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Searching in Outlook

Where is that email? Searching tips for Outlook

This article provides instructions on how to search for emails in Outlook. These instructions are only applicable to Outlook installed on BCIT issued standard computers.

By default, your Outlook profile will only allow up to 24 months’ worth of email to be downloaded to your local mailbox. This is implemented to allow for faster access and searches of messages sent more recently.

The impact is that you need to “request” access to messages older than 2 years in your views and searches.

Viewing messages older than 24 months

Click on any view or folder. If the messages you seek are older than 2 years, click on Click here to view more.. as shown below. All messages (offline or online) from that view or folder will display.

Screen shot in Outlook

Searching messages older than 24 months

Start by entering your search string in the Search field. If the search returned no messages, click on Find more on the server as displayed below. This will cause Outlook to load all online messages older than two years from that view or folder. Note that Outlook 2013 will not search your Online Archive by default, you need to change your Search Scope, please see below for further details on that.

Screen shot in Outlook

If your search returned only a subset of messages and you need to access emails older than two years, click on “More” as shown below.

Screen shot in Outlook

Search scope

The Search scope refers to where you target your search. These options are available via a pull-down menu on the right-side of the Search bar. They include:

  • Current Folder: Search only the selected folder
  • Subfolders: Search the current folder and all folders below it
  • Current Mailbox: Search all folders and views of the mailbox
  • All Mailboxes: Search the current mailbox and your Online Archive
  • All Outlook Items: Search all views, including Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, etc.
Screen shot in Outlook

Note that the same rule applies as above, i.e. by default only messages from the recent 2 years will be displayed. Older emails need to be accessed via the appropriate link. Note that your Online Archive will be searched using the “All Mailboxes” option only if you have enabled searching for that mailbox as well. You can verify if it is enabled from the Search Tab, under Search Tools – Locations to Search.

Screen shot in Outlook

For additional information, please contact the Technology Service desk at 604-412-7444, option #1.