Microsoft fixes Windows 10 search issues in Outlook desktop app

Microsoft has fixed a known issue causing search issues for Outlook users after installing Windows 10 security updates released since November 2021.

As the company explains, searches on the Outlook desktop app may fail and recent emails may not appear in search results if they are stored locally in PST or OST files.

“This could affect POP and IMAP accounts, as well as hosted Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365 accounts,” Microsoft to explaind in a newly added entry on the Windows Health Dashboard.

“If the default search in the Outlook application is set to server search, the issue will only affect advanced search.”

Windows platforms affected by this known issue (first acknowledged earlier this month) include both client (several versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11) and server versions:

  • 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

Fixed Outlook search on Windows 10

Microsoft has resolved this issue on affected Windows 10 devices, either through out-of-band Windows updates released on Monday or through the Known Issues Rollback (KIR) feature.

Those who receive the patch via KIR may have to wait for the rollout to reach their systems until it propagates to all affected systems.

“Please note that the resolution may take up to 24 hours to automatically propagate to consumer devices and unmanaged business devices. Restarting your Windows device may help the resolution apply to your device faster,” said said Microsoft.

Windows administrators can also install and configure group policies to resolve the issue on company-managed devices.

Microsoft has released the following Group Policies for enterprise environments (a restart is required after configuring Group Policy):

Workaround for Windows 11 users

While a fix for the Outlook search issue is already rolling out to all affected Windows 10 devices, Microsoft says it is “still working on a resolution and will provide an update in a future release” for affected Windows 11 systems. .

As a temporary workaround, Microsoft advises Windows 11 customers and those who have not yet received the patch via KIR to mitigate the Outlook search bug by disabling Windows Desktop Search and switching to Outlook’s built-in search engine. .

“To alleviate the problem, you can disable Windows Desktop Search, which will force Outlook to use its built-in search. For instructions, see Outlook Search does not show recent emails after Windows update KB5008212“, said Microsoft.

As previously reported in December, Outlook users also experienced search issues in Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, and Outlook 2016 after upgrading to Windows 11.

These issues started appearing in June 2021 after the first preview builds of Windows 11 appeared, and they also impacted emails and other items stored locally in PST or OST files, such than POP and IMAP accounts.

As a mitigation, Microsoft also recommended switching to Outlook’s built-in search engine, which would work around the cause: Windows search breaks after deleting search index when upgrading Windows 11.

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