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Outlook search bar moved to top

Microsoft Outlook or also known as Outlook is a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Adding your email account in Outlook and using Outlook makes the daily workflow a lot easier. One of the functions that you use daily in Outlook is the search functionality. Now this time, when you started Outlook, you can’t find the search bar anymore. The Outlook search bar is missing, or is it moved?

The organization is using the on-premises Microsoft Office suite 2013, 2016, and 2019. We had a big update planned, and that’s rolling out Office 365 in the organization. There is a difference between Microsoft Office 365 and the on-premises Microsoft Office 2013/2016/2019 suite. One of these differences is that Office 365 is a subscription service. It ensures you always have the most up to date modern productivity tools from Microsoft. It means that the users are going to see new features and design changes. One of these changes is the search bar in Outlook. Expect to get calls or emails about the missing search bar in Outlook.

The answer that you can give them is that it’s not missing. Users, including you and me, are used to click the search box at the top of the messages and start typing. The good news is that the Outlook search box is not missing. The Outlook search bar position is moved to the top in the title bar. For some users, it feels a bit strange as they are used to it since Outlook 2003. That’s more than 15 years!

In the next part, we will look at the Outlook search bar position before and after the update.

Search bar before Outlook update

Before the update to Office 365, the Outlook search bar is placed at the top of the messages.

Outlook old search box position before

Search bar after Outlook update

After the update, the Outlook search bar is placed in the title bar.

Outlook new search box position

At the moment of writing, it’s impossible to change the search box back to the top of the messages. You can get the search box back if installing an older version of Microsoft Office 365. After that, you need to disable automatic updates. I don’t recommend doing that as you need to get updates for security fixes and bug fixes.

Technology changes every day, and you will get used to the new features. Stay up to date and make sure that you train the staff before pushing an update without telling them.

Microsoft pushed an update to the Office 365 suite, and the Outlook search box is moved to the top. A lot of people do not like the change, what do you think?


In this article, you learned that the Outlook search bar moved to the top in the title bar. It’s a new feature by Microsoft, and it’s only happening for Office 365 customers. The search bar is not moved to the top if you are using on-premises Microsoft Office 2013/2016/2019. If you are using Microsoft Office 2010 or older, you need to update right now to a newer version! Don’t like the new position? Give feedback about this change to Microsoft.

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ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Connect with ALI TAJRAN on social media. Read more »

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Who in the heck thought moving the Search bar to the top was a good idea. Don’t you guys do Beta testing before you release changes? It’s more cumbersome, takes more clicks to do a search. The drop down covers the buttons I need to PERFORM a search. Seriously!
    Plus the search bar is up and out of the normal mouse cruising area for most buttons used. Either give the option to move it back or just “MOVE IT BACK!

  2. The issue with having the Search Bar on top is that it drops down on top of the Search keywords, i.e. Subject, hasattachment, etc, so you can’t use them anymore because they are behind it. It’s useless now.

  3. I totally agree with Vi, please give us the option to move the search bar back. It doesn’t make any sense having it up there.
    Please move it back!

  4. I use the search bar very often. I was really unpleasantly surprised that it has moved all the way to the top. It was much more accessible before, and this will take more time to move the mouse cursor there and back and cause me to lose a lot of productivity in one of the main tools I use. Please move it back!

    Is there a shortcut key for accessing the search bar?

    1. Most are surprised by the change because we are used to having the search bar in a specific place. It has been there for more than 15 years. To access the search bar, you can use CTRL+E or F3.

  5. Is there an option to add fields for search (example – “to”, “from”, “subject”…), as it was available in last version of Outlook?

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