How to make Outlook search ALL folders automatically

Continuous process improvement is a key element of smarter working. Here’s a 10 second personal productivity tip that will save you hours from here on in. I accept that Microsoft certainly improved the native Search function in these releases over Outlook 2003  and earlier versions. I think it does involve a few too many clicks too often. So here’s a quick and easy productivity tweak to get to that important, topical email easier and quicker.

First, though, a quick message: If you aspire to working smarter to future proof your career and business you need to go beyond tips, you need robust, simple workload management processes driven through the software you have on your desk, be it Outlook, Notes, Act, or any other leading productivity suites. You need our training. Hit the ‘Go beyond Tips graphic to the right and connect with me directly to see how we can help, no matter who you are or where you are.

Outlook 2007 Search all folders option

  • Go to your top Toolbar
  • Click on ‘Tools’ >  ‘Options’  
  • In the ‘Preferences’ tab towards the bottom click the ‘Search Options’ button in the ‘Search’ area.
  • In the ‘Search Options’ dialogue box, go to the bottom of the form and in the ‘Instant Search pane’ area select ‘All Folders’.
  • Click OK twice to  exit and activate

Outlook 2010 Search all folders option

  • Go to your top Toolbar
  • Click on ‘File’ >  ‘Options’  
  • In the left hand ‘Search’ column, click ‘Search’
  • In the ‘Results’ area change the default to ‘All Folders’
  • Click OK to activate and exit

Remember, I’m always happy to receive your comments. Do contact me or Go Beyond Tips and talk about getting rock-solid support for your personal and team productivity ambitions.


  1. Richard Maybury August 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Hi Ian, yes Xobni is excellent. To be fair to Microsoft, the search functionality available in Outlook 2007 is better than 2003 – less hourglass more speed. That might also have something to do with Windows updates as well. I still like Xobni and Copernic. Currently checking out the socialmedia plugin for Outlook to see how that will impact efficiency of the programme. More later.

  2. Ian Harvey August 5, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Xobni is still my choice, but I am stuck with Outlook 2003!

Leave A Comment

This website uses cookies and third party services. Ok