Outlook couldn’t complete your search? We got the solution

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Sometimes, while searching for emails or media, you may encounter Something went wrong, and your search couldn’t be completed Outlook error.
  • The first solution would be to make sure you install any pending updates. If that doesn't work, try to uninstall the KB updates if you installed any lately.
  • Are you stuck with Outlook? Visit our Outlook Guides section to find lots of helpful information about it.
  • Besides errors, Outlook is riddled with other possible problems. You can find all and the proper solutions in our Outlook Fix Hub.
Outlook indexing search error

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client for Windows users.

Sometimes, while searching for emails or media, users may encounter  Something went wrong, and your search couldn’t be completed Outlook error.

Several users have reported similar errors in the Reddit community.

On click-to-run installs in 2016, several users complaining they cannot search today with the error Something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed.

The following error can be triggered due to a faulty update or issues with the Outlook client.

If you are also troubled by this error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to help you fix Something went wrong, and your search couldn’t be completed outlook error in Windows.

How can I fix Something went wrong, your Outlook search couldn’t be completed error?

1. Install pending updates

Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook

  1. The issue seems to be with one of the Windows KB updates. If you have not installed any updates recently, check if any update is pending that needs to be installed.
  2. Click on Start and select Settings.
  3. Go to Updates and Security.
  4. Under Windows Update, check if any updates are available for download.
  5. If you can, download and install the updates.
  6. Restart the computer and check if the Outlook search is working now.

Fix: Outlook’s Internet Email window for Gmail keeps asking for password


2. Uninstall Windows 10 KB updates

  1. If you have installed new KB updates, you may want to uninstall them to fix the issue.
  2. Click on Start and select Settings.
  3. Go to Updates and Security.
    Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook
  4. Click on View Update History.
    Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook
  5. Click on Uninstall updates.
    Windows updates
  6. Select the most recently installed Microsoft Windows update and click on Uninstall.
  7. Restart the computer and check for any improvements.

Wait for Microsoft to release new updates or a hotfix before installing the uninstalled updates.

3. Remove third-party Outlook add-in

  1. Another reason for Outlook search issue can occur due to third-party add-in creating conflict with indexing. Disable any third-party add-in installed for Outlook and try again.
  2. Open Outlook and go to File > Options.
  3. From the left pane, click on the Add-ins tab.
    Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook
  4. At the bottom, click the drop-down menu for Manage, select COM Add-ins, and click Go.

  5. Now select the recently installed Add-in and click on Remove.
  6. Relaunch Outlook and check if the error Something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed is resolved.
  7. If not, remove all the add-ins one by one till you find the problematic add-in.

4. Repair Microsoft Office installation

  1. If the issue persists, run Microsoft Office troubleshooter from the Control panel.
  2. Press “Windows Key + R” key to open Run.
  3. Type control and click OK to open Control Panel.
  4. Go to Programs > Programs and Features.
  5. Select Microsoft Office and click on Change.
    Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook
  6. From the repair tool, select Quick Repair. This will quickly find and fix minor issues with the Outlook client.
  7. If the issue persists, use Online Repair. This option requires a working internet connection.
  8. Close the troubleshooter and check for any improvements.

5. Rebuild indexing

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type control and click OK.
  3. In the Control Panel, search for index.
  4. Click on Indexing Options.
    Something went wrong search couldn’t be completed outlook
  5. Click the Advanced button.
  6. Under Troubleshooting section click the Rebuild button.

FAQ: Read more about Outlook search

  • How can I fix your Outlook search couldn’t be completed error?
You need to reset the indexing in Outlook. If that sounds too complicated, read our full expert guide.
  • How do I turn on the Search button in Outlook?
Open Outlook, click on File, and open the Options tab. In the Outlook Options window select Browse or Search. Click on Indexing Options on the right, which will open a window containing all Outlook indexed locations.
  • What can I do if Outlook search is not working?

The first thing to do is to run a quick repair from Programs and features. If that doesn’t work, you can follow our step-by-step guide to get to the bottom of this.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.