Windows 11: Fix for broken Outlook search

[German]Users who have upgraded to Windows 11 and use Microsoft Outlook may run into the problem that Outlook search no longer works. Now Microsoft has released a workaround for Outlook 2016 that brings search results back again.


Users report problems

Shortly after the Windows 11 preview versions were released, users reported that Outlook search was broken. The following tweet addresses this.

Outlook Search broken in Windows 11

There is a similar post from a user on Microsoft also has a tech community post Outlook 2007 search on Windows 11 fails by returning no results about that issue.

Since I upgraded to windows 11, Outlook no longer can search for text in messages.

This was working on Windows 10 and Windows 8/7.

This issue is causing me a headache, I had this issue when upgraded to Windows 10 but was able to fix it searching on the net.

I have tried everything Microsoft support pages suggested, and many others, but with no resolution.

Thank you for any help to resolve the problem.

Since Outlook 2007 has fallen out of support, not much in the way of feedback was expected. But besides confirmations, someone wrote that they were able to fix the problem by turning off indexing.

Microsoft publishes a workaround

As colleagues here found out, Microsoft already confirmed the problem in a support post Outlook search does not return results after upgrade to Windows 11 at the end of October 2021. The problem description:


After upgrade to Windows 11, Outlook searches return no results. This issue will happen with any account where the emails and other items are stored locally in PST or OST files such as POP and IMAP accounts. For Exchange and Microsoft 365 hosted accounts, this issue will affect offline search for the data in the locally stored OST files.

The cause is that the search index is deleted during the Windows upgrade and then recreated after the upgrade is complete. While this is expected behavior, it causes interruptions until the search index is recreated, Microsoft writes. To resolve the broken Outlook search issue, Microsoft suggests checking to see if the index is in the rebuild state:

  1. In Outlook, select the Search field.
  2. From the ribbon, select Search Tools and then Indexing Status.

Outlook Indexing status

If indexing is taking too long and searches need to be performed urgently, a registry key can be set that instructs Outlook to use built-in search with the steps listed in the Temporary Workaround section of this article. This step is described in this blog post

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