Outlook users who recently upgraded to Windows 11 have been experiencing issues with not being able to search their old emails, with the client sometimes freezing when performing searches.
“This issue will occur with any accounts where email and other items are stored locally in PST or OST files such as POP and IMAP accounts,” Microsoft said, “For accounts that are stored hosted on Exchange and Microsoft 365, this issue affects offline searches for data in locally stored OST files. ”
The issue appears to be that Microsoft deletes the Windows Search Index file when upgrading to Windows 11. Affected clients include Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, and Outlook 2016.
Windows will automatically rebuild the index, but it may take some time. To see the status of that process, go to the Search box, select Search Tools, and then select Indexing Status on the ribbon.
If you want to bypass the problem completely, you can tell Outlook that you want to use Outlook’s internal search instead of the Windows Search Index by using registry editing.
How to fix Outlook Search not working on Windows 11
- In Windows, right-click Start, and then select Run. In the Open: type regedit box, and then click OK. This will open the registry editor.
- Find this subkey in the registry and then click on it:
- Click Edit > New > Key and name the new key Windows Search.
- Select the new Windows Search key.
- Click Edit > New > DWORD Value.
- Type PreventIndexingOutlook for the name of the DWORD, then press Enter.
- Right-click PreventIndexingOutlook, and then click Modify.
- In the Value data box, type 1 to enable the registry entry, and then click OK.
- Exit Registry Editor, and then restart Outlook.
If you want to re-enable Windows Desktop Search, you need to disable the PreventIndexingOutlook setting by entering 0 (zero) and clicking OK.
Let us know if this solution fixed the problem for you in the comments section below.
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