Enable or disable Instant Search

Turn on Instant Search

Before Instant Search (Instant Search: A Search feature that provides search results quickly with word highlighting as you type. The Instant Search pane is always available in Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Folder List, and Journal.) can be enabled in Microsoft Outlook 2010, Windows Search 4.0 or later must be installed on your computer. If Windows Search 4.0 is not installed, you are prompted to download the software when Outlook 2010 starts.

  • Windows 7     Windows Search 4.0 is on by default. If you cannot use Instant Search, it might be that Windows Search is turned off. In Control Panel, click Programs, and then under Programs and Features, click Turn Windows features on or off. Select the Windows Search check box.
  • Windows Vista or earlier     Instant Search is enabled automatically on computers running Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2). If your computer runs a Windows version earlier than Vista SP2, you must download Windows Search 4.0 as follows:
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Under Search Engine Upgrade, click Upgrade Search.

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Turn off Instant Search

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Under Sources, click Indexing Options.
  5. Clear the check boxes under Index messages in these data files.

Clearing the check boxes disables search functionality, but does not remove the Instant Search pane.

The text Click here to enable Instant Search appears below the Instant Search pane if you defer enabling Instant Search.

Turn off the prompt to install Windows Search

To avoid the prompt to install Windows Desktop Search every time that you open Outlook, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Under Sources, clear the Show prompt to enable Instant Search check box.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010