Solution! Outlook 2010 Search Not Working – Add-in mssphtb.dll Disabled

Outlook 2010 Search Problem

If you have upgraded from Office 2007 to Office 2010 with Windows 7 OS you may have noticed that your Outlook Email search isn’t working. You type in the name of an email sender you are looking for and ‘no results’. Well, after searching forums and blog posts around the Internet, I finally figured out the solution.

I am posting it here so that hopefully it will be come easy to find for people experiencing this problem.

Applies to: Windows 7 OS with upgrade of Office 2010 with Outlook from Office 2007 or 2003.

Outlook 2010 Search Problem Diagnosis: It appears that the dll file mssphtb.dll which was used for Windows Search Email Indexer in previous versions of Office, does not work.. or is simply unnecessary for Outlook 2010. I think the latter is the case. I honestly cannot find a straight answer to this, but I am guessing this is the case because the solution to make the email search work right leaves that dll add-in disabled. So I guess its not needed.

The main problem that seems to occur after upgrading from 2007 to outlook 2010 is that windows indexing service gets turned off. This probably occurs during the upgrade process for good reason, but the installation script does not turn it back on.  Again, this is observational analysis only, I have no concrete testing results, so take it for what its worth.

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56 Comments

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  1. genius it worked thanks so much

  2. Thanks for the information and straight forward solution. It is refreshing to read a solution to a problem that doesn’t start with a dozen inane questions like “what color is your computer” and then end with “see your network administrator.”

  3. Not sure why I didn’t check this but amazed it was turned off. Thank you very much

  4. Thanks a lot !!

    Was looking for days already and this one is right !!

  5. You can try use “Outlook search helper”, this program is a alternative search solution to outlook. to get it just search the name in google.

  6. God Bless You!!! This was driving me C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!!!!

  7. A bit of insight into this issue since I posted a few days ago. I tried all the solutions above starting from enabling / disabling indexing for Outlook, down to empty deleted items. None worked.
    Looking back, My Outlook is exchange based 2010 and I usually have a PST ‘archive’ file open in Outlook also. But I had opened a 2nd PST file and the Search issue started afterwards. So I closed that PST. Reindexed everything. Note it still didnt work of course, until after the index was built the next day. Therefore I believe it just needed to index the additional PST – or cannot handle the extra space allocation.
    end.

  8. Summary:
    1) Enabled indexing per the original post. Did not work.
    2) Ran Office Setup again and chose the “Repair” option. AND IT WORKED!

    Detail:

    I was extremely excited when I saw this post because search not working was killing my productivity. So, I turned indexing on per the blog post and…..it did not work.

    So I tried this suggestion:
    For all those who had similar problems and everything else failed – the ultimate solution is NOT using index for Outlook. To do this for Outlook 2010 –

    1. Close Outlook.
    2. In control panel, open “Index Options”.
    3. Remove “Microsoft Outlook” from “Included locations”.
    4. Restart Outlook.

    This will force Outlook to use the slow non-index search, but it works – every time.

    But, there was not even an option for me to remove Outlook from including locations, so that didn’t work.

    So finally I got all the way down to Rob’s suggestion at the very last comment and re-ran the Office Setup file (again, this is after I had already enabled Indexing) and do “Repair”, AND IT WORKED! Thanks so much Rob. Here are the instructions if you do not want to scroll all the way to the bottom:

    “Then I decide to run the Office Setup file again and run “Repair” Option, and then it started working again.

    So definitely try running “Repair” from office setup too..”

    • I have the same (and seemingly popular) problem with Outlook 2010. Find Related search sometimes does not work at all, not even to find the original item you searched against.

      After trying the top of the blog solutions I want to report that they didnt work. I turned off indexing, did Outlook repair both per instructions.

      Then I decided to look farther down and thata you can see post after post of happy campers – after cleaning up deleted! So why do you have more these complex non working ‘solutions’ up top?

      • Thanks for commenting. First of all, I have no idea what this statement means — “Then I decided to look farther down and thata you can see post after post of happy campers – after cleaning up deleted! So why do you have more these complex non working ‘solutions’ up top”

        Secondly, the solution I posted is simple… turn indexing on and wait. Nothing complex. Its the waiting part that people have a hard time doing. If Reinstalling Outlook and running the repair works too, good, do that.

  9. For all those who had similar problems and everything else failed – the ultimate solution is NOT using index for Outlook. To do this for Outlook 2010 –
    1. Close Outlook.
    2. In control panel, open “Index Options”.
    3. Remove “Microsoft Outlook” from “Included locations”.
    4. Restart Outlook.
    This will force Outlook to use the slow non-index search, but it works – every time.
    This works for Outlook 2007 too (although the options may be at different location).

    • Thanks for the alternative option. However, WARNING! non-indexed search is horribly slow each time you use it. Not good for anyone who doesn’t like feeling like its 1997 again.

  10. An interesting post.. Try disabling the compatibility mode and see if you are able to open emails from the searched emails.. Outlook Help

  11. I just want to post somewhere out here in internet land that my Search feature in Outlook 2010 was working perfectly fine until a couple of weeks ago, and then it started working just randomly. Some searches came up, others did not. I didn’t have the problem you are mentioning here where it did not pull up any results at all, but I haven’t found an answer anywhere so I figured I’d post my simple solution to a very frustrating problem. Turns out all I needed to do was to clean out my “Deleted Items” file and my sent file. Embarrassing. But I am so happy to have found an easy solution.

  12. thanks it works,,,

  13. Damn!! IT WORKS PERFECTLY GREAT….!! THANKS MAN

  14. Had the same issue on a fresh install of Win 7-64 and Office 2010. This solution worked to fix the search problem. Thanks!!

  15. You are a life saver; I’ll have to pass this one along to our IT guys. I was just upggraded from Win XP to Win 7 Pro 32-bit (couldn’t talk them into 64-bit, oh well…), and I couldn’t search in Outlook 2010, and in fact, I couldn’t connect to a SQL server either. I had never heard about how to turn features on in Win 7, so your process saved me & my department a lot of heck because there are a lot of blank boxes in the Win Features window.

  16. Thank you very much! Searched a dozen blogs and help sites and none of them gave such a simple answer with an immediate fix. I refused to believe Microsoft was going backwards with their technology! Since our entire Seattle area economy depends on them I get scared to death if/when they make mistakes!

    M
    Bellevue, WA

  17. @GH – thank you! That worked for me!

  18. This worked on 2 PC’s that’s Outlook search did not work.

    People who do not understand the above instructions and don’t have the patients to wait for the indexing to complete should not be using a computer.

  19. Thank you so much! This worked perfectly.

  20. Thanks!! worked for me.

  21. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. That worked for me and it was a fresh install of 2010 – thanks so much!

  23. This helped! Thanks.

  24. For all those who had similar problems and everything else failed – the ultimate solution is NOT using index for Outlook. To do this for Outlook 2010 –

    1. Close Outlook.
    2. In control panel, open “Index Options”.
    3. Remove “Microsoft Outlook” from “Included locations”.
    4. Restart Outlook.

    This will force Outlook to use the slow non-index search, but it works – every time.

    This works for Outlook 2007 too (although the options may be at different location).

    • This works beautifully, thank you. You have no idea how long I have been trying to get Outlook 2010 Search working. Hard to believe Microsoft haven’t sorted a fix yet. It seems to be quite widespread.

    • THANK YOU. It doesn’t bother me that it takes a minute or so – i just want accurate results and this works! Now if apple would just fix their stuff….whole ‘nother problem.

    • Brilliant! Thank you for this.

      I have spent the last few months having to restart Outlook due to about 80% of my searches falling into a black hole (endless busy cursor, and Outlook “Not responding”).

      Removing Outlook from the indexing works perfectly. I can search for whatever I want, and it appears. How could Microsoft get this SO WRONG?

      Thanks again for the assistance.

    • Thanks for this. The indexing services is just not my cup of tea, and it was annoying to have something I’ve grown to depend on just stop working after an upgrade.

  25. I tried all suggestions here including comments and it has not worked for me. I run Windows 7 64 bit and Outlook 2010. I moved the PST file to a different drive but have checked that all the indexing is pointing to the right place. Also checked permissions. No luck! :-(

    • Remember indexing takes a long time, days even to complete. Once you make the correction as indicated you will need to wait quite sometime before the files are indexed and searchable. Also, you will need to select the files you want to index. If your outlook pst is not selected, it won’t work for Outlook.

  26. I had a similar problem. After a clean install of windows 7 ultimate and outlook 2010 searching was working fine. A day later after an windows auto-update executed, searching stopped working. I followed your suggestion and in fact the indexing had been turned off by the update. I turned it back on and everything worked again.

    Thanks

  27. Thanks! was very helpful.

  28. Many thanks, I got this issue today and repaired it right away using your post.

  29. OK… i JUSR DID A REPIAR AND THAT DID THE CHARM!!!!
    THANKS MAN :)

  30. I do not have a “Programs” in my control panel. I am using Windows XP. Is this in another location?

  31. Unfortunately, this solution did not work for me. Indexing was turned off, as reported, but checking the box did not result in search functionality. No results are obtained.

  32. In my case i was on telephone with MS for 2 days, ive rebuilt index manualy and automaticaly, and all for nothing.
    The only thing that helped was to remove profile in Control Panel->Mail->Show profiles….
    And create new one.
    After that everything started to work.

  33. I have also been having this problem since i upgraded, however i have done the above, and it is still not working. it has indexed some items, but the search tools status still says that there are many files to index, and it has been that way for weeks.
    Any other ideas?

  34. Hey Pissed,

    Wish I could help, but the instructions are too easy. Take some vitamins and try again.

  35. This help is NO HELP. I get to the last instruction check INDEXING SERVICE and there is nothing. WTF

  36. I am using Outlook 2010 but when I do a search it only searchs my Hotmail account which I get thru outlook and not my default account. How can I get “search” to add my default account in Outlook to the search?

    • If the search is turned on as indicated in this post it should work for all inboxes. You may check the settings for the hotmail account in Outlook and make sure it is included in the Windows search index.

  37. I am still looking for a solution. I upgraded Office 2007 to Office 2010 using Windows 7.
    Many issues, Search does not work in outlook and Wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office Single Image. cannot find a fix for either of those.

    I will post it here when I do.

  38. thank you for the posting, this seems to fix the issue for me

  39. Thanks very much for the post. Exactly what I was looking for.

  40. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been trying to find a solution for months. Outlook 2010 has so many issues with this.

    For some reason the indexing add-in was disabled, and the indexing was turned off for windows like this post says. Hopefully in a few hours I’ll know if this is the final solution

  41. Hey thanks for the solution, I had the same problem and I fixed it with your help! But I still wasn’t very satisfied with the search results of the outlook search and decided to use a third party tool! So I surfed through the internet and tried different tools, after all I am using Lookeen looken.net now! It is a lot faster and more accurate than the built-in outlook search!
    However thanks a lot!

    • Oh, please! On almost every forum I look for Outlook search problems (and yes, unfortunately they occur regularly), there is a lookeen “advertisement”. This is so obvious! I am not willing to pay for a tool, when an MS Office license is not cheap and the search should work!!

  42. Outlook 2010 Running Professional Vista 64bit – Solution Found!

    My search is broke, but found the fix! I tried everything on all the googled links too.

    I have Vista 64 bit. I was running Outlook 2010 Beta and then recently upgraded to full version Outlook 2010 and my search stopped working as many others. I tried many things, but what finally fixed the problem was I went into File,Options,Search,Advanced –> Restore Defaults. Rebooted and ran reindex and still didn’t work, but…

    Then I decide to run the Office Setup file again and run “Repair” Option, and then it started working again.

    So definitely try running “Repair” from office setup too..

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