Last Updated: July 25, 2022
When you search in Outlook Desktop on Windows 11, you might not see the most recent email messages in the search results. If you check Windows Indexing Options in Control Panel, you’ll notice that the indexing might be running slow or might be paused.
This problem affects mostly users who have POP, IMAP, and offline Exchange accounts. This is because the search feature primarily uses the local Windows Search service to index email. Email that’s hosted by Microsoft 365 and connected Exchange accounts uses Service Search for a majority of search scopes. Service Search is not affected by this issue.
A fix for this issue is included in the Windows 11 update, July 21, 2022—KB5015882 (OS Build 22000.832) Preview (microsoft.com).
The specific change referenced in the Windows 11 article:
Addresses an issue that causes index rebuilding to be slow. This helps devices that have local search issues, including searching for recent emails in Outlook.
You can temporarily work around the problem by disabling Windows Desktop Search. This will cause Outlook to use its built-in search. The built-in search will display the following message to indicate that it's not using the Windows Search service:
"Search performance will be impacted because a group policy has turned off the Windows Search service."
To disable the Windows Desktop Search Service for Outlook, follow these steps:
Important: The following steps show you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Please make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, go to How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.
In Windows, right-click Start, and then select Run. In the Open: box, type regedit, and then select OK. This will open Registry Editor.
Find this subkey in the registry and then select it: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
Select Edit > New > Key and name the new key Windows Search.
Select the new Windows Search key.
Select Edit > New > DWORD Value.
Type PreventIndexingOutlook for the name of the DWORD, and then press Enter.
Right-click PreventIndexingOutlook, and then select Modify....
In the Value data box, type 1 to enable the registry entry, and then select OK.
Note: To disable the PreventIndexingOutlook setting, type 0 (zero), and then select OK.
Exit Registry Editor, and then restart Outlook.
For reference, the following screenshot shows how this fix will appear in Registry Editor when the workaround is enabled.
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