Imagine being in a situation where you are drowning in a sea of emails or any other Outlook mailbox item and looking for that particular item. Here, when you scan your Outlook interface, you find out that the Outlook search bar is missing from the interface leaving you puzzled and frustrated.

A user-friendly and efficient email platform has now left you in such a problematic situation. If you are also stuck in a similar situation, then worry not! In this article, we are going to discuss various ways using which you can get the Outlook search bar back in the interface.

Let us first explore the factors behind the missing search bar in Microsoft Outlook.

Possible Reasons behind Missing Search Bar in Outlook

As Microsoft Outlook is loaded with so many features, there could be various factors contributing to a particular issue. Let’s have a look at them below:

  1. A temporary issue with Microsoft Outlook
  2. Search bar disabled within settings
  3. Troublesome Add-ins
  4. Outdated Microsoft Outlook version

As there are various possible factors for the missing search bar in Outlook, we will discuss solutions for all the factors one by one.

Solution 1: A Temporary Issue with Outlook

Most of the time, the issue within an application is due to a minor glitch instead of any major issue. There might be a service or a certain feature that is disabled and could be fixed by simply restarting Microsoft Outlook. So, you can initially try restarting the application. The steps to properly close Outlook are as follows:

1. Click on the Search bar and search for Task Manager in it and click on it.

2. Once Task Manager opens, look for Microsoft Outlook under the Processes tab.

3. Right-click on Microsoft Outlook process and click on End task button.

4. Now close Task Manager and launch Microsoft Outlook again.

If the above process doesn’t bring the missing search bar in Microsoft Outlook back, then try the following procedure.

Solution 2: Try Adding Search Bar from Settings

If you can’t see Microsoft Outlook’s search bar in the interface, you can try adding it manually from the settings. The steps are simple and are explained below:

1. Right-click on the home button of Outlook and choose Customize the Ribbon option.

2. Expand the dropdown menu located under Choose commands from section and then select All tabs option.

3. Now you will find the Search option in the left column. Select the Search option and then click on the Add button.

4. Finally, click on the OK button to save these changes.

If the reason behind the missing search bar in Outlook was due to these settings, then it would be resolved via Solution 2.

Solution 3: Launch Microsoft Outlook in Safe Mode

Now if you have reached till this part of the article, then you are still unable to fix the search bar missing issue in Microsoft Outlook. If that’s the case, then you can try running Outlook in safe mode. Doing this will launch it with basic functionalities and services and will disable all third-party integrations or add-ons.

The steps for running Outlook in safe mode are as follows:

1. First of all, open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R button.

2. Now type “outlook /safe” text in the field and hit Enter.

3. This command will now launch Microsoft Outlook in safe mode. Check if the disappeared Outlook search bar is back or not.

Solution 4: Disable / Remove Unnecessary Add-ins

Another common reason why the search bar is Outlook goes missing is due to some faulty add-in. You can remove these add-ins and look for the missing search bar.

1. Open Microsoft Outlook > go to File tab > click on the Options button.

2. In the Options tab, open the Add-ins tab. This will list all the Add-ins available in the Outlook.

3. Now expand the Manage dropdown and choose COM Add-ins option in it and hit the Go… button.

4. This will open a COM Add-ins dialog box. Uncheck the boxes adjacent to the Add-ins and click on the OK button.

5. You can now go to the Outlook’s interface to see if the disappeared search bar in Outlook is back or not. If it is back, then a particular Add-in was causing this issue.

Solution 5: Update Outlook to the Latest Version

If all this didn’t work and you are still looking for a solution for missing search bar in Outlook, then you should make sure that your Outlook is updated to the latest version.

1. For this, go to the File tab and then open the Office account tab.

2. Expand the Update Options dropdown and click on Update Now button.

3. Wait for Outlook to complete the update process. Once it completes, check if it made any differences.


Now that you have gone through all possible solutions to restore missing search bar in Outlook, the issue must have been resolved by the end of this article. Most of the time, it is that minor glitch that makes people face difficulties while using Outlook. Whether it is a temporary glitch or some issue with Add-ins, try each and every solution one by one and make sure the disappeared search bar is back in Outlook for undisrupted workflow.

By Mark Weins

After completing my graduation in Computer Science, I entered the technical world to explore my passion for technicalities. After working for over 7 years in this industry now, I have received over 10 awards as a tech expert.