Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007

Instant Search is one of the best features added to Outlook 2007. The problem was that it never worked well for me … until I carried out a series of quick fixes.


Search in Outlook 2007 uses Vista's (or Windows Desktop's) Search Indexes. If these are not built properly or corrupt you may find that Outlook Search does not work properly.

In my case, Search was failing miserably. It wouldn’t even find words in the email that I was currently on.

There are two possible solutions:

Disable Instant Search (Go back to Outlook 2002-2003 Style Search)

Rebuild the Search Index

Disabling is OK as a temporary solution but is not a real fix.


Warning: This process takes a long time. I suggest you run it just before you leave the office for the day (or just before you go to sleep)

If you are using Vista:

Click the Windows Start button and type "index. Indexing Options should appear under programs.

Click Indexing Options to bring up the Indexing Options screen.

Instruction for Vista Users are continued after the section on Windows XP below ...

If you are using Microsoft Windows XP:
Open the Control Panel:
In Classic view, double-click Indexing Options.
In normal view: Under See Also, click Other Control Panel Options, and then click Indexing Options.

Once your Indexing Options Screen is open ...

Click the Advanced button to bring up the following screen.

Click Rebuid.

Your current Search Indexes will be deleted and rebuilt. Tomorrow morning you should find Search working perfectly again.


Redd said...

Disabling Vista's UAV will help. It is a known cause for Outlook's search not functioning.

RogerWilkerson said...

dumb question, what is uva?

Sanjay Singh said...

uva? Not sure ... In case you are referring to Suva ... this is the capital of the (tropical) country Fiji ... and where our company is based.

RogerWilkerson said...

OK, so I meant Vista's UAV. What is it? Where is it? How do I disable it?

RogerWilkerson said...

Once again, I ask the question: what is Vista's UAV? Where is it? How do I disable it?

Sanjay Singh said...

Vista's UAC ... User Account Control. I have it turned on on my computer and Search works fine.

Google Vista UAC and you will find a lot of info on what it is and how to use it.

Following links may be useful:


RogerWilkerson said...

But Sanjay, in your own reference you say Vista UAV.

Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007

Now your are talking about Vista's UAC.

Is it UAC or UAV?

I did google UAV many times and got nothing.

Sanjay Singh said...

Post on UAV was made by a reader of the blog ... I assume they were referring to UAC (C and V are next to each other on keyboard and this was most likely a typing error).


RogerWilkerson said...

I had tried everything posted on your site and a few other posted solutions. However, turning off the UAC solved the problem. I'm now back to indexing without a problem.

soso said...

I am using Vista business with MS2007 business. I tried all suggested, but I still can not search the emails I wanted.

Most of the people should have a lot of emails and search is very important. I wonder if anyone has a firm solution that can be shared.

I can't work without the search function as I have large numbers of emails and they are on sub folders. Anyway, I don't think my situation is unique.

RogerWilkerson said...

Turning off UAC in vista solved my problem. Follow the directions on how to turn off UAC(user access control).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the fix. I am constantly amazed how bad windows sucks as an OS. I guess the upside of being forced to used windows at work makes me appreciate my mac even more.

Jolie Bakken said...

I am using Windows XP and cannot find the "Indexing Options" in my control panel. Does this mean I do not have it? If so, where can I download it?

Tommy said...

I am using XP Professional and also do not have an Indexing Option under Other Options of the Control Panel. My problem began when I imported the Address Book from OE to Outlook 2007. Following the import (don't know if the problem existed prior to the import), when I add a new Contact, it seems to save ok but does not appear in the Contacts list or in a Search (even Advanced Search). However, it I try to add the contact again, Outlook reports that it is a duplicate and shows me the information for the original contact. Exiting and restarting Outlook does not fix the problem. Outlook seems to know the contacts are there, I just can't use them.