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ImranAshraf-6206 avatar image
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ImranAshraf-6206 asked Brianroberts-4586 commented

Outlook 2016 Search Folders can't search body

Outlook 2016 'Search Folders' are not able to search items in the body.
Search Folders only show results for text in the subject.

If you search the inbox, instead of using Search Folders (with criteria), then results appear correctly.

Outlook is Online mode so index is not an issue.



office-outlook-itprooffice-itpro
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JadeLiang-MSFT avatar image
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JadeLiang-MSFT answered JadeLiang-MSFT edited

Hi @ImranAshraf-6206,

Outlook 2016 'Search Folders' are not able to search items in the body

Could the search folder work normally before? Or did it actually occurr when you first create the search folder? Could the issue be reproduced if you create a new search folder to test?

Based on my tests, I have tried to create a search folder to search the message that contain "test" in subject and content like below, which could work normally in my Outlook 2016, which seems to I couldn't reproduce your issue.

If the issue actually occurred when you first configure the search folder, in order to avoid any errors in configuration, please kindly check if your steps are same with mine.
57907-snipaste-2021-01-19-11-37-24.png
Also, in order to further confirm if your issue is related to your client, it's suggested to log into your web mail to check if the search folder could work normally.

If the issue only occurred on your Outlook client, it may be more related to your client itself, so what's the version of your client(File>Office Account>About Outlook), please ensure that you have updated to the latest version of Outlook.

Also, the issue may occurr when your Outlook profile are corrupted, it's suggested to create a new profile and re-add your account to test if the issue has any difference(Control Panel>Mail>Show profiles>Add>Add your account).

If the issue still exists or you still need further assistance, please provide me with more information about your issues, so that I would give you more targeted help.


If the response is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
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ImranAshraf-6206 avatar image
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ImranAshraf-6206 answered Brianroberts-4586 commented


Thanks for your suggestions. Profile is not corrupted (created new). OWA is fine if you search for text in subject and body. It produces results from both.

The issue is not with 'Search Tools | Advanced Find'. invoked from the Outlook Ribbon, but appears to be an issue when Search is run from the left hand pane under 'Search Folders'.

Right Click 'Search Folders' | New Search Folder | 'Choose Create a custom search folder' and define the criteria from a word in subject field and message body. That does not produce expected results.

Outlook version is 16.0.5056.1000.

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Hi @ImranAshraf-6206,
Thanks for your updating, according to your description, the issue only occurred on your Outlook client, it may be more related to your client itself.
If the issue still exists, in order to avoid the interference of add-ins, it's suggested to restart your Outlook client in safe mode to test(Windows + R> type "Outlook.exe /safe">enter).
If it still invalid, I'm afraid the issue may be related to your corrupted client, please try to repair your Outlook to check if the issue has any difference.
Also, considering you are working with an older version of Outlook, in order to avoid the interference of version and get a better user experience, it's suggested to install the latest version Outlook 2016 to check if the issue has any difference.

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Hi @ImranAshraf-6206,
Has your issue been solved after so long?
If so, please kindly cilck Accept Answer for the helpful response or share your solutions. Thanks for your understanding.

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I can confirm the issue still exists. I have replicated the issue by creating a search folder and attempting to use the Outlook quick search. No results are ever returned.

Can you confirm please you have replicated the issue or have created a search folder and can search the body of a mail within the search folder by using the Search FOLDERNAME Search Folder bar at the top of the mail list (the quick search).

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Further to this, can confirm that using the Quick Search function doesn't work just using a term, but putting "subject:TERM" works, and "body:TERM" works, but not "subject:TERM and body:TERM" or "subject:TERM or body:TERM", those last two do not work, but do work outside of a search folder.

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