[German]Since May 5, 2020, some users of Microsoft Outlook have been suffering from the fact that the search does not work. A connection with the Office updates is suspected. Actually Microsoft should have rolled out a fix since 13 May 2020.
Reports about broken Outlook search
Does anyone of you have problems with searching in Outlook? We get the message “Something didn’t work and your search couldn’t be completed”.
German blog reader Marc confirmed this error and added some additional hints, and also a temporary workaround. He wrote:
Since the update I can confirm the problems. All computers in the company network report this error. In use are Office 2016 and Office 2019, both in the click-and-run versions and both 32-bit and 64-bit.
The troubleshooter also detects an “Incorrect permissions for Windows Search directories” error. If you change the permissions and grant more rights (even with EVERYONE is allowed EVERYTHING) it does not work.
He states that all problem solutions he has researched have not been successful so far, but suggests a workaround: If the Exchange cache mode is switched off, the search works again! This is described in this Microsoft support article.
At reddit.com you can find this thread about the issue. It reports the same problem, and says that Office 2016/2019 is affected, but not Office 2010 and 2013 with Outlook. I’ve also seen voices reporting the problem on Office 365. It’s affecting click-to-run installations that update directly from Office.
Fix announced for May 13, 2020
On reddit.com this thread contains a note from a user quoting a service advisory from Microsoft.
EX212460 – Many users will see searches failing in the Outlook desktop client
Title: Many users will see searches failing in the Outlook desktop client
User Impact: Users may experience search failures in the Outlook desktop client.
More info: Users’ searches will default to a local search, they will be unable to search the Exchange Online service. This issue is only affecting on-premises users using non-Modern authentication. Users who have access to Outlook on the web may be able to use that protocol as an alternative method to search the service.
Current status: We’ve completed developing the fix and it’s undergoing internal validation, which is expected to be completed on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Once complete, we’ll initiate deployment to all impacted environments.
Scope of impact: This issue may potentially affect any of your users attempting to search in their Outlook desktop clients. Root cause: An issue in the authentication process is misrouting search requests, causing some requests to fail.
Next update by: Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1:00 AM UTC
It appears to affect OnPremise users with Outlook on the desktop, but only when Exchange Online is included as a service. Then the search on Exchange Online does not work. Bleeping Computer has addressed this also within this article.
Workaround for Outlook search
Currently, deactivating the server-based search seems to help as a workaround (then the local search works again). German blog-reader Kannix provided a hint in this comment – he says disabling server assisted search shall fix the issue. The Techcommunity post here provides the relevant registry entries (DisableServerAssistedSearch) and Bleeping Computer probably described tha in this post too.
Update didn’t solve the problem?
Meanwhile, Sansor’s comment states that his Outlook has updated to version 2004 12730.20270, but the problem is still there. How does this look like for you? Was there an update that fixed the search problem in Outlook?