Outlook search is now totally useless

Copper Contributor


Outlook used to have a great seach function. You could search in all kinds of ways, like From:abc Has:Attachment and it worked perfectly every time.

Now, in W11, it's this weird little bar up above the inbox and it simply Does. Not. Work.

It has one job. To find the things I need. It does not do that job.

Here's an example.


This is my inbox right now:



If I now search for emails from Louise, you would think it might find the two emails from Louise that you can see in my inbox.


Right? I mean, am I the crazy one, or does everyone agree that searching for Louise SHOULD find emails I have received from a person called Louise?


When I search for these emails, I get results from emails this very same Louise has sent me in the past, but I DON'T get results for things she has sent me today.


Again, am I crazy, or are the things I received most recently not the very things I am most likely to want to find?


If I'm lucky, today's emails from Louse will eventually end up in my search results. But today, they do not. It's like Microsoft has some giant database that it updates at its leisure using a typewriter, a fax machine, a dial-up modem, and some string, and it restricts its searches to that database, but doesn't bother to search stuff that is right there in my inbox. Cause that would be silly right?


Why would the the search behaviour have been changed to make it substantially LESS useful than it used to be?

3 Replies
... and don't get me started on how many times you have to click in that search bar to be able to start typing in it. It seems happy to just ignore the first few times you click, and you have to go through some complex series of hitting escape, trying again, and again... sigh.
I totally agree. The search function is now next to useless. And the Outlook help is also useless. I put together a detailed set of questions based on exactly the same type of situation where you search for someone who has sent me a lot of emails and it chooses to find one email this year (where there have been hundreds) and the only other emails from that person that it finds are 2020 emails? The help people answered with "put the word you are searching for in the search bar and tap the search icon". I mean honestly, does someone really think i need to be told how to do that? Or is it that they just simply haven't even read what i asked?
The search function also puts totally random items in the search filter, and there is no way (that anyone can tell me about) of actually changing what comes up in the filter? So basically, the search function in Outlook just simply doesn't search!!
Absolutely nailed it! I regularly have to search work emails to try and find particular emails and it is very hit and miss indeed! And as for the search box itself, you are so right about that too, I clicked on it, I want to TYPE in it...