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How to search all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook?

By default, Outlook searches emails in the current folder which you are locating. For many cases, you want to search all folders at the same time instead of just searching the current folder, then you need to manually select the All Mail Items under Search tab. Actually in Outlook, you can configure all folders to be searched at once by default. Please do as the following tutorial shows.

Search all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook 2010 and 2013

Search all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook 2007

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arrow blue right bubbleSearch all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook 2010 and 2013

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, you can search the items in all folders by default with following steps.

1. Please click File > Options. See screenshot:

2. In the Outlook Options dialog box, please click Search in the left bar, then go to the Result section, check the All folders option.

3. Click OK button

Then when you start search emails, it will be searched in all mail folders automatically.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, please do as follows.

1. Please click Tools > Options.

2. In the Options dialog box, please click the Search Options button under Preferences tab. See screenshot:

3. When the Search Options dialog box popping up, please go to the Instant Search Pane section, and then check the All folders option. Finally click OK button.

4. When it returns to the Options dialog box, please click OK button to finish the whole settings.

Then when you start searching emails, you can see the emails are search in All Mail Items.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ronny Silaen · 4 months ago
    Neat, great help indeed for my work
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    AdieP · 9 months ago
    Hi there,
    I just got Windows 10 and "All Folders" isn't a choice for me. My choices are:
    1. Current folder
    2. Current folder. Current mailbox when searching from the inbox
    3. Current mailbox
    4. All mailboxes

    Any suggestions? Thanks for your help.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Mellen · 6 months ago
      I also just upgraded to Windows 10 and am incredibly unimpressed with this Outlook 2016 upgrade. When I select "All Mailboxes," it STILL defaults to current folder. I hate you Microsoft!!! My IT team even gave up on me and said I'm SOL. Fun times.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    jbandas13 · 1 years ago
    Quick and easy help. Gracias!