Microsoft Office Software

What can you do if Outlook search returns no results?

Outlook search
Now where did I put that O?

Much as I love Outlook, it’s a royal PITA after an update. For reasons known only to those Redmond hipsters creating the code, every time it updates it also wipes my Outlook search cache – so when, as I did this morning, I need to find a specific invoice it returned zero results.

In fact, every time I searched for anything I received no results. From past experience, the Outlook search cache will return at some point – a day later, perhaps – but only in its own time, thank you very much.

But, you can force it to rebuild the cache so you can find search results once more. Here’s how.

First, press the Windows key and type “indexing options”.

Microsoft Outlook indexing options
This is the indexing options dialog after I’d kicked off the rebuild

Then click Advanced.

Rebuild Microsoft Outlook index
Click the Rebuild button if you’re getting no search results… then prepare to wait.

And then click Rebuild.

It will take a while, but at least you’ll avoid that dreaded “Zero results” message.

Read next: Will Grammarly make me a betterer writer?

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email

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