Outlook Search Bar Moved to Top

If you are in the Office Insiders group (and so getting early peaks at new Outlook features), you may have noticed that in a recent Outlook update the Search bar has been moved to the top of the Windows Desktop Outlook window.

It’s not simply its position that has changed, though, it’s supposed to do faster searches and it does seem to do that. I know Microsoft has been working hard to overhaul the search engine used throughout Office and Windows, and this apparently is a next step.

Update: I’ve just created a free video about this new search box, see this post for more info.


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29 Responses to Outlook Search Bar Moved to Top

  1. One of my clients has this update going out to all their machines now. They all hate it and desperately want the old search back. Will you be updating this article with any further news?

  2. Darius Kelly says:

    I hate it too. I work using a lot of (req)uisition numbers that correlate to specific reqs so when I get an email about a specific req I like to search my inboxes for all emails concerning the req. With this new search bar I can’t just highlight and drag the req number to the search bar, I can’t even paste in the search bar without using crtl+v. So long story short, I also HATE it and desperately want the old search back!

  3. Anton says:

    I truly hope they add the option to move it back. The dropdown with suggestions gets in the way of the toolbar. My users all hate it. They really need to think things like this through….

  4. god says:

    get over it ya dam plebs

  5. Phil Rickels says:

    It’s a minor annoyance, but I don’t love it.

  6. Adis says:

    Whole day im trying to find option to move search box from the top and now i found this blog -.-‘

  7. Navi says:

    Same here. I spent almost 3-4 hours trying to go through the different View settings and landed on this page, finally. This should be at-least backward compatible.

  8. Nicole says:

    I do not like this at all. Like some others said at least give us the option to move it back; I do a lot of searching, I do not find this easier I actually find it more awkward. Blah Microsoft

  9. Amanda says:

    I hate it. It’s a long stretch with my mouse, to move all the way to the top of the toolbar and it gets in the way of my ribbon. All the options that pop in, also makes it feel cluttered.

  10. N Peep says:

    Is anyone else having an issue where when you click the search box, all of the search options show up in the main tab area, but trying to click into the search options takes focus away from the search box which makes the tab area go away..

    End result is I cannot click in Search, then select FROM, for instance. Very frustrating.

  11. Fokke says:

    What N Peep says; how annoying is it now to be able to select “From” or “Subject” in the toolbar, as the search dropdown blocks these buttons? My colleagues and are really disliking this change. It takes soo much longer to find something now.

    How can this have passed any UAT?!

  12. Michael Linenberger says:

    Guys, while it is annoying how much Suggested Search drops down, all you have to do is tap the ESCAPE key on your keyboard and the Suggested Search drop-down goes away, opening up access to the Search Tools Ribbon (and things like the From or Subject buttons on the Ribbon).

    What N Peep is saying sounds different, however—that the Search Tools Ribbon actually disappears completely, even after the drop down is gone. And no, I have not seen that. The Search Tools tab stays active in my usage so far, as long as the cursor is still in the Search box.

  13. Wisdom says:

    I hate it as well. I can’t get used to the location. I work on 2 large monitors within 6 – 8 programs, where they placed and do not allow you to move it is not only dumb but frustrating.

  14. Mike says:

    I use outlook on three machines. All have he same build and only one has the search bar in the quick access.

  15. Jason Kelton says:

    haha you’ll get used to it after 5 days, trust me!

  16. james says:

    It is TERRIBLE!!
    You now need to click to search, click the mailbox folder you want to search within, then click again to choose the folder. It used to be 2 clicks. Now it is 4. Seriously.
    Why did they make it extra clicks? One of the worst updates Microsoft ever made!

  17. Emil says:

    My users also hate this “improvement”…

    • Bob says:

      This is the part that baffles me. On one PC, I installed via the O365 portal and then ran updates and the search bar is at the very top. On another PC, from the same install button in the O365 portal, install and update did not move the search box.

  18. chuck says:

    can’t paste in that search bar, what a joke

  19. Mark says:

    Thanks for the tip to use ESCAPE to remove the suggested search dropdown. Solved my frustrations!

  20. Es says:

    I have two installations (laptop and desktop) of the same outook365 subscription, both updated to the SAME release and one has the search bar at the top, and the other is the usual place: above the emails. It cannot be any more weird.

  21. Garrett Fuller says:

    I have an older coworker who has had serious confusion related to this update.

    Why not make the search location optional??

    I appreciate your blog post, I could not figure out how she had gotten it up there.


  22. Woodrow Alex says:

    Yeah don’t like it at the top, its not a natural position for a quick search.

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