Outlook 2011 search not working after HD swap

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by philxor, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. philxor macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2010
    I had an old 2010 MBA with a 256GB SSD which unfortunately met an untimely demise. I purchased a base 2011 with the 128GB SSD, I migrated most of the data from my 2010 onto it using a time machine backup. I then used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the 128GB to the 256GB SSD so I could use it instead in the 2011.

    Everything works great except for the fact I can no longer search anything in Outlook 2011, everything comes up as "no results". I've tried rebuilding the main identity file and it didn't make a difference... All of my mail is there, just the ability to search is broken.

    Was wondering if anyone else has run into the same issue and might know how to fix it?


    Turns out Spotlight is still indexing the drive, wasn't aware Outlook used spotlight for his search index, so I'm sure that is the problem.
  2. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Outlook search relies on Spotlight cache files. I suggest you re-index your entire drive.


    From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.

    * Click Spotlight.
    * Make sure Mail Messages is checked under the Search Results tab.
    * Click the Privacy tab.
    * Drag a folder or even an entire volume (your hard drive) to the list.
    * Remove the item or volume you just added.
    * Spotlight will re-index the contents of the item you initially dragged to the list.

    Depending on your Mac and the contents of its hard disk, re-indexing may take several hours to days. Until this process is finished, Spotlight won’t know the contents of your disks and neither will Outlook. All lists like contacts, events, notes etc. are generated by the Spotlight searches.
  3. finchna macrumors regular

    May 30, 2002
    Is there any way to make this not happen and to have Outlook simply search email messages by itself? If I stop Outlook results from showing up in Spotlight then I don't have search inside Outlook -- that is just horrible and bad engineering.

    I don't know what MS engineers did making Outlook use Spotlight as I get hundreds of email results when I use Spotlight to search for things that have nothing to do with email (and I have unchecked mail messages from being searched in Spotlight).

    It just doesn't make sense. MS needs to rethink, re-engineer, fix this search functionality in a patch for the current Outlook (11) -- it is quite a pita to have to deal with all the olkxx results (a waste of cpu, time to sort through them, etc.).

    Yeah, this bugs me a bit since my company forced us to switch to Outlook after the new version launched -- they didn't know how bad it is, how it's not the same as Windows, and doesn't work as well as clients like Thunderbird. It has made work more difficult which no product should do.
  4. shadoggy macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    Search function not working on MAC Outlook 2011

    I had this issue and did the database rebuild and got no result. Then I right clicked on the inbox folder, selected "Folder Properties". In that window, click on "Empty" to Empty Cache. Outlook then tries to resync with Exchange Server. It may take a good 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your database. But, once it is done, the Search function worked!
  5. lloyd1981 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2013
    I am using OS 10.6.8 and Outlook build version 14.3.2 (130206).

    Not certain if this is still relevant, but there are numerous forum postings and articles on this subject. There is even a recent MS help on this issue - one that makes an assumption regarding identities that confounds all logic. I recently upgraded to Office 11 for Mac and it took about a month before I wanted to find something in my Inbox and the result was a blank screen. I tried every suggestion Google could find. (I tried all the suggestions on a bootable backup copy.)

    I did re-index the entire partition and did not exclude the data file from indexing. I used Drive Genius to check the frag condition of the main partition. Checked data and files. There were more than 100 fragmented files containing "Outlook" in the title. I chose to defrag the main partition using Drive Genius rather than TechTool Pro 6 or one other program I have because of speed. Took about an hour.

    After defragging, I used Disk Warrior (running both directory rebuild and file & folder checking).

    I rebooted to the repaired and reindexed partition.

    I am now able to open email found in a Spotlight search and to run a search from within Outlook.

    Add: Before going through the procedures above and before booting out of the active partition, I opened the User file for my main account, got Info, extended permissions to all files enclosed in the xxy User folder.

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