Why Outlook Search is not working in Windows 10 and How to Fix it?

Outlook is a well-known email client that is widely used by organizations and individuals. Apart from sending and receiving emails, Outlook offers various advanced functions, such as managing tasks, creating calendar, managing contacts, and a lot more. Outlook also has a search function that lets you to search any email or specific information based on various criteria, like sender, folder, date, saved location, or a particular keyword. Sometimes, this function suddenly stops working due to various reasons. In this article, we have mentioned the reasons that may lead to such an issue and the methods to fix Outlook search not working issue.

Why Outlook Search is Not Working in Windows 10?

You may face the Outlook search feature not working issue due to the following reasons:

  • The search function is turned off
  • The Outlook data file is corrupt
  • Outlook program is missing latest updates

How to Fix the Outlook Search Not Working Issue?

To fix the Outlook search not working issue, follow the methods mentioned below.

1. Restart Outlook

Sometimes, just restarting the MS Outlook application, i.e., exiting it entirely and reopening the program, fixes the issue. For this, after closing the application, locate the MS Outlook icon in the system tray. Right-click on the icon and select the Exit optionThen, restart the application.

2. Close Outlook Using Task Manager

You can also close the Outlook program using the Task Manager. For this, you need to end the ‘Outlook.exe’ process. To do so, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Task Manager.
  • Task Manager will display the list of all the applications active on your system.
  • Choose Outlook to close it.
  • It would be best if you also close all the Outlook running processes listed in the Processes tab.
  • Select Outlook.exe and exit it by clicking on End Process.

                                                                           Figure 1: Outlook Process – Task Manager

3. Repair the Office Program

The Outlook search not working issue may also occur due to a problem with Office installation. You can try to repair the program to fix Outlook search not working issue. Follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Open the Start menu and go to Control Panel.
  • Choose the Programs > Programs and Features category. It will display a list of all the programs.
  • Since the Outlook application is a part of the entire MS Office package, you should click on Microsoft Office.
  • Further, right-click on the program and click on Change.
  • In the new window, click on Repair. Follow the troubleshooting steps.
  • When the repair process is complete, restart the system.

                                                                                Figure 2: Outlook Repair Function

4. Check Outlook for Updates

You need to ensure that your Outlook application is updated. So, check for the updates available for your Outlook and install them. Follow the below steps:

  • Go to your Windows 10 OS settings and choose Update and Security.
  • Further, select Advanced Options and choose Install Updates for Other Microsoft Products.
  • Then, navigate to the previous page and choose Check for Updates to check if any updates are available.

5. Repair PST File

A corrupt PST file can also be a reason behind the Outlook search not working problem. If this is the case, you can repair the corrupt PST file using the in-built tool, called Inbox Repair Tool or scanpst.exe provided by Outlook. Follow the steps as explained below:

  • Open the File Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office1X

Or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office1X

  • Enter ‘scanpst’ in the search field or you can manually locate it.
  • Double-click on exe to launch it.
  • In the new window, enter the PST file name or use the Browse option to locate the file.

Note: The default location of PST file in the system is:C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook


  • Then click on
  • If there are any errors in the file, you will see them on the screen.
  • Choose Repair to begin the repair process.
  • Restart your Outlook application and check if the problem is resolved.

                                                                                  Figure 3: Scan PST File Path

If ScanPST fails to repair the corrupt file, you can use an advanced PST repair tool, like Stellar Repair for Outlook. The software can repair even severely corrupt PST file of any size.

Download Outlook PST Repair Tool

6. Perform Outlook Indexing

Outlook index contains important terms of the saved emails. This helps the users to locate specific emails using the search term. When the Outlook search stops working, the problem could be with the program settings. You can check this issue by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • Click on File > Options.
  • A new window for Outlook Options will appear.
  • Choose Browse or Search
  • Click on the Indexing Options
  • Check whether Microsoft Outlook is part of the list. If it’s not, click on the Change or Modify
  • In the new window, under the Indexed Locations section, select the checkbox for Microsoft Outlook and click on OK.

                                                                                 Figure 4: Outlook Indexing

7. Rebuild the Entire MS Outlook Index

You can also try to rebuild the Outlook index. Follow these steps:

  • Click on the Filemenu in MS Outlook and choose
  • In the Outlook Options window, choose Browse or Search. 
  • Further, choose Indexing Options. You will see a list of all the Indexed locations by Outlook.
  • Click on the Advanced In the Advanced Options window, choose theRebuild option and click OK.
  • A message box will appear before beginning the Rebuild Index process. Read it and click on
  • When the indexing is done, check if the Outlook search not working issue is resolved.


You may encounter the problem of Outlook search not working due to various reasons. To resolve the ‘Outlook search not working in Windows 10’ issue, you can follow the methods mentioned in this post. If the issue is caused due to a corrupt PST file, you can use the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to repair the file. However, ScanPST may fail to repair the file if it is severely corrupt. In such a case, you can use Stellar Repair for Outlook to repair the file and recover all the mailbox data.

Leave a Reply