Widen the Search Net When Hunting for an Old E-Mail


Q: I was searching frantically for an e-mail I received some weeks ago, and it never showed up in my search. I was about to give up when I decided to check my Deleted Items folder. And, sure enough, there it was. Why didn’t my search locate it there?


A: I would guess you’re running Outlook 2007. And if you take a second look at the box where you started the search, my guess is that it resembles the screenshot below, which indicates the hunt was limited to your Inbox—and it never bothered to check your Deleted Items folder, or any of your other folders for that matter. To save searching time, Outlook 2007 defaults to searching just the Inbox, but I’ll show you how to get it to cast a wider search net.


To set the default to extend future searches, click on Tools, Options, Preferences and Search Options. Then, under Deleted Items, place a check next to Include messages from the Deleted Items folder in each data file when searching in All Items. And under Instant Search Pane, click All folders (see screenshot below).


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