Can no longer search Outlook 2013 emails using Start Menu Windows Search??!!!!

....Really? At first I thought I installed it incorrectly, so today I google it only to find that the Einsteins at Microsoft totally and arbitrarily decided to remove this feature from Office 2010.

Wow! Way to ruin my day and weekend!!!

Somebody please post a workaround cause I absolutely need this feature to continue work AND its too late to uninstall this crap - missed my restore point cutoff...

SMH at this madness they call progress...

  • Edited by 50-50 Friday, February 22, 2013 4:55 PM
February 22nd, 2013 7:54pm

Yes. The functionality was deprecated so far.

Outlook   Search through Windows Shell

Office and   Windows

Removing the   feature

In Office   2013, Outlook items do not display in Windows Shell searches (for example,   searches from the Start Menu or by using Win+F). Perform Office searches   within Office 2013.

Tony Chen
TechNet Community Support

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February 25th, 2013 1:45pm

This is a BIG problem and oversight. I happen to like a number of the Office 2013 changes. Even the flat icons are starting to grow on me. But, the removal of this search is an outright deal killer for me. I had to revert back to Windows 7 and Office 2010 because of this issue. Yes, it is that big of a deal to me.

I have 16 Active Data Files covering 14 years of emails and over 50,000 contacts.

Cant search for contacts across multiple folders and data files: Searching for contacts is limited to a single folder. I can use the Advanced Find function, but then you have to individually check off each location to search and search is limited to only 1 of only 7 field groups in the contact.

Mailbox searches do not include contacts: Search results within the mailbox search does not include contacts even if you do select All outlook Items.

Filtering Searches: When I do a search through Windows Shell the results are shown in Explorer where I can easily sort and filter in many different ways. For example, I can filter by just Outlook Contacts or just Word Documents and sort them by Date Modified. I can find all the contacts I have with a particular domain name in their email address, know which outlook data file and folder they are in and see when each was touched/updated last. As far as I can see, this business case is outright impossible now?

Searching in Attachments: I can no longer see which attachment a search string is in. The Outlook search results provide only the email that the attachment is in. In Windows Shell search the actual documents would also be in the results. I could then sort by the modified date, filter by type and be able to find the last version and see the others also out there. This would all be in comparison to what I have on my desktop too. I can also see if a particular search string is in Word Docs, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoints and PDFs. No of this is possible in the outlook search unless I open every single email in the search results.

Ultimately searching for all the emails, contacts, tasks, events, documents (in and out of outlook) for a string such as the domain name from an email address is no longer possible. You would have to perform several searches in several different places and ways and even then would not be searching everything.

All suggestions welcome: if anyone has ways around my challenges listed above, I would love to hear them.

PLEASE bring back the indexing of outlook content in Windows Shell Search!!! I could do everything I needed to do above with this functionality.

July 12th, 2013 10:00pm

I fully agree. I'm switching back to Office 2010, and I can't believe MS removed the emails from the Windows Search feature.

Have you heard about big data ? Have you heard about Google ?

My desktop was big data ready, with Office 2013, I'm loosing hours of productivity every day. First time in 15 years, I have to roll back to a previous version.

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November 8th, 2013 1:44pm


Busy rolling back to 2010

April 1st, 2014 10:35am

Without the mail contents being searched in windows search, the day would be incredible. I have around 26GB archive files added in Outlook 2013 and the Inherint feature of Outlook search bar just hangs and crashes now and then. It is really rediculous that you have removed such a good feature. Agreed that you are concentrating the light weight features for Office 2013 but that doesn't mean to remove the good features. The product can be stabilized only when you keep the existing 'good voted' features.  Let us not compromise on the product quality.

Please let me know the SP to to download the patch for this.

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June 7th, 2014 10:27am

I concur with all the comments here. I discovered (too late, of course) that I cannot search any of my 200,000+ emails now because I installed Office 2013 Professional. Everything worked great with Windows Desktop Search (Win 7 64 bit) and Office 2010 Professional. I saw all my documents, emails, etc. Now, it's all screwed up.

I made the mistake of then REMOVING Office 2010 Professional, thinking this would help. I *then* went to rebuild my indexes. As a result, I can't find ANYTHING, as indexing for Windows plods along at a snails pace (2,590 files indexed in three hours. When I tried previously, it was up to 140,000 files over the course of many days. Likewise, trying to index in Outlook 2013 showed I had over 250,000 files to index, and every time I'd delete emails, the number went UP!)

Needless to say, I'm thinking of backing up, reformatting my hard drive, reinstalling Windows 7 64 bit and then reinstalling Office 2010 Professional. (Which, by the way, you can do via a DVD and choose which components to install, unlike Office 2013 Professional, which forces you to take everything. And don't get me started on what to do if you want to upgrade to a new computer and think you can easily install Office 2013 Professional!)

The final kicker is this: the only reason I got Office 2013 Professional was because I wanted the table slicers in Excel 2013. Then I found out that the decremented PowerPivot, etc. in Excel! Only if you buy the STANDALONE version of Excel do you get Business Intelligence features. IS MICROSOFT TRYING TO DESTROY SMALL BUSINESSES?!

Like so many others have expressed, it seems that Microsoft is purposely trying to get people to go away. LibreOffice has never looked so good. APPLE has never looked so good!

Oh, final tip: see this link for free desktop search programs that may solve the broken WDS issue.

WDS issue. fad Oh, how I wish Google still made their Google Desktop Search. That thing was wicked fast. If Google would just improve their online "office" docs product (Docs. Drive. Whatever.), I'd be there in a heartbeat. Why they don't is beyond me.

I have lost a whole week of work (and sleep most nights) trying to remedy this problem. Apparently, going to back to Office 2010 is the only solution. Once again, Microsoft, you steal my time and sleep and do everything you can to destroy my business. (I really think Microsoft's business strategy is built on the "there's no such thing as bad publicity" morphed with Fatal Attraction. They don't care if they keep screwing up our lives, because at least then we're always thinking "Microsoft". If their software worked, we'd "set it and forget it". But instead, they want us to always be invoking the name "Microsoft" (invoking, cursing...), because then we're always thinking about them. Microsoft, the Glenn Close of software companies.

February 5th, 2015 8:49am

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