How to get complete search results in Outlook 2013


After upgrading to Outlook 2013, me and my colleagues were annoyed by the search results in Outlook 2013. Typically, if you search for a common term, you get at most a page-full of results, with the most recent hits. Something like this:

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There is link at the bottom, saying “More”, but clicking this one never yield much result.

The solution is fortunately not far away. Just click “File > Options > Search” and uncheck “Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown”, like this:

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Now, if you go back and do the same result, you should get more results!

One last thing: You may still get the “More” option, but now it refers the messages not cached locally on your machine. Starting from Outlook 2013, the client will by default only cache messages for the last 12 months, but this is easily configurable, as well. See this support article for details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2733062

Happy searching!


Comments (40)

  1. Toby Kwan says:

    Hi there,

    There's no "Like" or "This solved my problem" button so I have to type here coz u exactly solved my problem.  Thanks!

    Toby

  2. Mircea Coste says:

    +1 happy "annoyed" colleague 🙂

    Thanks!

  3. Ugh. says:

    "me and my colleagues" Even simple grammar seems to be dead.

  4. Matt Williams says:

    Weirdly, I'm finding that things appear in search results that don't contain keywords, so I'm seeing more than I want, not less.

  5. Patrick says:

    thanks, I was about to revert back !

    also, if you are using Lync…even though I have my search selected to "current folder" I see to get all sub folder so it will bring up every IM I have ever sent. I fixed this by selecting "current folder" on the top task bar under FILE

  6. caroline says:

    the search funcationality in 2013 is truly AWFUL – never find anything anymore…..

  7. Worthless says:

    We have reindexed, rebuilt the outlook profile, if anything unchecking that box makes it worst. No luck. Looks like 2010 will have to stay

  8. James Squire says:

    Solved my problem for me too….. Many thanks

  9. Jody Krazeise says:

    Tried this on 2 different machines and it made ours worse too.  Instead of getting multiple items with the original search, now only get one item.

  10. J L says:

    Thanks so much!  What ever happened to the MS people who truly looked at how we use their software before they change it for the "better"?

  11. Jonathan says:

    Hi. Thanks for the fix but it only worked for one day and then showed me the 'more' again! annoying Microsoft.

  12. Jason Wynn says:

    Like everyone else; a simple yet efficient fix. Thank you!

  13. Lwc says:

    What on earth (or should I be looking elsewhere?) has happened not just at MS but many major software companies?  The tasks a computer does uniquely well, such as searching through large numbers of records, have become secondary, lost, and/or hidden in favor of mostly useless but entertaining swoopy-whooshy functionality that appeals to those that have no idea of what a computer is really about.  I guess I answered my own question…

  14. Kim says:

    OMG thank you!!! We installed outlook 2013 a few weeks ago and since then I have been stressing because I thought i'd lost a whole bunch of emails in the transition!! Problem solved!!! Thank you!

  15. Heberts says:

    THIS MAKES MY 64-BIT Outlook search 1000% faster too just my unticking that check box.

  16. JSchilberg says:

    Thank you!!! The limited results were driving me NUTS! Leave it to Microsoft to scatter settings across multiple control areas (panels???).

  17. Kris says:

    I unchecked the improve search speed box, and also changed it to "All' so all the emails should show up. Yet when i do a search, it still doesn't show accurate results and the "more" option is still on the bottom of the email. Why?

  18. ariedia says:

    Cannot find answer to my problem anywhere. When I search for a string in outlook, it returns a list of items. I open them and try to "find" the string inside the items and the string is not found. I suspect is related to the fact that the items have a word document attached. But, even when I open the attachment and try to find the string inside the word document, it returns "no match found". Apparently the string is hidden in the word document and I cannot find it anywhere. HELP PLEASE!!!

  19. StefanS says:

    To avoid this kind of search results I use Lookeen. This tool supplies the correct typ of search results. Its easy to operate and increases your outlook productivity. You can try the 14 days trial on http://www.lookeen.com

    Addition: I work for the vendor of Lookeen.

  20. Ilse says:

    How do I do an EXACT Match Search? When I type in (0) bracket, zero, bracket it shows calendar items which does not contain bracket, zero, bracket in the notes section.

  21. chrystinp says:

    Thanks, the company I work for has just switched us all over from 2010 (great product) to 2013 (annoyingly not a great product).  This has been driving me crazy, too,  Thanks for the help!

  22. Joe says:

    I too am annoyed with outlook 2013 search results. 2010 and under were working great. If it's not broken don't fix it. Microsoft you guys got to really listen to us!

  23. No search box says:

    There is no search box anywhere on the Outlook 2013 ribbon.

  24. OutlookBlows says:

    I cannot believe how terrible the search is in Outlook 2013.  Astonishingly, we-are-in-alpha-still bad.

    Office 365 running same search criteria, infinitely better.

  25. Cooper says:

    I'm not usually the guy typing stuff, but really thanks this time , you solved me a lot of trouble.

  26. Karen says:

    Before 2013, when I typed something in the search box it automatically brought up emails as I typed.  Now I have to click the search magnifying glass or click enter every time.  Example:  if I wanted to look for the word vacation, it would bring up emails with vac as I typed.  Now I have to type vac (or vacation) and click enter.  It's not a lot of effort but it is annoying when I'm not accustomed to having to do that.  Is there a setting I can change to where I won't have to click enter or the search glass each time?

  27. Anna says:

    In the 2010 version you could type: "from: Peter" and then all e-mails sent from "Peter-something" would come up – does this function no longer exist??

  28. User1 says:

    If I Type:  from: Peter it works without the quotes.  If I type it as you have it seems to be searching for anything that actually contains from: Peter which is nothing.  The quotes make the search think it's looking for that exact phrase of from: Peter instead of emails from Peter.

  29. Jayson says:

    Thanks Thomas, this is a great and easy tutorial, I've faced this issue with some of my users. Then pair it with configuring the cached mode to download all the data from the server to avoid any delay during searching.

  30. Mcsnert says:

    The Search in Outlook 2013 is so completely screwed up it is mind boggling. It returns arbitrary results not even close to what I'm searching for.  I know I have received email from a particular sender but it will not find them.  Another example of Microsoft screwing up a decent product.  It is criminal the ineptitude at Microsoft.

  31. Jarle says:

    Microsoft search itself could not find it's own but. Jelous of my find that have Outlook on mac, he finds anything, the way it's it's supposed to be… 🙁 MS product suck on MS OS, but not a Mac… TIRED of software not working, in general.

  32. Unbeliveable says:

    Confirmed, Outlook 2013 v15.0.4727.1000 does not find all results on a super simple search. For example I can't find the FIRST (newest) email in Inbox when I write the sender name or a word in the subject in the ctrl+e search bar. Absolutely unbeliveable. (As one workaround you may try quitting and relaunching, don't know if it helps but you can try.)

  33. Try this! says:

    None of the fixes I found on Internet helped for my problem (ctrl+e Instant Search does not find results). However, this helped me:

    Start / Control Panel, Mail (32-bit), E-mail Accounts (E-mail tab), New, E-mail Account and Next, fill Your Name + E-mail Address + Password and Next, Finish. For some reason didn't add an account, but Instant Search started finding lots and lots of results right after closing and reopening Outlook 2013.

  34. Frans says:

    The way to fix it is the following:

    Create a whole new profile, and add the email account of the user, so that the whole local mailbox will be rebuild, forcing the indexing of the whole mailbox.

    Mailbox will now update all the items (inbox, sent items etc), and this will take some time, until it is finished.

    After that, you can use the search again, and it will display results immediately, or will ask you to search on the server.

  35. NdiliMfumu says:

    Every time I restart Outlook 2013 Pro Plus, it wants to completely rebuild the Index.  It takes HOURS before Search is finally available.  What's going on? I've already made all necessary optimizations, as above.

  36. Paul says:

    I've heard of 'less is more' but Outlook 2013 Quick Search is the time I've seen where 'more' is less…

  37. Allan says:

    Thank you for this. This is very helpful.

  38. STEMALO says:

    What hell Microsoft, i just went from 2010 to 2013 and now a basic function that i need and use everyday is not working. Been on multiple message boards and no permanent fix and no sign of you actually acknowledging the issue.

    Are you still open for business or have you thrown in the towel to Google?

  39. Rui says:

    Hi, I've two accounts (two pst files) in my Outlook 2013. In one account I can search perfectly by old items until now. Other account just show today (and sometimes yesterday) results! I don't whats happen! All configuration is the same for all Outllok I think.

    Can you help me?

  40. SomoIT.net says:

    In Exchange 2013 there is a bug which is solved with CU11 and an additional parameter configuration.

    See my post:

    somoit.net/…/exchange-2013-solved-the-search-results-limited-to-250-bug