Windows 11: Outlook search does not find new mails – the solution

The Outlook search may not find new emails on Windows 11 PCs. That’s why and that’s what Microsoft advises.

In a support document, Microsoft warns that the Outlook search is faulty and does not find all new or new emails on Windows 11 computers. Only the Outlook desktop 11 app is affected. If you look in the Windows 11 control panel, you will see that indexing is very slow or completely paused.

That is the reason

According to Microsoft, the problem primarily affects users with POP and IMAP accounts and offline Exchange accounts. Since the Outlook search function mainly uses the local Windows search to index e-mails in these cases, Outlook suffers from Windows indexing problems. On the other hand, mails that are on Microsoft 365 servers and/or are connected to Exchange accounts use the search service of these services for most search areas and are therefore not affected by this problem.

Workaround to temporarily solve the problem

Microsoft is currently working on a solution, the company says.


You are affected by the issue: As a temporary workaround, Microsoft recommends turning off Windows desktop search. After that, Outlook uses its internal search. To turn off use of Windows desktop search:

  • In Windows, right-click “Start” and then select “Run”. Then type “Regedit” in the window that opens and select “OK” to open the “Registry Editor”.

  • Locate and select this entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows

  • Choose “Edit > New > Key” and name the key “Windows Search”.

  • Select the new “Windows Search” key.

  • Choose Edit > New > DWORD Value.

  • Type “PreventIndexingOutlook” as the name for “DWORD” and press “Enter”.

  • Right-click on “PreventIndexingOutlook” and then select “Modify….”

  • In the “Value data box” enter “1” to enable the registry entry and then select “OK”.

  • Exit Registry Editor and restart Outlook.

A notice:

To turn off the PreventIndexingOutlook setting, enter “0” (zero) and choose “OK”.

According to Bleepingcomputer, there were already problems with the mail search in Outlook on Windows 11 computers in December 2021.

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