Cannot find contacts in outlook 2010 even though they are there!

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I have Outlook 2003 IMAP profile running well under xp/sp3 using several pst files, including one containing just contact folders. I want to use this contact pst file with Outlook 2010 under windows 7 32bit ultimate.

I COPIED (not import/export) this pst file to OL2010 environment and added it to my IMAP profile. I rclicked contacts folder within pst file and changed properties to make it an address book, then closed and restarted OL2010.

When contacts folder is viewed in OL2010 you can see all the contacts exactly as in OL2003 but if you search for a particular entry it says not found, even though I can see it's there!

Search function seems to be looking at a different address book from the one currently highlighted, or maybe none at all? How do I point search at the correct folder?

Russ Valentine

To which Search method are you referring? How did you " add" this PST file to your profile and how many PST files does this profile now contain?Russ Valentine

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Are you using the Search field in the Contacts folder or searching the Address book?

Search in the Contacts folder won't work until the contents are indexed. If its been hours since adding the old pst, you may need to rebuild the search index. (file, Options, Search, Indexing options)



I'm searching by 1) select correct contacts folder within pst file (which means I can correctly see all the entries in this folder), (2) overtype in search box where it says " search foldername (Ctrl+E)" .

I get response " No matches found for search argument. Double click here to create new contact. "

I added Outlook 2003 pst file via account settings/data files/add, then browse to correct folder, select it and press OK

Profile now contains 4 pst files total. For comparison, I have about 6 in outlook 2003, and search facility has always worked OK.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
It sounds like either the pst is not indexed or the index needs rebuilt. Go to file, Options, Search, Indexing options. Are any listed in the Exclude column across from outlook?

If they aren't excluded, click the Advanced button and rebuild the index.



Many thanks - this worked brilliantly though it took an hour or two to complete. The solution was to delete and rebuild the index via file, Options, Search, Indexing options, advanced, rebuild..

But I wonder why the index needed rebuilding - I've never had to do that before, in XP, W7, or any other version of Outlook.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I have no idea what went wrong, but I've seen problems in the past when new pst files are added that search fails on contacts - and rebuilding the index always fixes it. It's only a problem in Outlook 2007/2010 - older versions don't use Instant search so they don't have an index.

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