back to article Microsoft resorts to Registry hack to keep Outlook from using Windows 11 search

Microsoft has identified Windows Indexing as the culprit for broken Outlook Search results in Windows 11. The problem for Outlook Desktop users on Windows 11 is that recent emails are not showing up in the search results and Windows Indexing appears to be the culprit. The indexing service is infamously fragile and when …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    You see the problem with Linux for the average user is the need for obscure commands and text manipulation to make it work as you want it to.

    Oh, sorry, wrong OS here...

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Yes, I guess sometimes Windows is not worse than Linux is all the time.

  2. iron Silver badge

    People have Windows Search enabled? I've never found a use for it and have disabled it after install since Win 95.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      I actually found it useful until Windows 98 SE. After that? Well...

  3. williamsth

    What about Windows 10?

    What's their excuse for results not showing in Windows 10?

    Oh that's right - they can't make a search algorithm that works for anything. My mistake.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: What about Windows 10?

      The same as how they licensed Chromium for Edge, they have licensed Amazon's search engine for Bing.

    2. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: What about Windows 10?

      Seems Google's previously formidable search ability has been neutered, now it just returns random merde, as bad as bing....

      1. localzuk Silver badge

        Re: What about Windows 10?

        Google's search algorithm developed over time from "lets show the best results" to "lets show the results we get paid most for"...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google search is like a man that's had a frontal lobotomy, of late.

          Google Search has been on a downward trajectory since about 2012. It's now utterly useless, other than superficial generalised search results. aka. adverts, obfuscated spam sites.

          Google search today, is like a man that's had a frontal lobotomy, it's no use to man nor beast. Politicians love it, because it dumbs down the population, odd too, that not one MP has brought this up, they clearly want a very controlled internet, with curated simplified search results.

          It feels deliberately broken, where big money has taken over the decision-making. Search is crying out for a decent competitor, to balance things up, search is languishing in the doldrums, much like when Microsoft had a monopoly on Internet Explorer.

          Given I don't use Facebook, my judgment may be skewed, but Google search really has been getting worse for years.

      2. Morrie Wyatt

        Re: What about Windows 10?

        Such random merde being ably assisted by the entire SEO industry, pushing the most odoriferous garbage to the top of the pile.

    3. mmonroe

      Re: What about Windows 10?

      Which is why I have cygwin installed - grep works. SuperfinderXT is fairly good too.

  4. MJI Silver badge

    But what about Thunderbird?

    First used it when Outlook Express was sidelined been on TB ever since.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Borkzilla has never understood search

    30 years on and Windows Search is still as slow as it was before Y2K.

    One wonders what Borkzilla is employing all those programmers for.

    Oh, yeah, making useless interface changes and creating new emojis nobody asked for.

    You want real, efficient search ? Try Everything.

    That is a search tool. It returns results as you type, like a proper program should given the power of today's computers.

    1. naive

      Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

      Finding a file on the c-drive .. one can fly to Guatemala for purchasing fresh coffee beans, return home, and make an expresso before MS-Bimbo found something.

      It feels like blondie from Redmond is still digging thru floppy drives to find ones file.

      Try "find / -type f -name '*important_file*' or "find / -type f-print | xargs fgrep this-i-am-looking-for"

      on any Linux/Unix machine from the last 15 years, and you be done within two minutes in most cases.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

        Yes, the same on Windows. I use DIR and FIND if I really need to find something.

        (DOS FIND is only the text search utility, it used in conjunction with DIR to find files).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

      Windoze was never meant to search. It was designed with a hierarchical structure of folders and files in mind.

      Search was slapped on when users demanded it but it was and is an afterthought.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

        Are you sure users demanded it and not the marketing department? Because I can't imagine Microsoft bolting on something just because mere users asked for it...

    3. JamesTGrant

      Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

      Agree - ‘everything’ by Void tools is utterly brilliant. What I don’t understand is how it can be so good when the Windows built-in indexing and searching is so slow and resource intensive.

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Borkzilla has never understood search

        Like 7Zip file manager compared to Windows file manager. Source/destination name longer than 256 character? No problems.

        Windows: Refuses to look at what it allowed it's users to do.

      2. Snapper

        Re: Borkzilla has never understood search



  6. 43300 Silver badge

    "A temporary workaround is to simply switch off Windows Desktop Search to force Outlook to use its built-in service. Users that choose this option will be warned that Search will be impacted because a group policy has turned off the Windows Search service,"

    That's how you would have it working on a terminal server, usually. I've not noticed any impact on the speed of search, to be honest!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you notice

      The disturbing lack of search "telemetry" being forwarded to Redmond?

      For I fear that is the real problem. If what you want your search to find is actual files on your actual computer, you won't miss much, as they use pretty similar code. The "modern" search just shovels in 7 other categories and mixes the results with random paid web search hits from Bing.

      I already had to apply GPO hacks to keep it from trying to serve up links to download shady knock-offs of apps the company uses when they are in our MDM's self service install library. (Which helpfully does not appear in either list, but a link to buy another copy from the windows store is prominently featured).

      M$ really needs to get a wakeup slap in the face, as we are starting to replace a little too much of it out of the box. When your business users are installing a 3rd party desktop shell, search, browser, package manager, and identity server you might have mismanaged your OS development.

  7. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Windows, search, and the art of inadequacy

    Windows’ lack of ability to perform simple tasks like searching for a file is on my top 10 list of reasons why I hate it. I’m sure everyone here has tried to do a search for a file that you KNOW is there and yet W can’t find it, even when it’s there in plain sight.

    Another is copying a file; why does it have to “prepare” to copy the selected file(s). Just f***ing do it!!!! There is nothing to “prepare” for.

    Yet another is it’s inability to kill a rogue task/application. Running and stopping tasks is about as basic as you can get with an OS and yet Windows seems to struggle with even this simple job; it is the only OS I have ever used that can fail to kill a user task

    Being unable to search effectively is just a symptom of the Micky Mouse crappy OS (I use the term loosely) that is Windows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows, search, and the art of inadequacy

      I have an under powered three or four year old HP laptop with, I think, a pentium silver processor. For some reason it was able to upgrade to Windows 11 and as I wasn't using it much I forgot to restore it to Windows 10. It takes about 15 minutes to boot to a usable desktop and programs can take over five minutes to load. The machine is frankly unusable. However when booted in to Mint it is quick and snappy and it is almost a pleasure to use, still a little slow but perfect for my use case for the machine.

      So same machine, Windows 11 unusable, Mint very usable. I know the conclusion I've drawn.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Windows, search, and the art of inadequacy

        Same here

        windows 10 thrashes the HDD to death running god knows what for 15-30 minutes before you can even use the PC... although the desktop login comes up in about a minute.

        Linux mint take a min to desktop and is ready to use


      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Windows, search, and the art of inadequacy

        "So same machine, Windows 11 unusable, Mint very usable. I know the conclusion I've drawn."

        Which is at odds with the MS "conclusion". From their point of view, your computer is too slow therefore it's time buy a new one with a new paid-for W11 licence. For most non-technical users, that;s exactly what they will do. And businesses running fleets of PCs/laptops as well.

        You, probably like most of us readers here, are the outliers who choose and OS (or trim down an OS) to suit the machine it's running on. Everyone else just upgrades their machine to suit whatever Redmond dictates.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: Windows, search, and the art of inadequacy


          Just found mint runs on an old laptop (2009/mint 19) so went for 20 on my personal work box

          d/l mint 20.. slapped it on a USB, rebooted the PC... thats about it

          Run update every 4 weeks or so.. and its good to go

          For me its not a question of windows vs linux , its how come m$ can make a product as bad as it is, and yet still sell millions of copies....

  8. Danny 2

    Called off the search due to bad weather

    An MS search on my computer means leaving it on all night and expecting to be disappointed the next morning. I often find stuff faster by sleeping on it and remembering where I put it.

    I am a big fan of Protonmail, but the free version search has never worked once for me. I picture it saying to me, "That's a secret above your pay grade, if I told you then I'd have to kill you".

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Called off the search due to bad weather

      "the free version search has never worked once for me"

      Sounds like the free version just delegates to MS Search in the background.

  9. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    As for a fix, well, there isn't a formal one yet.

    They have no incentive, as they want everyone on 365.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As for a fix, well, there isn't a formal one yet.

      which is a pile of stinking privacy nightmares.

      FUCK office 359 (it's never been 365) it needs nuking from fucking orbit

  10. Piro Silver badge

    Microsoft has failed to get the basics right

    Search has been degraded since arguably Vista to some degree, simplified further in 7, but still very functional in the start menu - and then utterly broken in 8 and beyond. They never recovered. Third party alternatives are the only way to regain sanity.

    1. Icepop33

      Re: Microsoft has failed to get the basics right

      I had to have a bit of a laugh when I read "..simplified further in 7, but still very functional in the start menu..."

      What do you mean by functional? It's not a smart search, although I'm sure that phrase is in the marketing material/documentation. I think auto-complete is also mentioned.

      Let's say I want to manage my disks.

      I think there is a plug-in for the Microsoft Management Console that will allow me to do that.

      Just need to find it. Let's try the Start Menu search bar.

      Drum roll, please, if you possess the quality of endurance.

      Type in "disk". Hmm, no, I don't want to clean up a disk or defragment one. Not yet, anyway.

      "diskm"? Nope. I seem to remember it uses the 8.3 naming convention so the iterations I will have to check at least aren't practically infinite.

      "diskman? Huh, I have a file called diskmana.gif? Funny.

      "diskmgr"? No results. Aaargh.

      Oh, "diskmgmt"? Yeah, that's it. Wait, it's just a bunch of docs and pictures? WTF.

      Ok, so ask a buddy what the extension might be. Them: "It's .msc, what are you trying to do?" Me: "I want to see the status and health of all my drives." Them: "Good thing you aren't trying to shrink a partition or something." Me: "No, but I would like to find it." Them: "you want to FIND something on your computer using Windows Search? OK, I have better things to do, You're on your own." Me: "Gee, thanks!"

      Type in" Crap, what was that last letter? All I see are docs.

      "diskmgmt.msa"? Nope.

      "diskmgmt.msb"? Nada.

      "diskmgmt.msc"?, wait, there it is!

      Now, I can try to calm down and reflect on the fact that I did all the work. It did throw me a bone in the end though, and actually match a file on my computer with my exact search query. It's like a guilty kid, that when you exactly spell out how you caught them stealing a cookie from the cookie jar, reluctantly produces said cookie from pieces, with lint and what looks like a cockroach leg.

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