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Solved: How To Fix The Issue Outlook Mac Search Not Working

Outlook is a wonderful email client used by millions of people around the world. Like any other email client, Outlook also provides the Search box that allows you to search for a contact, subject, email, etc., As soon as you enter a text or keyword in the Search box, Outlook will start to search for the same. However, the search option may not work due to several reasons. If you are using a Mac computer and experiencing the same issue, scroll down this page and fix the issue with the troubleshooting techniques mentioned below.

How To Fix The Issue Outlook Mac Search Not Working


Some main causes of Outlook’s search option not working on Mac are listed below:

  • Step 1:Incompletion of Spotlight Search indexing
  • Step 2:Profile or identity name contains a special character or if its parent folders are added to the Privacy tab.
  • Step 3:Corrupted Spotlight Search Index

Troubleshooting methods

Troubleshooting methods

  • Step 1:This tool helps you to resolve the search issues on Mac. Before running this tool, check whether your macOS is compatible with it.
  • Step 2:Download the Outlook Search Repair tool from the official site of Microsoft.
  • Step 3:Open the tool and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Step 4:When prompted, click the Reindex button.
  • Step 5:Finish the repair process by following the on-screen instructions.
  • Step 6:Once the repair is done, the following message, “Done! Reindexing has completed!” will be displayed on the screen.

Try searching after a few seconds

  • Step 1:Basically, the Spotlight search begins the indexing process when you add new data, profile, or account in Outlook.
  • Step 2:The indexing process takes few minutes to get completed. So, if you’re encountering the search issue after adding a new profile or data, check whether the Spotlight indexing process is completed.
  • Step 3:If not, wait till the process gets completed.
  • Step 4:Once the indexing is done, try to search content in Outlook.
  • Step 5:If you cannot fix the issue yet, proceed with the next step.

Removing the special characters

  • Step 1:As said above, if the profile or identity name contains a special character, then it will not be listed in the search results. To check and remove the special character from your identity name, follow the below instructions.
  • Step 2:Checking for a special character (On Outlook 2016 for Mac)
  • Step 3:From the Go menu, select the Applications option.
  • Step 4:Locate and right-click on the Outlook application.
  • Step 5:Click Show Package Contents.
  • Step 6:Locate and expand the Contents, SharedSupport menu.
  • Step 7:Select the Outlook Profile Manager option.
  • Step 8:Now, if you find any special characters on your profile or identity name, then remove them by following the below instructions.
  • Step 9:Go to the following location “/Users/< Username>/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/”
  • Step 10:Now, select and rename the Outlook folder.
  • Step 11:Make sure that the special character(s) are removed while renaming the folder.
  • Step 12:Now, check if the Search option in Outlook is working on your Mac.

Re-indexing the Spotlight index

  • Step 1:If the above method doesn’t resolve the issue, then the Spotlight index may be corrupted. To fix it, you should reindex the index.
  • Step 2:Initially, restart the Spotlight services by rebooting your Mac computer.
  • Step 3:Next, open the Terminal window and type mdimpot –L to begin the reindexing process.
  • Step 4:Now, run the below command:
  • Step 5:mdimport -g "/Applications/Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter" -d1 "/Users/< user_name>/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/< my_profile_name>"
  • Step 6:Note: In the above command, -g: default path of the Outlook installation; -d1: default path of your profile; < my_profile_name> : default Main profile.
  • Step 7:Once the reindexing process is completed, restart the Outlook application and check if the Outlook for Mac search is not working issue is resolved. If not, contact us.