Outlook search isn’t working on Mac? We got fixes for it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Outlook is a great email client, but even great applications have their share of issues.
  • Users reported that Outlook search isn’t working on Mac, but there’s a way to fix that.
  • If you’re experiencing other issues with Outlook, be sure to check our other Outlook articles.
  • For more Mac guides, we suggest that you head to our dedicated Mac Hub for more information.
outlook search not working mac

Outlook is the most popular email client, and it’s available for both Mac and Windows. Speaking of Mac and Outlook, users reported certain issues.

Many reported that Outlook search isn’t working on their Mac. This can be a problem, especially if you need to find a specific email quickly. However, there might be a way to fix this.

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What can I do if Outlook search isn’t working on Mac?

1. Rebuilt the Spotlight Index

  1. Open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
  2. Now go to Spotlight.
  3. Go to Privacy tab and click the Plus icon.
  4. Go to the ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/ and select the Main Profile.
  5. After adding the folder, remove it from its original location and Outlook will recreate it.

Some users are suggesting that it’s not necessary to remove the Main Profile directory from their original location, so you might not have to do that.


2. Use a different email client

If Outlook is giving you trouble, you can always use a different email client, such as eM Client for example.

The software offers a sleek and friendly interface, and it allows you to import your data from other email clients with ease. eM Client offers a highly customizable interface, so you can easily change it to fit your needs.

The application has an advanced search feature, built-in translator, support for templates and signatures, built-in calendar, support for notes, chat, and many other features.

eM Client offers all the features that you need from an email client, and with its sleek and customizable interface, it’s a great alternative to Outlook.

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3. Move the Outlook.sqlite file

  1. Make sure that Outlook is closed.
  2. Go to:
    • ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/Main Profile/Data
  3. Locate Outlook.sqlite and move it to your desktop.
  4. Outlook will now recreate the file.
  5. Once the process is finished, start Outlook.

Keep in mind that this process can take about an hour, so be patient.


4. Use the Terminal

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities.
  2. Start the Terminal.
    terminal outlook search not working mac
  3. Run the following command:
    • mdimport -r "/Applications/Microsoft Outlook.app/Contents/Library/Spotlight/Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter"/

By running this command, you’ll reregister Outlook spotlight importer and the issue should be gone.


5. Use New Outlook

  1. Join Office Insider.
  2. Use Microsoft AutoUpdate tool to check for Outlook updates.
  3. Now open Outlook and click the New Outlook switch.
    new outlook outlook search not working mac

Not being able to use the Outlook search can be a big problem, but we hope that you managed to fix this issue with our solutions.

FAQ: Learn more about Outlook

  • How do I fix Outlook search not working?

If Outlook search isn’t working, you might have to rebuild the Spotlight Index or move the Outlook.sqlite file.

  • Why is Outlook so slow on Mac?

If Outlook is running slow, other applications might be interfering with it, or there might be an issue with the server.

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  • Is Outlook for Mac better than Apple Mail?

This comes down to the personal preference, but for home users, Apple Mail might be a better choice since it’s completely free.

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