You may experience one of the following symptoms:

  • Partial or no search results are returned.
  • Items that you expect to appear based on your search criteria are not displayed.

In this case the indexing of your Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office system data files (the search catalog) may not be complete.

To fix the issue you need to rebuild the search catalog, which restarts the indexing of your data files. The search catalog is a file where all of your Outlook and Microsoft Windows items (data files) are indexed.
To rebuild your search catalog, do the following for your Outlook version:

Outlook for Windows:

Important note
: Rebuilding of the search catalog may take up to several hours and it may stop temporarily if you use the computer actively. Your computer may be working slowly during rebuilding.

  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. In Microsoft Windows, click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Windows Vista  
      Click System Maintenance, and then click Indexing Options.
      Note: In Classic view, double-click Indexing Options.
    • Windows 7/8/10
      Switch to view by small/large icons and double-click Indexing Options.
  4. Click Modify, select the check boxes for the locations you want to index, and then click Ok.
  5. Click Advanced.

  6. Click Rebuild.

  7. Restart Outlook.

Outlook for Mac:

If you do not see any search results coming up in your Outlook, you may want to rebuild search index on your machine. This can be done through the Spotlight control panel. Note that your computer may be working slowly during reindexing. To start reindexing process of an entire drive follow these steps:

    1. Exit Outlook.
    2. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu.


    1. Under Personal click on Spotlight.


    1. Switch to the Privacy tab. Click the "+" button and choose your Macintosh drive (and other drives if necessary) or simply drag it and drop into the Spotlight window.


    1. Now select the drive(s) you just added and click the "-" button to remove it from the list.


    1. Spotlight will start indexing of the removed drive automatically. To view the remaining time click on search button.


Note: if a drive is left in the Privacy list, it will be excluded from Spotlight indexing completely. You will not be able to get any search results.

It is also possible to rebuild the indexing using the Terminal. To manually reindex Spotlight via Terminal follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the Hard Drive icon and navigate to Applications > Utilities.
  2. In the Utilities folder, double-click one Terminal
  3. In Terminal, type: sudo mdutil -E / 

Note: You will be prompted to enter your password from the device.