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Outlook 2010 search function not working

Posted on 2014-03-20
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Last Modified: 2014-03-21
Installed a hard drive and OS on a laptop yesterday.  Installed Office 2010 and setup Outlook for a POP3 account.  The pst/ost file was copied from an older hard drive to the new hard drive and Outlook automatically found the pst and Outlook seemed to work just fine until we tested the search function.  Searching for emails or contacts doesn't work at all.  I checked the basic index settings but everything is a fresh new install and seemed to be configured correctly.  Any ideas on what I can do to fix this?
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Question by:jbobst
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Esteban Blanco earned 500 total points
ID: 39943743
The indexing of your data files might not be complete.  How big is the .PST?

FROM Microsoft:
Resolving indexing issues
Verify that your Outlook data files can be indexed
Outlook indexes the following data files:

Personal Folders files (.pst)
Offline Folder files (.ost)
This includes Microsoft Windows Live Mail, IMAP, and POP e-mail accounts. If you use a Microsoft Exchange account (much more common in business e-mail systems than in a home or personal account), you must be connected to the server running Exchange and use Cached Exchange Mode for Instant Search to index your messages. Cached Exchange Mode uses an Offline Folders file (.ost) to save your information on your computer. To verify which data files are being indexed, do the following:

On the Tools menu, point to Instant Search, and then click Search Options.
Alternatively, click the arrow in the Instant Search pane, and then click Search Options on the menu.

Under Indexing, verify that the data files that you want to include in your search are selected in the Index messages in these data files list.
Verify that indexing is complete
To verify the indexing status, do the following:

On the Tools menu, point to Instant Search, and then click Indexing Status.
Alternatively, click the arrow in the Instant Search pane, and then click Indexing Status on the menu.

Verify that the dialog box reports 0 items remaining. If not, indexing is not complete and needs to finish before all of your Outlook items can be searched.
Indexing Status reports "0 items remaining," however, search results are not correct
If the Indexing Status reports 0 items remaining and Instant Search is still not returning the correct search results, exit Outlook and restart your computer. When you start Outlook again, verify that Outlook is indexing your items properly by doing the following:

On the Tools menu, point to Instant Search, and then click Indexing Status.
Alternatively, click the arrow in the Instant Search pane, and then click Indexing Status on the menu.

Verify that the number of items in the Indexing Status dialog box has increased. If the number has not increased, you must wait until indexing is complete for the results.
I restarted my computer, and Instant Search still doesn't return the correct results
If you aren't getting results after restarting, the next step is to rebuild your search catalog. The search catalog is a file where all of your Outlook and Microsoft Windows items are indexed. To rebuild your search catalog, do the following:

Exit Outlook.
In Microsoft Windows, click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
Do one of the following:
Windows Vista     Click System Maintenance, and then click Indexing Options.
 NOTE   In Classic view, double-click Indexing Options.

Microsoft Windows XP     Under See Also, click Other Control Panel Options, and then click Indexing Options.
 NOTE   In Classic view, double-click Indexing Options.

Click Advanced.
Click Rebuild.
Restart Outlook.
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by:jbobst
ID: 39945587
The pst file is about 4.5GB in size.  It's been three days since the computer was rebuilt...not sure how long it needs to index.

By the way, in the instructions above, it keeps referencing a "Tools" menu, yet it doesn't say where the tools menu is?  In Outlook?  Somewhere else?  I have Outlook 2010, and there is no tools menu that I can find.  I am rebuilding the index from the Control Panel/Indexing Options.  We'll see how that goes.
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by:Esteban Blanco
ID: 39945689
It's under options in your top left hand corner.
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by:jbobst
ID: 39946052
In the Outlook "ribbon", I have a File tab, a Home tab, a Send/Receive tab, a Folder tab, and a View tab.  Under my File tab, there is an "options" choice, but no tools anywhere.

I rebuilt the index (from the control panel) and after a couple hours, it appears everything is working now.  Thanks
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by:Esteban Blanco
ID: 39946195
Sorry.  File/Options.  Top left hand corner.  I'm glad that the solution I gave you worked.  Would you mind awarding the points?
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by:jbobst
ID: 39946547
Oh, sorry!  I meant to close it right away...and got distracted with something else.  Thanks!!!
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Expert Comment

by:Esteban Blanco
ID: 39946619
No problem at all!  :)
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