I've got CtrlF burned into my brain and hands to do a search. Outlook makes you use CtrlE because CtrlF does a forward. But when composing an email, CtrlF initiates a find.

Assuming I'm OK giving up CtrlF to forward an email, can I somehow get CtrlF to initiate a search in a given folder?

  • Don't think so... Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:54
  • 1
    You can do ctl-shift-f to get the advanced find... Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:57
  • @Zeke - not bad, not bad... If you do this as an answer rather than a comment then I'll accept it.
    – Matthew
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 19:59

3 Answers 3


You could try this link it won't let you map ctrlf but you could make altf work.

Or as I said above - you could use ctrlshiftf


If you are willing to use AutoHotKey, the following macro will make ctrlf work like ctrle.

#IfWinActive, ahk_class rctrl_renwnd32
^f::Send, {CtrlDown}e{CtrlUp}

For me I wanted it to find text inside the email, so I mapped mine as follows:

#IfWinActive, ahk_class rctrl_renwnd32
^f::Send, {CtrlDown}o{CtrlUp}{AltDown}hfd{AltUp}
  • This AutoHotKey tip is confusing. How or why would it work only on Outlook? Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 8:02
  • @JariTurkia The first line is making sure the active window is one we want to do the macro on. You are right that it could be written more clearly to show that in the code and/or comments. Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 13:41

After some trial and error I've created an AutoHotkey script that takes care of the Ctrl+F in the main Outlook window but also uses it to launch the search inside Mail and Meeting items. Essentially this restores the expected behaviour for the Ctrl+F shortcut in Outlook.

; Outlook - Remaps Ctrl+F to the expected search function. 
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
#if ( WinActive(" - Outlook ahk_exe OUTLOOK.EXE") ) 
#if ( WinActive(" - Message ( ahk_exe OUTLOOK.EXE") ) 
^f::Send {F4} 
#if ( WinActive(" - Meeting ahk_exe OUTLOOK.EXE") ) 
^f::Send {F4}


  • The main window requires a remap to Ctrl+E as in the answer by Leigh. I use a title filter to avoid overlap with other remaps.
  • When viewing but not editing a mail item Ctrl+F will trigger a forward not the Find dialogue which is under F4. As F4 also works in the edit window rebinding Ctrl+F to F4 covers both.
  • The F4 remaps use Send as otherwise the Ctrl modifier will be kept and Ctrl+F4 is a shortcut for Category assignment.
  • Title match uses the " - Message([HTML/Rich/Plain])" suffix to detect Mail item display. As similar filter is used for Meeting items. All text between the " and the ahk_exe is the title that's matched for. This requires SetTitleMatchMode to be set to 2 (search entire Title) rather than the default 1 (start match only).

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