How to Fix: Outlook search isn’t working on Mac

outlook search isn't working on mac
outlook search isn’t working on mac

Outlook is a Microsoft email management application which have a macOS version. It provides great time management features and real-time email syncing facility.

Moreover, you can manage all of your email accounts at one place. Though, sometimes you may saw search is not working while finding important email. So, if you are finding a solution to fix this error than you have reached to appropriate site.

Here, we are going to discuss about the solutions when outlook search is not working. It is very common issue of Outlook to show “No Results” while you’re searching for specific email.

The error displays anytime which can prevent your work for some of hours. because, it won’t disappears in few minutes. That’s why you need to solve it as soon as possible by using proper solution.

Reasons why Outlook search not working on Mac :

When you are facing the screen showing “No results”, then there will be some reason behind it. So, now we are going to discuss about the reasons which can be responsible for this error.

In most of cases, Following are the reasons for Outlook Search is not working situation.

Spotlight has not finished indexing data :

Spotlight needs to finish its indexing data process when there is new messages. If indexing process is incomplete, then you will get “No results” notification. Thus, you can find out profile/ mail that you are searching only when the indexing process is completed.

Pending update of Outlook :

You should always keep daily usable apps updated in your MacBook. Sometimes, pending update from long time can also result into showing this kind of error. So, if your Outlook Search is not working then you should also look for its updates.

Profile Name contain special characters :

When you get “No Results” notification, this can be also reason for that error. If profile you are searching contains any special characters then Outlook search won’t able to find it out. The profile which contains special character like, (*), (!), (/), (\), (&) or others can be difficult to found for Outlook search.

When profile is added to Privacy Tab :

The Outlook search won’t find out the profile if it was added to Privacy Tab. As, when the profile is in privacy tab, Spotlight is not allowed to found it. So, this can be also responsible sometimes, when Outlook search is not working on Mac.

The profile or user data is not at Proper location :

“No Results” notification will also displayed when the profile you are looking for is not at appropriate place. There is default location where all data folder are generally saved. So, once you should also checkout there for getting profile or data folder you are searching for.

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Spotlight search is corrupted :

There is also possibility of corrupted spotlight search when your Outlook search won’t work. So, in this kind of situation you need to re-index all the Outlook messages. Basically, these all are the reason why your Mac displayed that Outlook search isn’t working. Now, let us move forward and know about How to Fix Outlook search isn’t working situation.

How to Fix: Outlook search isn’t working on Mac :

Here, we are going to discuss about solution of fixing Outlook search is not working. We will consider most of ways to solve the error so that you can fix it as per the situation occurred.

Method A- Checkout for Updates :

Outdated Outlook software is responsible for not showing profile/ mail you’re searching. That’s why, you should keep your Outlook updated all the time. Here, are the steps to update Outlook app in your MacBook.

  1. Go to Applications and click on App Store app.
  2. Tap on the Update option from all of the options given left side.
  3. If there is pending update of Outlook, then click on update button.
  4. After finishing the update and installing process, Restart your Mac and check whether Outlook search work well or not.

Method B- Ensure that Profile isn’t under Privacy tab :

You should also look into Privacy Tab when you can’t find the profile with help of Outlook search. And if any profile or data folder exist into Privacy tab then you should drag it out and place it to index folder. For this purpose, you can go through following steps.

  1. Open the Apple Menu and go to System Preferences.
  2. Then tap on Spotlight icon and select Privacy Tab.
  3. If the profile or data folder you’re searching is displayed there, then select it and press the (-) minus button given at the left bottom side.
  4. After that, close the spotlight software and restart your Mac. And check whether error is resolved or not.
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Method C- Checkout the presence of special characters in profile name :

If the profile name contains special characters, then you should rename it. The renamed profile name makes easier work for Outlook search to find out profile next time within few minutes/seconds.

Following are the steps of removing special characters from profile name and renaming it.

1. Open “Applications” folder from your Mac. Then Go to the “Outlook” option and right click on it.

2. Select Show Package Contents option from the list.

3. Tap on Content section and then choose “Shared Support” option.

4. Then double click on the Outlook Profile Manager option.

5. Check your profile name whether it contains special character or not. If it contains special characters then open Go menu and click on Go to folder.

6. After that, copy paste the following folder location in it and press Enter.   ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook

7. Now, open Outlook 15 Profiles and then rename Main profile by removing special characters.

8. Restart your Mac and open up Outlook Software to checkout that it works well or not.

Method D- Moving message to another folder :

You can try this trick of moving message to another folder temporarily. And then move all that messages to original folder. This process will lead Outlook to Re-index all the messages. As a result, the Outlook Search will start to work well again.

So, this one is easy and speedy way of fixing Outlook Search isn’t working error.

Method E- Fix corrupted Spotlight search :

For fixing the issue of spotlight corrupt, you need to follow some steps for re-indexing Spotlight. Here, we are going to consider steps to re-index the search database in both Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2011 respectively.

> To re-index Spotlight research in Outlook 2016 :

1. Restart your MacBook.

2. Go to Finder and then Applications. After that, move forward to Utilities and then to Terminal.

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3. Enter this command ‘mdimport -L‘ and press enter.

4. If you see more instance of “Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter” then delete your outlook application which you’re not using. Empty it from the trash and restart your Mac. Now, without closing Terminal tab, open the Outlook software and try search option. If it shows the results you have searched, then error is fixed. But if it again shows “No results” notification then continue process as prescribed ahead.

5. In terminal, re-index your Outlook database with use of following command and substitute your user name for filling the <user_name> place. mdimport -g “/Applications/Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter” -d1 “/Users/<user_name>/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/<my_profile_name>” > In the above given command, path after “-g” default path of Outlook installation. > The path after “-d1” is default path for your profile name. You have to substitute your actual path if you have renamed your profile or installed outlook in different location.

6. Re-indexing process will take some time so wait until it is completed. Then quit and relaunch Outlook software.

>> To re-index Spotlight research in Outlook 2011 :

  1. Go to Applications and tap on Microsoft Office 2011.
  2. Then click on Office option and select Microsoft Database Utility option.
  3. Highlight your identity and click Rebuild.

Method F- Reinstall Outlook :

if all of the above methods not work to fix your Outlook search error, then you should try this method.

  1. Backup Outlook data by copying Outlook profile to another place such as desktop.
  2. Uninstall Office 2011 MAC or Office 2016 MAC and Reinstall it.
  3. Open Outlook for Mac and use Import command to import Outlook data from the backup location.
  4. Follow the steps of Method E to re-index outlook data.
  5. Try Outlook search option to ensure it functions well or not.

Final Words :

Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you to fix Outlook Search isn’t working issue. Though, Outlook is one of great software, sometime error occurs because of any specific reason that are mentioned above. So, whenever this error displayed, you should resolve it quickly to continue your mail work.