Short term workaround for when Outlook searching stopped functioning

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New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Hi all,

Occasionally I will encounter the issue where Outlook searching stops working. (That is, I am searching on a keyword or similar, and no matches are returned, and that is when I realize there is a problem as there are known matches).

I know the fix is to recreate the search index (under Windows 11 this is now under 'Indexing Options'). But my problem is that I cannot search at all while the index is being rebuilt.

Indexing can take 1 - 2 days, so what I want to know is a workaround to get some sort of functioning search to work for those few days, even if it takes longer than expected.

My experience for many years has been that when indexing is not working (for whatever reason), there will be no functional searching within Outlook.

I am using Outlook 2016, and while I should update to a newer version, I don't think this will make a difference to the issue I have described, as indexing is a function of the operating system, rather than the email client (Outlook).

I don't seem to have any many indexing issues as I once had, so it would appear that there have been Windows indexing improvements, but when you urgently need to access an email message, and you have no way to find it, it can be a very frustrating situation.

Turning indexing off completely, does not force Outlook to go into a slower search, it just returns nothing.

So, does anyone know of a way to force Outlook to do a slow search, or of a third party plugin to do an instant search on the odd occasion that it is needed, please let me know.

(Using POP, and message are downloaded and saved locally, single computer).
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