Microsoft has fixed a bug in the Outlook search function on Windows 10

by Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don has been writing professionally for over 10 years now, but his passion for the written word started back in his elementary school days. His work has been... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft has released a patch for the Microsoft Outlook application, fixing problems with its search function in Windows 10.
  • As such, they issued a warning about Outlook searches possibly failing and about PST and OST files failing to show recent emails in search results.
  • They addressed this issue affecting some Windows 10 devices by releasing either an out-of-band update on Monday or by using the Known Issue Rollback (KIR) -feature.

Microsoft has resolved a known issue that was causing search issues for Outlook users after they installed Windows 10 security updates released in November 2021.

Microsoft warned users of problems where Outlook searches might fail and that recent emails might not appear in search results if they’re stored locally in PST or OST files.

“It might affect POP and IMAP accounts, as well as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365 hosted accounts,” Microsoft indicated while making its new entry on the Windows health dashboard.

“If the default search in the Outlook app is set to server search, the issue will only affect the advanced search.”

Windows platforms affected by this known issue (first acknowledged earlier this month) include client versions of Windows 10 and server versions, as well.

  • Client: Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 1809; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019
  • Server: Windows Server, version 20H2; Windows Server, version 1809; Windows Server 2019

Known Issue Rollback

Microsoft has addressed this issue on affected Windows 10 devices using either out-of-band Windows updates released on Monday or by using the Known Issue Rollback (KIR) feature.

Users who receive the fix via KIR may have to wait for other computers on their network to update until the update reaches their system.

“Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your Windows device might help the resolution apply to your device faster,” according to Microsoft.

Admins can now resolve issues

Windows administrators can use policy settings and scripts to resolve this issue on enterprise-managed computers.

The following group policies are available for enterprise environments (please restart your computer after configuring the Group Policy): Windows 10, version 20H2, Windows 10, version 21H1 and Windows 10, version 21H2, Windows 10, version 1809, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019, and Windows Server 2019

Roll out

Microsoft has already started rolling out a fix for the Outlook search issue that occurs in Windows 10 devices, but it is also working on a resolution for the problem in Windows 11.

As a temporary solution, Microsoft recommends that Windows 11 users who have not yet received the patch via Windows Update and those whose systems have been compromised by the Outlook search bug mitigate it by disabling Windows Desktop Search and using Outlook’s built-in search engine.

“To mitigate the issue, you can disable Windows Desktop Search which will cause Outlook to use its built-in search. For instructions, see Outlook Search not showing recent emails after Windows update KB5008212,” Microsoft highlighted.

 In December, reports surfaced that some Outlook users experienced search issues in the Microsoft 365 version of Outlook, the current version of the app, as well as in Outlook 2019 and 2016 after upgrading to Windows 11.

In June 2021, Microsoft began rolling out Windows 11 previews; shortly after, users noticed that the application was misbehaving. The issues also reportedly impacted emails and other items stored locally in PST or OST files, such as POP and IMAP accounts.

Switch to Outlook’s built-in search engine

Microsoft recommends that users switch to Outlook’s built-in search engine, which is unaffected by the issue: The built-in search index in Windows 11 will remain intact even if the index itself is deleted.

Have you experienced any challenges with your Outlook account and have you received the new update yet? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.