How to Fix Outlook Search Problems in 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007

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Microsoft Outlook is the web-based suite used to organize emails, contacts, tasks, calendars, etc. It is widely used by organizations and individuals. As it is constantly used, it requires some maintenance to keep workflow perfect. However, sometimes some errors like 0x800ccc0e, 0x800ccc0f, search problem, etc can occur from nowhere. In this blog, we will be discussing one such error which is Outlook search problems in 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007.

Outlook search not working is a quite common problem as it restricts search tool work proficiently which affects workability of the user. This issue is faced in all the versions of MS Outlook as all of them are developed on the same base and functionality. Fixing this issue is not hard all you need to do is just follow the simple steps to fix Outlook search problem in 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007.

Fix Outlook search not working in 2016

A search is an important tool for any email clients as it helps the user to locate the files instantly. If it stops working, it can really affect workability of the user as he won’t be able to navigate emails. There are the different level of malfunctions with the Outlook Search Index:

  • Zero result found means it is completely stopped working.
  • Shows results only up to a certain period.
  • Items waiting for indexing.

These are caused by different reason but can easily be fixed by performing different tasks.

Note: Microsoft Office 2019 has been released for both Windows. It is highly recommended that you update to Outlook 2019 as it will resolve Outlook Search Problems in 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007.

While dealing with Outlook Search Problems in 2016, you need to stay calm as it is a lengthy process. All you need to do is follow these steps to fix this problem.

Step 1: If your files are not showing is might be because your Outlook files are not indexed. It is very important that your Outlook Search Index work perfectly, as it can send your emails in a loop of malfunctions. It is easy to check whether your mailbox is being indexed. To check indexing follow these simple steps:


  • Navigate to the search options via File>Options> Search.
  • In Indexing Options, select Indexing Options > Modify.


Doing so will make sure your Outlook is properly indexed. In the older versions of MS Outlook, you could specify which PST file or mailbox you want to index, but in MS Outlook 2016 you need to index the whole Outlook.

When you select it for Indexing, you should probably disable and re-enable Outlook. For that first, deselect the Outlook and close the application. After some time and reopen the Outlook and re-select the outlook for indexing.

Step 2: If the above step does not resolve your problem, then you need to Rebuild the Index. It is a very easy process but takes some time, all you need to do is just follow these steps.

  • Click on File, then go to the Options. Now click on Search.
  • Now click on the Indexing Options > Advanced.
  • Within “Index Settings” click on the “Rebuild”.


Follow these steps will help you to resolve Outlook search not working in 2016.

Fix Outlook search not working in 2013

Step 1: Check indexing is working


To check that indexing for Outlook is properly working, use the following steps:

  • Go to the Search box.
  • From Search tab > Search Tools > Indexing Status.
  • Indexing status dialog will appear.

indexing file

If the dialog box says “0 files to be indexed”, that means your all the files are indexed. There is some other problem files are not showing.

If the dialog box says “Search results may be incomplete because items are still being indexed”, that means your files are not indexed. In this case, just wait for 5- 10 mins and re-check. If your files are still not showing then you need to remove Outlook from Windows Index.

Step 2: Remove Outlook from the Windows Index
  • File > Options
  • In Search settings > Indexing Options
  • Select Modify
  • Un-check Microsoft Outlook from Indexed Locations
  • Close Outlook

index loc

Step 3: Make Sure Outlook Files can be Indexed

OST and PST files are automatically indexed by windows, however, if something happens while Outlook or Windows is updating this problem could occur. To search your emails by Outlook those emails should be indexed by Windows. These are the steps to check.

  • File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  • Then Data Files
  • Select your OST/PST file and click on the “Open File Location”

data files

  • Now go to the Properties of the file > Advanced.
  • Confirm both the boxes are checked ‘Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties’ is checked.
  • OK.

advanced attribute

Step 4: Rebuild Outlook 2013 Index
  • File > Options > Search and go to the “Indexing Options”.
  • You should now see indexed file location > Advanced.
  • Under Troubleshooting, click on Rebuild.
  • Rebuilding takes time so do not close or shut down the system while in process.


These are the methods to fix Outlook search not working in 2013.

Fix Outlook search not working in 2010

Step 1: There are many reasons why Outlook 2010 search function not working. There is a possibility that the search function turned off entirely. It usually occurs when Outlook is being updated. Follow these simple steps to enable it again and get it in working order.

  • Close Outlook.
  • Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off.
  • Confirm the Indexing Service check box is checked.
  • Re-open Outlook again & check search started working or not.

For some reason, if the search function in Outlook 2010 is still not working then the only option you are left with is to rebuild the Index.

Step 2: Rebuild the Outlook 2010 index
  • Open Outlook 2010 > File > Options > Search.
  • From the Search section > Indexing Options.
  • From the opened Indexing Options, select Advanced.
  • Select Rebuild to start rebuilding Outlook 2010 index.
  • Give some time to complete the rebuilding process. Once it is finished your Outlook search not working problem should be fixed.

Fix Outlook search not working in 2007 (Outlook Search Problems)

Step 1: Account connectivity

Outlook indexes email accounts which are connected with the MS Outlook client. If in case you are using an MS Exchange account, then you need to be sure that you connect it with Exchange server. The search will not work until and unless it is connected with the Cached Exchange Mode.

Step 2: Files are not indexed

The normal search also does not work when files are not indexed in outlook. Follow these steps to check whether your files are indexed or not.

  • Go to Tools > Instant Search > Search Options(In ‘Index messages in these data files:’ you can note which files are indexed).
  • If your file is not on the list, add a new one using the following steps.
  • E-Mail > All Email Items.
  • Select the files and items you’d like to index.
  • Now restart the Outlook 2010.
Step 3: Check indexing is complete or not

There are good chances behind search not show any results is that Outlook hasn’t finished indexing new files yet. These are the steps to check the status of indexing.

  • Tools > Instant Search > Indexing Status.
  • Pop up box will show the remaining files. If the scanning is completed then “0 Item remaining” message will appear.


Step 4: Disable and re-enable file for the indexing process
  • Tools > Instant Search > Search Options
  • Un-check the file you’re having the problem.
  • Close Outlook and restart the MS Outlook, navigate to Search Options and re-select the data file.
  • Click OK.
Step 5: Rebuild the search index

If none of the above steps helped to fix the Outlook search problem in 2010, then you need to rebuild the search index. Here are the steps to rebuild the index:

  • Close Outlook.
  • Go to the Control Panel.
  • For Windows XP: Click on the Other Control Panel Options and select Indexing Options.
  • For Windows Vista +: Click on the system System Maintenance and select Indexing Options.
  • Advanced > Click Rebuild


This will entirely rebuild your search index from scratch. This is another process takes some time and slows down the computer, so chill. But, even after all these steps, your Outlook search is not working, then file corruption might be the case. If your PST or OST files are corrupted than give a try to this free tool to recover the PST files in no time.


These were the steps to fix Outlook search problems in 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007. Rebuilding and refreshing are the simplest methods to get things moving again. But if your PST file is corrupted then use the above-mentioned professional PST Recovery Tool.



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