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Searching for Outlook items from the Start Screen, Start Menu or Explorer

I a previous tip, you mentioned how to Remove Outlook search results from Start Menu.

For me, searching for Outlook items in the Start Screen doesn’t seem to work at all. I’ve looked for the NoSearchCommInStartMenu Registry value but it doesn’t exist so I guess that means that it should work, doesn’t it?

Is there something else I can do to enable it again?

Whether or not you can search for Outlook items in the Start Menu or Start Screen would depend on your version of Outlook and Windows.

The same is true for using Windows Explorer or File Explorer to search for Outlook items.

Windows Search integration history

The feature to search for Outlook items outside of Outlook was first introduced in Outlook 2007 installed on Windows Vista.

In addition to the Start Menu search, it also allowed you to search for Outlook items from the “Searches” folder in Windows Explorer via the “Microsoft Outlook Search Connector”.

Support for it was continued in Outlook 2010 and Windows 7.

In Windows 8, Start Screen search for Outlook items has been dropped for any Outlook version. Searching for Outlook items with the “Microsoft Outlook Search Connector” installed by Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 is still supported via File Explorer.

In Outlook 2013, support for searching for Outlook items outside of Outlook has been dropped entirely for any Windows version.

Of course, searching for Outlook items within Outlook itself is still supported for any version of Outlook on any version of Windows. For this, it still relies on the Windows Search indexer. If you have any problems with doing an indexed search from within Outlook see: Fixing Instant Search.

Table overview

The table below provides an overview of the Windows Search integration support for any of the Windows and Outlook combination.

  Windows Vista / Windows 7 Windows 8
Start Menu Windows Explorer Start Screen File Explorer
Outlook 2003 X X X X
Outlook 2007 X
Outlook 2010 X
Outlook 2013 X X X X


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