser extensions and see if Outlook search starts working.
  7. Use a Different Device: If possible, try accessing Outlook on a different device, such as a different computer or a mobile device, to see if the issue persists.
  8. Outlook on the Web Updates: Outlook on the web is a cloud-based service, and updates or maintenance activities may occasionally impact its functionality. Check if there are any known issues or outages with the Outlook service.

It's worth noting that the performance of web applications can be affected by various factors, and occasional issues can occur. Trying these steps should help you identify and resolve the problem with Outlook search in the online version of Outlook. The text and steps were edited with the help of AI.


For your future questions, I would like to recommend that you provide more detailed information. This saves many people having to guess or ask questions and allows you to find a quicker and more accurate solution.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.

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@arulpearls84 this is happening to us now after Outlook update this month, have you been able to fix it?

I have a user with the same problem, after outlook upgrade.
We have a try all of the solution in Outlook app.
Including make a new mail profil.

If you are using Outlook 2016 or earlier version then please check out this blog if it has anything valuable for you: https://www.stellarinfo.com/blog/fix-outlook-2016-search-problems/ . If You still stuck there try the Microsoft’s free SARA tool to check if there is any issue with your outlook data file.

@NikolinoDE I am having the same issue today and none of your recommendations work.


This is all I keep on getting, no matter what browser and even in incognito mode.


Sorry, something went wrong.

Please try again later



I think it is the same for me, look below at the console error at the search api request response




This is exactly what I am getting, all day!!!

Have you solve this issue? @nickm700 

@arulpearls84 - This solution helped me to fix the issue - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uks4Tun6W0&t=165s


We had an issue where searching in Outlook 2010-2016 would get a "Something went wrong and your search couldn't be completed. It looks like there's a problem with your network connection." error. All network tests through Outlook succeeded, all updates installed, we recreated Outlook profiles ...
No, still happening today!
Same problem for me today 14th December 2023
So what is being done about this Microsoft?? It's been an issue for months and yet we are still being charged for a service we are not receiving!!

@nickm700is this thread and forum an official thread or is just for microsoft fan bois? are there devs, bugs analyst and customer support specialists who see this thread? if not where should we be posting?

@Miyuru_Dharmage No idea, it's just frustrating that no one can assist us!

Hi - My online outlook in not searching.


Cleared cache and history and tried two browsers and two different machines.



I'm having the same issue, and have had it persistently now not sure how to fix it. I'm using the Web App in Chrome. I'll search and nothing will happen and it takes a long time. I then get a caution sign with loads of triangles and the message "your request couldn't be completed right now".