PSA: Outlook on Windows 11 has issues with search right now

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft Outlook Windows 10

If you feel like the search function of Outlook in Windows 11 isn’t working right, then you’re not alone. Microsoft has published a new support page, detailing how Outlook search might not display recent emails on Windows 11 properly.

According to the support page, this issue mainly impacts those who use POP, IMAP, and offline Exchange accounts. These types of accounts mainly use the Windows Search service to index email, and emails hosted by Microsoft 365 or a connected Exchange server that uses Search Service are not impacted. Microsoft says it is working on a solution and provides a workaround.

This workaround involves disabling Windows Desktop Search, forcing Outlook to use the built-in search. Here’s how, but keep in mind that these steps involve tweaking the registry, which is always a risky task.

  1. Open the registry editor in Windows 11 as as administrator
  2. Find this subkey in the registry and then select it: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  3. Select Edit > New > Key and name the new key Windows Search
  4. Select the new Windows Search key.
  5. Select Edit > New > DWORD Value.
  6. Type PreventIndexingOutlook for the name of the DWORD, and then press Enter
  7. Right-click PreventIndexingOutlook, and then select Modify…
  8. In the Value data box, type 1 to enable the registry entry, and then select OK
  9. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart Outlook

Microsoft last updated this support page on July 8, and there’s no word yet on when a fix will be released. This seems to be more of a bug with Outlook than it is with Windows 11, but a Patch Tuesday fix, coming up this week on July 12 could bring a resolution. We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, try the above workaround if you have issues.