Microsoft warns about search issues in Outlook on Windows 11 [Update]

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Microsoft has updated its Office documentation with a notification about a newly found issue in Outlook. According to the company's findings, Outlook Desktop users on Windows 11 might encounter problems with built-in search. The program might not display the most recent emails in the search results.

The bug affects POP, IMAP, and offline Exchange accounts, which use the local Windows Search service to index and locate emails. Microsoft says Microsoft 365 and connected Exchange accounts are unaffected.

Microsoft is currently investigating the new bug. Meanwhile, users can bypass the issue using a temporary hack. Microsoft recommends disabling Windows Desktop Search to force Outlook to switch to its built-in search service. Here is how to do that:

  1. Press Win + R and type regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows and select Edit > New > Key.
  3. Rename the new key to Windows Search.
  4. Select the Windows Search Key and click Edit > New > DWORD Value.
  5. Rename the new value to PreventIndexingOutlook and press Enter.
  6. Open the PreventIndexingOutlook value and change its value data to 1. Use 0 to revert the changes.
  7. Click Ok to save the changes.
  8. Close Registry Editor and restart Outlook.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Microsoft recommends users to disable Windows Search Service to fix problems in Outlook Desktop. A similar situation happened last year to those willing to pull the trigger and try the first preview builds of Windows 11.

You can learn more about the bug in the official documentation.


Update: Microsoft fixed the issue in KB5015882, released on July 21, 2022.

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