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University Webmail and Email Support

University of Colorado Denver

Windows Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016

Improve Search Results

Downloadable PDF of documentation shown below


Make sure a new OST file is reloaded on a problematic computer by doing the following.
1.     Close out of Outlook and Skype for Business if you have it open
2.     Open the Windows Run program by typing  Win+R or typing Run in your search box.
3.     Type in %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and click OK.
4.     This will open the default location of your .OST file, find a file with your full email address. Highlight the file and delete it, Outlook will recreate it the next time you launch it.
Make sure that all the .PST files are moved into the "Online-Archive" folder. PST files were not originally designed to be on the network, but rather locally on the computer. These files can grow to large sizes thus making it difficult for the "Search-Indexing" function to accurately index all of the data including email messages and all their words when these PST files are located in a network location. The "Search Locations" option is unable to correctly index .PST files, but properly, these should all now be integrated into the "Online Archive" folder. 
Modify the account settings to get all the mail downloaded (not just the last 12 months)
This can be found by going to File>Account Settings x2>Change 
(see screen shot below) 
Making sure Indexing is done:
In Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 follow these steps to verify that indexing is complete:
  1. In Outlook, click in the Search box.
  2. Click the Search tab, click Search Tools, and then click Indexing Status.


 3. When the Indexing Status dialog appears, you should see the following:


Checking Search option settings:

Under “Search Tools”, “Locations to Search” you’ll see the places the Search will work. The option for “Online-Archive” is selected by default, along with the main mailbox, Sometimes if you have an additional mailbox added, it will not show up as an option to be checked and search.
Make sure the slider bar for “Mail to keep offline” is moved all the way to the right, so all the email from the Office 365 Server is installed locally to the OST file. Note: this can affect Outlook operations and speed. 
Recommended Search Options settings:

Going into the File -> Options -> Search you can de-select "Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown"



If Outlook 2013 is not patched, and the version is outdated, a Registry change can be made to show more than 30 search findings.
Check the Outlook version to see if the below fix is needed: 
Remove the limit on the search results (by default in Outlook 2013 it's 30) – To get all results change the Registry entry to 0
  - Detailed explanation here -
If the SearchResultsCap DWORD is missing, the checkbox will be enabled and the default behavior is functional (Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007: 200 items returned. Outlook 2013: 30 items returned before Outlook.exe build 15.0.4641.1001, and 250 items returned after Outlook.exe build 15.0.4641.1001).

Note: After installing the August 19, 2014 update for Outlook 2013 update (or a later update), the default limit is 250 items (Outlook.exe build is 15.0.4641.1001 or higher).

Search Tips:

You can narrow your results even further by changing your search. Here are some common examples:
·         Type "expense reports" (including the quotes) to find messages containing the exact phrase "expense reports."
·         Type expense AND report ("AND" needs to be in all caps) to find messages containing both the word expense and the word report, but not necessarily in that order. You can also use "OR."
·        Type expense NOT report ("NOT" needs to be in all caps) to find messages containing the word expense but not the word report.
·        Type from:”lastname, firstname” to find messages from specific people
·        Type from:”lastname, firstname” subject:”keyword” (the keyword can be a subject or topic you are looking for) to find messages from specific people containing specific words
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