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Summary: Our blog post is your go-to resource for resolving the frustrating issue of “Instant Search not displaying any results” in Outlook. We provide a step-by-step guide to help you identify and tackle the root causes behind this common problem. Learn how to troubleshoot issues related to indexing, Outlook settings, and third-party add-ins that might be affecting your search functionality. With our expert advice and practical tips, you’ll be able to restore the power of instant search in Outlook, making your email management smoother and more efficient.

Instant Search is an invaluable feature embedded within Microsoft Outlook, enabling users to swiftly locate specific emails, messages, calendar items, journals, and more. However, there are instances when this feature experiences functionality issues or ceases to work as expected. When utilizing Instant Search in MS Outlook versions such as 2007, 2010, or 2013, users might encounter the following messages within the Indexing Status dialog box:

  • “No matches found.”
    In this, the Instant Search doesn’t display any results
  • “Search results may be incomplete because items are still being indexed.”
    In this, the Instant Search displays the results only partially.

An underlying reason behind the malfunction of Outlook’s search functionality may be attributed to issues with the Windows Indexing service. In such cases, the solution often involves rebuilding the ‘Index’ generated by the indexing service.

Solution to fix “Instant Search does not Display any Results” in Outlook

  1. Rebuilding the Index

    The most effective solution to address this issue is to rebuild the index, which also tends to resolve other minor problems. To accomplish this, simply follow these straightforward steps:

    • Go to Control Panel and click “Indexing options.” A window will appear like this:
    • Now, select the “Advanced” option to rebuild the index. A window will display on your screen showing the “Rebuild” button. Click this button to start the rebuilding process.

    The rebuilding process may take several hours to complete. Therefore, it’s advisable to allow the system to rest undisturbed until the rebuilding process is finished.

    In addition to rebuilding the index, there are alternative solutions available if you prefer to avoid the lengthy index rebuilding process.

  2. Removing Outlook from Windows Indexing
    1. Firstly open Microsoft Outlook and click on the File tab.
    2. Now go to Options, then to Search Setting and then Indexing Options.
    3. Hit on Modify.
    4. Now un-check the checkbox beside Microsoft Outlook.
    5. Close the Outlook also from Task Manager, if Outlook running, click on End Process.
    6. Lastly restart the Outlook and check whether the Outlook instant issue is fixed or not.
  3. Remove the Window Search Feature and Install Again
    This issue can sometimes stem from a damaged Windows Search option. If you suspect that the Windows Search installation is corrupted, you can easily remove and reinstall it. For Windows 7 users, here are the steps to reinstall the Windows Search feature:

    • Go to Control Panel>>Programs and click on “Turn Windows features on or off” in the left pane of the screen.
    • Now, deselect “Windows Search” option from the list and click “OK” to uninstall the Windows search option.
    • Now reboot your system
    • Once the system reboot is done, you can enable this feature with the same process.

    However, if you are using Windows 8 or 10, then you will not find “Windows Search” option in the programs. To disable “Windows Search” in Windows 8 or 10, follow these steps:

    • Open the Run Window by Pressing Window Button + R, type services.msc in it and click “Ok.”
    • Scroll down to “Windows Search” in the displayed window and double-click on it.
    • A window will be displayed on the screen, now find “Startup type:” and select “Disable.” Then click “Stop” to stop the service and click “Apply,” and then Restart the computer. The “Window Search” option will be disabled from your PC. You can turn it on, by following the same steps.
  4. Ensure that Indexing is complete
    The second option to solve this problem is to check if the PST file or mailbox are indexed or not. To check for index marking, you can follow these steps;

    • In Outlook 2010
      1. Launch Outlook and click the “File” option from the up left corner.
      2. Now, click Options>>Search>>Indexing options>>Modify>>Expand Microsoft Outlook.

      A list will be shown in Microsoft Outlook; you’ll have to make sure that the PST file or mailbox is displayed and marked on the list. And if it is not listed, then you’ll have to recreate your mail profile.

    • In Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
      1. Launch Outlook and Click “File” option from the up-left corner.
      2. Now, click Options, and go to Search Section>>Indexing options>>Modify

        In the indexing option, you have to make sure that Outlook is selected because Outlook 2013 and 2016 doesn’t provide you the option to index specific mailboxes or PST files. So, you have to index the complete Outlook.
  5. Check for corruption in PST Files

    If the Outlook is not displaying the correct results even after marking the PST file, it could be due to corruption in the PST file. In order to fix this, you have to repair your corrupted PST file. There are several methods to repair a PST file, but the simplest method is to use Kernel PST Repair Tool. This tool can help you repair any corrupted PST files.

    Once the file is repaired, open Outlook and check for indexing. To check for indexing, follow these steps;
    Open Outlook, click Tools>>Instant Search>>Indexing Status

    However, if the size of PST file or Mailbox is too big, then it can take some time for the indexing. If it’s showing that the PST files and Mailboxes are indexed, then you’ll not face this problem again.

  6. Reset the Index
    Even after rebuilding the index, if the Instant Search does not display any results, then try restoring defaults. The difference between “Rebuild” and “Reset” is that apart from resetting all customize indexing settings, the reset method will also recreate the actual index files.

    Follow these steps to reset the Index.

    • Type “Troubleshooting” in the Search bar
    • On the left pane of window screen, you’ll see “View All.” Click this button.
    • A list of options will pop up, select “Search and Indexing” from it.
    • Click “Advanced“; click “Run as Administrator.”
    • Click “Next” and complete the process by following the on-screen instructions.

The four methods mentioned above have proven to be highly effective in resolving the ‘Instant Search does not display any results’ error.

The solutions discussed above have proven to be highly effective in resolving the ‘Instant Search does not display any results’ issue.



The issue of ‘Instant Search not working’ is a common challenge encountered by Outlook users, often leading them to search the internet for solutions. However, it’s not a major problem. In this article, we’ve outlined several effective methods that can be employed to resolve the ‘Instant search doesn’t display results’ error.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair