Windows 10: Outlook search broken again or fixed by Microsoft? (Jan. 2022)

[German]Are you experiencing still (or again) issues with Outlook desktop search on Windows 10, after installing the January 2022 updates? I got reports from German blog readers about this issue (mails couln't be found). On the other hand, there is a new status message from Microsoft dated 1/19/2021 that they want to have the broken Outlook Search on Windows 10 fixed by KIR.


Issues with Windows 10-Update KB5007253

The support article for update KB5007253 (for Windows 10 Version 2004 – 21H2) dated November 22, 2021 says now within the list of known issues:

After installing the November 22, 2021 or later updates, the recently used emails may not appear in the search results in the Microsoft Outlook desktop app. This issue is related to emails stored locally in a PST or OST file. This can affect POP and IMAP accounts, as well as accounts hosted on Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365. If the default search in the Microsoft Outlook app is set to Server Search, the issue only affects Advanced Search.

So the Outlook search bug has been bothering people for quite a while. Microsoft recommended disabling desktop search as a workaround so that Outlook uses its own search.

Windows 10 status entry on Outlook search

Microsoft has published a new entry Outlook search might not locate recent emails in the Windows 10 status area as of Jan. 19, 2021, pointing out an issue with Outlook search caused by update KB5007253 (for Windows 10 version 2004 – 21H2) dated Nov. 22, 2021.  

After installing KB5007253 or later updates, recent emails might not appear in search results on Outlook desktop app. This issue is related to emails which have been stored locally in a PST or OST files. It might affect POP and IMAP accounts, as well as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365 hosted accounts. If the default search in the Outlook app is set to server search, the issue will only affect the advanced search.

Workaround: To mitigate the issue, you can disable Windows Desktop Search which will cause Outlook to use its built-in search. For instructions, see Outlook Search not showing recent emails after Windows update KB5008212.

Resolution: This issue is resolved using Known Issue Rollback (KIR). Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your Windows device might help the resolution apply to your device faster. For enterprise-managed devices that have installed an affected update and encountered this issue, it can be resolved by installing and configuring a special Group Policy (preferred). Important Verify that you are using the correct Group Policy for your version of Windows.

Group Policy:

Affected platforms:

  • Client: Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 1809; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019
  • Server: Windows Server, version 20H2; Windows Server, version 1809; Windows Server 2019

According to the post above, this problem is said to have been fixed by the KIR function that rolls back the component in question.  By the way, there was another fix for Windows 11 recently (see Windows 11: Fix for broken Outlook search).

New reports about Outlook search issues

Some German blog readers reporting again issues with Outlook desktop search in this comment thread on January 17, 2022 (I have translated the comments below):


 MasterBlaster: Is anyone actually still having problems with Outlook Search? For us the error still occurs despite January updates… after the update it indexed the mails, but meanwhile it happens again that incoming mails are not found. I guess the problem is not completely solved.

Answer from Stefan A.: We have problems with the Outlook search again!
A colleague of mine, who I knew had problems with the Outlook search, had all updates (Win + Office) installed on Wednesday.
Thursday the search worked again, according to my colleague (and  had the topic marked as fixed).
I had also given feedback here in the blog…

Since Friday, however, the search in Outlook no longer works exactly on this PC / at the colleague.

We are now waiting for feedback from other colleagues.

But I don't understand it yet, why the Outlook desktop search worked again one day [after installing an update] and now is broken again …

We are still investigating!

The notifications were made before 1/19/2021, where a rollback was made via KIR. Administrators do have to use appropriate policies (see links above) to trigger the rollback. The colleagues at Bleeping Computer also reported that KIR fix from Microsoft here, but there is also a user comment, saying:

i installed the patch for 21H1 but outlook 365 can't find the latest mails yet

And another user complains, that the msi files provided by Microsoft to trigger KIR in managed environments won't work as expected. Also my German blog post of the above article received an administrator feedback, that most uses still has a broken Outlook desktop search under Windows Server 2012R2 using Microsoft Office 2013. Question: Are the Outlook search issues fixed in your environment?

Similar article:
Windows 11: Fix for broken Outlook search
Outlook 2016: Die Suche liefert keine Ergebnisse mehr
December 2021 security update KB5008212 kills Outlook Search
Old Outlook versions: No more access to Office 365/Microsoft 365 services as of Nov. 1, 2021
Exchange 2016/2019: Outlook problems due to AMSI integration
Microsoft Office Patchday (July 6, 2021), Fix for Outlook Crashes
Windows 10: Outlook 2013 fails, if virtualization software is installed
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