[Solution] How to Fix outlook 2016 search not working

How to Fix outlook 2016 search not working

Your mailing platform holds a large amount of information such as messages, contacts, etc. which needs to be accessed from time to time. The search bar in such a case is an immensely important piece of tool that allows you quick results by going through all your stored content in a matter of seconds. If a message saying outlook 2016 search not working is displayed while conducting a search, then you won’t be able to use this feature until the problem is fixed.

The 2016 version of this management program is a means to introduce a lot of new interfaces for convenience. Users can use its advanced tech for repurposed decluttering and simplifying the display. It also contains advanced versions of all the previous tools like – journal logs, calendars, contacts, tasks, etc. Continue reading below to find out ways to troubleshoot this search issue.

How to Fix outlook 2016 search not working

Fix outlook 2016 search not working

Uses of the search bar:

  • It helps in filtering down the inbox contents on the basis of the terms entered. It can be alphabetical, according to names, types, etc.
  • It does not just sort its way through the received mails, rather all the content on your outlook account.


Prior to starting any troubleshooting methods, here is a compilation of some of the reasons why the outlook 2016 search not working issue arises in the first place.

These can be used to assess the exact solution and save the users a lot of time and contemplation.

  • The primary and most common reason for this is an underlying indexing issue.
  • It could be because the index at the time of setting up the account has been lost or forgotten.
  • If the locations column has been disabled accidentally.
  • If the search bar has disappeared from the upper tab or lost, in which case you can simply restore it back.


Follow these methods of solution to fix the outlook 2016 search not working problem:

  1. You can begin by working on a possible indexing issue, as:
  • Open the program and find the search column on the left side of the homepage.
  • From the drop-down menu, you can see an option called indexing options.
  • Open the advanced tab and go to settings from there.
  • Choose the rebuilding option and wait for a while.
  • The waiting time depends on the amount of information stored.
  • Once done, restart the program and check again.
  1. If you believe the culprit behind this problem is a corruption issue the:
  • Go to the start button and find the option that says, file explorer.
  • Type in a command – scanpst.exe.
  • Hit enter and it will locate and fix any corruptions that might be present in any of the files, thus leading to this search issue.

How to fix Outlook Indexing Status

It’s necessary to check Outlook Indexing Status if the indexing tool isn’t operating or isn’t performing properly. For example, it’s possible that the latest email search result won’t appear since Outlook’s email search isn’t working. It may also show things based on search parameters waiting to be indexed in the output panel, similar to how Outlook searches by date.

To check the indexing status in Outlook 2016, follow these steps:

  • Open Outlook 2016 and click on the ‘Search bar.
  • Click the ‘Search Tools drop-down and choose ‘Indexing Status…’
fix Outlook Indexing Status
  • Click ‘OK’ when the Outlook has finished indexing all of your items‘ message is displayed within the ‘Indexing Status’ dialog box.
fix Outlook Indexing Status
Outlook will display mailboxes that are waiting to be indexed after the indexing is finished. You can use the search tool, however owing to the incomplete indexing status, you may not be able to discover the desired emails or receive incomplete results. Rebuild the Outlook index if the indexing does not complete.

How to Rebuild outlook search index

If Outlook is not searching all of your emails correctly, you can rebuild the Outlook search index to fix this

  • Click on File then Options
  • Select Search on the left then click Indexing Option

How to Rebuild outlook search index

  • Click Advanced
    How to Rebuild outlook search index
  • Click the Rebuild button
    Click Rebuild microsoft outlook
  • Outlook will have to rebuild its whole search index as result of this.
  • This can take long time, but you can keep using Outlook while it works on it in the background.

Customer service

If none of our above-mentioned solutions seem to work for you, then you can reach out to the customer support team and let relay the outlook 2016 search not working issue that you are facing. Dial +1-888-362-0111 if you are facing any email issues.

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