Outlook Search loses focus

Copper Contributor

Using O365 current version 

When clicking in the Search Box in the Title bar, cursor often loses focus and does not remain in the search bar and query is lost. 

Work around/Solution ( after considerable angry words ) is to click in the search box and wait to verify it remains in the box before typing the search.


This is far from ideal as it slows the process down, opens things or deletes items that I do not want opened or deleted HELP!

14 Replies
I am also suffering this problem.
I noticed that on the first click it seems to open up the drop down list of previous searches but immediately loses focus when you start typing the new search.
This happens most of the time, but very occasionally it works normally.
Sorry to hear that Matt, another Office365 user here with the same problem. I've been trying to figure out for months why it happens, as I find that once it has happened once it won't happen again for awhile. To describe my issue - I select the search bat with a view to start typing, the suggested searches list will drop down and then if I'm unlucky (which is usually half a dozen times a day) then the search box loses focus. I'm afraid I can't offer any solutions but will do so if I ever figure it out.
I still continue to have this issue. I was hoping this problem would be fixed in a recent update, but it's now 10-26-22 and the issue persists. Does MSFT have any update on when this can be fixed. It's quite annoying.


I am suffering from this issue a long time also.

Suffering because it happened more than one time after clicking in the search bar and starting to write and losing focus, a mail got deleted or moved accidently and therefore got unanswered.


I can only assume it has something to do with the "Action" part at the bottom and a plugin that causes a reload of the searchbar, and strangely not all users of our Domain have that issue.

I was hoping after a year this would have been resolved.  Such a drain for speedy users.  The worst is when you click the search bar, start typing, but actually make a typo (in your head) and hit backspace - this is bad because if the search bar lost focus, then the email list pane took focus, and the pressing of the backspace deletes the email you happen to have selected after the ineffectual typing.  It's tough to describe...

I continue to battle with the search bar focus.  I'm fast with the mouse and keyboard and when you click on the search bar you expect to have focus in the search bar area, but that is not always the case.  @Pernille-Eskebo, when is this going to be fixed?

It is September 2023 and this is still an issue. A small one admittedly, but one of those that make you want to pull your hair out because you are forced to do something twice. It happens when you have not used the search box in a while (can't say exactly how long).

I run into this issue every day. I've developed a habit of jackhammering mouse clicks on the search box just to ensure it maintains focus. I still sometimes forget and just single click which, when subsequently typing, leads to nothing happening. Or worse, when intending to paste into the search box, this results instead in a new message window popping up which I have to dismiss but then leads to Outlook asking if I want to save the unwanted message, then go back and try again. All for a simple search that should have taken 2 seconds.

For someone who uses Outlook and the search box throughout the entire workday, this is an aggravating issue to run into, especially given it's persisted for what I can best recall is multiple years at this point and across multiple machines.

Clearly this discussion thread is not making any difference in getting Microsoft's or any Outlook dev's attention, although it is at least a bit cathartic to know I'm not the only one running into this and getting increasingly frustrated at the inaction. Anyone here run across a more official "issues" page for this problem for which I can contribute an upvote, for whatever that's worth?

I know this is an old post, But i may have come to a "Solution". It seems that when i have the simplified ribbon view that i can click once on the search bar. The Classic Ribbon view seemed to need you to double click for it to register that you are trying to search something. I hope this works for others but if not let me know.
I wonder if we'll get to the 2-year mark before this is fixed. The real danger is clicking the search bar and then *thinking* you have it in focus while you start typing - then, if you're a fast-but-spastic typer like me you'll make a mistake and hit backspace. That backspace then proceeds to delete messages... because the initial click actually defaulted to the list pane. I've fallen for that several times, and have had to fish messages out of the Deleted Items folder. What a productivity killer!
OMG.. I can't believe I typed this out already, almost do the day, one year ago.


Microsoft's silence is deafening. Just this morning again I was swearing under my breath as I realised I was typing into nothingness.

I also don't understand why Microsoft has not provided any update. Maybe they are scrambling to fix the 'New Outlook' that is unusable from my perspective. I do want to let you all know that I now do my best to never click in the search area, instead I use the shortcut Alt-Q when I want to search.
Thanks! Will do this from now on. Though why the universal search combo Ctrl+F is wasted on "Forward message" is among the deeper mysteries of MS lore.