Microsoft Outlook app on your Mac can keep you updated with your emails. You can access all functions of Outlook straight from the Mac app without relying heavily on its web version. The Outlook app for Mac also comes with a handy search bar to help you find anything on your email account.
But in case your Outlook account search is not working on your Mac, you might find it difficult to look for older email conversations or attachments. This post will share some working solutions for Microsoft Outlook mail search not working on Mac.
1. Remove Microsoft Outlook Profile From Spotlight Privacy
Spotlight Privacy on your Mac helps in hiding specific search queries. You can limit Spotlight Search using this feature to improve privacy on your Mac. But if Outlook search not working in macOS, you need to remove your Outlook profile from Spotlight Privacy, if it was added in the past. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type System Settings, and press Return.
Step 2: Click on Siri & Spotlight from the left sidebar.
Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom and click on Spotlight Privacy button at the bottom-right corner.
Step 4: Check if your Outlook profile appears as an exemption. If yes, select the profile and click the Minus icon to remove it.
Step 5: Click on Done to save changes.
Step 6: Open Outlook again and check if the problem is solved.
2. Index Microsoft Outlook Database Again
If the Outlook app search has stopped working on your Mac, the next solution we recommend is reindexing your Outlook database. You will have to use Terminal on your Mac to force the Outlook app to reindex your data. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Terminal, and press Return.
Step 2: Type the following command and press Return.
Step 3: From the entries in the result, look for ‘Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter’ or something similar.
In case you spot more than one entry with the same name, you will have to re-index the Outlook data.
To do that, keep the Terminal window open, type the following command, and press Return:
mdimport -g “/Applications/Microsoft Outlook.app/Contents/Library/Spotlight/Microsoft Outlook Spotlight Importer.mdimporter” -d1 “/Users/<user_name>/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/<my_profile_name>"
Do note that you have to replace <user_name> with your Mac account’s name and replace <my_profile_name> with your Outlook account’s name.
Step 4: The re-indexing will take some time to complete. After that completes, close Terminal, and open Outlook to check if the problem is solved.
3. Verify Outlook Profile Location
It’s a good idea to check the Outlook profile folder location on your Mac. If the folder location is incorrect or doesn’t have necessary permissions, your Outlook data won’t get reindexed. Here’s how to check the same.
Step 1: Click on Go at the top Menu Bar.
Step 2: Select ‘Go To Folder’ from the list of options.
Step 3: Type the following file path and press Return.
Step 4: Double-click on the Outlook 15 Profiles folder.
Step 5: Check if there is a subfolder with your profile name.
If you don’t see the subfolder, you need to search it separately on your Mac and paste it into the Outlook 15 Profiles folder.
After you do that, open Outlook and check if the problem is solved.
4. Check if Outlook Profile Name Has Special Characters
If the search function is still not working in the Outlook app on your Mac, you need to check if your Outlook profile has any special characters. This may lead to Outlook being unable to perform the search function. Here’s how.
Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Finder, and press Return.
Step 2: Click on Applications from the left sidebar.
Step 3: Search for Microsoft Outlook. Then, right-click on it and select ‘Show Package Contents.’
Step 4: Double-click on the Contents folder.
Step 5: Open the Shared Support Folder.
Step 6: Double-click on Outlook Profile Manager.
Step 7: Check if any special character is present in your Outlook profile name.
If yes, double-click on it and rename the profile name.
Step 8: Close the window and open Outlook to check if the problem is solved.
5. Login Again to Your Outlook Account
You can try logging in again to your Outlook account on your Mac. This will download all your data again in the app and should resolve the issue.
Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Microsoft Outlook, and press Return.
Step 2: Click on Outlook at the top-left corner on the menu bar and select Settings from the context menu.
Step 3: From the Outlook Preferences window, click on Account.
Step 4: Select your Outlook profile from the left sidebar and click the Minus icon at the bottom-left corner to remove it.
Step 5: Click on Sign Out to confirm.
Step 6: Click on Add Email Account and check if the problem is solved.
6. Force Quit and Relaunch Outlook App
After you log in again to your account, we suggest forcing the Outlook app to quit and relaunch on your Mac. This will give the app a fresh start.
Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner on the menu bar and select Force Quit from the context menu.
Step 2: Select Microsoft Outlook from the list and click on Force Quit.
Step 3: Relaunch Outlook and check if the problem is solved.
7. Update Outlook App
If Outlook search is still not working on your Mac, update the app to its latest version. Use the following link to update the app.
Search Your Outlook Email
These solutions will help if Outlook search is not working on your Mac. Sometimes, you might just have to sign out or change password, if you haven’t done that in a while. Check our post on how to change your Outlook account password.
Last updated on 07 July, 2023
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