If you’re using Outlook 2016 as your primary email platform, you may have noticed that the search feature fails to display the sender name for the emails in your inbox. Rest assured, there is nothing wrong with your email settings.

This is a general bug that’s been affecting Outlook 2016 and Office 365 for a few days now.

As a matter of fact, the first reports date back from January 7th:

Can anyone help with this issue, which started a few days ago. We are using Outlook 2016 (Version 16.0.4738.100) for our Exchange Online (O365). Since a few days we see that when we do a search in any folder or mailbox it does not show the name of the sender in the search results.

The good news is that Microsoft has officially acknowledged the problem:

This issue was posted to the Service Health Dashboard (SHD) as incident EX171760 starting at Monday, January 7, 2019, at 7:37 AM UTC. The user experience of this incident is: Users are unable to view the name of the sender within search results for the Outlook client. Tenant administrators can view current information and updates on SHD at this link. […] We will keep a close watching on the progress from our related team and post back here once the issue is resolved on SHD.​

Possible workarounds

Method 1: Use a clean view mode

As a temporary workaround, you can open Outlook in a clean view mode. This quick action may solve your problem. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. Launch a new Run window > type outlook.exe /cleanviewsOutlook 2016 missing sender name
  3. Outlook will open and will reset all your custom views.

If the problem persists, you can launch Outlook in safe mode to eliminate third-party software and driver incompatibility problems.

Method 2: Tweak the Registry

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type regedit.
  2. Launch Registry Editor > go to this path: 
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  3. Then navigate to Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Search.
    Outlook 2016 missing sender name
  4. Locate the key DWORD: DisableServerAssistedSearch.
  5. Set its value to 1.

Let us know if these two quick workarounds solved the problem. Still, if nothing works, you can roll back to Outlook 2013. Here is a full guide to see how.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.