Fixing Misbehaving Outlook Search Folders

Every once in a while, I’ll fire up my laptop and open Outlook 2010.  My Today’s Mail search folder will show me messages from last week, or any date / range other than today.  I’d not been able to figure out how to force Outlook to update the search folder’s index, until today:

How to troubleshoot Search Folders in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003

The relevant section that solved my problem this morning reads:

  • To manually delete all Search Folders from the information store, click Start, click Run, type outlook.exe /cleanfinders in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  • After you use the /cleanfinders start up switch, your Search Folders will be deleted from the information store the next time that you start Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003. However, the deleted Search Folders will still appear in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003 as inactive folders. If you want to continue using these Search Folders, click the Search Folder that you want to use. If you do not want to continue using one of the deleted Search Folders, right-click the Search Folder, and then click Delete.

I was a bit unsure of what would happen, as I thought it would possibly require me to recreate my search folders afterwards, but it does exactly as it says in the post.  The command deletes the data from the information store, but leaves the search folders intact.  Once this was completed, I just clicked on my Today’s Mail search folder, which was in light gray italics, and it updated to contain today’s mail!  Amazing!

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