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My question is closely related to this question but for a much later version of Outlook.

I have been using Outlook 2010 at work on Windows 7.

The system I have setup for the past 6+ months is using categories to allow quicker sorting, filing, and management, similar to the gmail system I have used before. I have a variety of shortcuts and macros setup (using AutoHotKey and VBA, for those interested) for quickly doing all these activities. I started this setup realizing how often I had to search for email even in folders once folders got to a certain size, so I stopped trying to file them when I had to search anyways.

Unfortunately, the built-in search within Outlook is inferior to either the Mail app for OS:X or Gmail's search and even with only about 6 months of emails is really slow.

I am looking for a way to make this search faster and more accurate.

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Ensure that Windows Search is turned on (Control Panel / Programs and Features / Turn Windows features on or off), and that the outlook folder is used in Outlook Options / Search / Sources / Indexing Options. See also this article. Please comment your findings. – harrymc Aug 19 '13 at 15:25
Just wondering, do any of your macros interact with how search works? What exactly are your macros doing? Are you connected to an exchange server or are you using IMAP or POP? Are you using PSTs to store your email (if not I highly suggest doing so)? Are you using Search Folders in Outlook 2010? I personally use search folders to sort incoming email (which gets copied to my PST via a mail rule). – Richie086 Aug 19 '13 at 15:31
@harrymc it is enabled. I have howver changed Windows Search to only index Outlook which appears to dramatically increase the speed of search in Outlook. I am unsure if this is going to work as a permanent solution, however – enderland Aug 19 '13 at 16:16
@Richie086 none of the macros affect this. They are all short-term macros which basically move items around. I am using search folders, one is an "all mail" folder which has the most problems as it refers to the most items. – enderland Aug 19 '13 at 16:18
What about my other questions? Exchange or IMAP/POP? Are you using PSTs or do you have everything in folders/subfolders of the primary inbox? – Richie086 Aug 19 '13 at 16:53

First ensure that Windows Search is turned on (Control Panel / Programs and Features / Turn Windows features on or off).

Second, ensure that the outlook folder is used in Outlook Options / Search / Sources / Indexing Options. Check that there are not too many other folders listed, to minimize the size of the index.

See also this article.

As another optimization, you can reduce the part of the index to search by using Advanced Find.

Another solution would be to use a search replacement for Outlook's search, for example Xobni, Copernic or Lookeen.

Another alternative used to be Lookout, which Microsoft bought and canned, but maybe these articles may help :
Lookout: a powerful search function for Outlook
How to Install Lookout on Outlook 2007
Search e-mail at lightspeed: using Lookout with Outlook 2007

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Do you have instant search turned on? It uses Windows Search 4.0 to speed things up. By default Windows 7 has Windows Search 4.0 enabled so just need to turn using it on in Outlook.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Under Search Engine Upgrade, click Upgrade Search.

Ref: Enable or disable Instant Search

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Instant search is enabled, yes, though it had previously indexed several hundred thousand items. – enderland Aug 19 '13 at 16:18

There is an Outlook plugin called Xobni. It does lots of stuff, but for me the main benefit of it is that is brings the Outlook search up to par with what you see in OS X It costs money, but it is worth it if you use Outlook a lot.

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Exactly the same problem - search indexing of Outlook very slow (about 200 items per hour!) Also nearly got to zero and would jump back to 50,000 left... very frustrating. Best answer I found was here: Much of which is suggested on this forum already. Final answer for me was checking Event Viewer (Start-->Run--> Eventvwr) for SearchIndexer. Found billions of warnings about "The filter host process xxxx did not respond and is being forcibly terminated." That led me to this: And finally the solution was to uninstall my pdf software (PDF-XchangePro). Now indexes about 10,000 per hour!

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