Outlook 2016 does not index cached favorite Public Folders RRS feed

  • Question

  • Outlook 2016 with Office 365 hosted environment, however "fairly sure" the problem exists on Outlook 2016 & Exchange 2016.

    Cached Public Folders (YES the option is ticked to download Public Folder Favorites in control panel mail profile and YES the Public folder is actually added as a Favorite) and YES the OST has been deleted and index rebuilt.

    100% confirmed that it works on Outlook 2013 and O365 hosted but not Outlook 2016, 15+ desktops and 2 different O365 environments. Outlook appears to actually sync/download to local after setting the options but Outlook doesn't seem to be aware of it as Synchronization tab on the Public Folder says "Offline Folder Contains: unavailable"

    The last half sensible response was from another thread older locked thread, where it was reported, In October 2015:

    "It's an issue with Exchange 2016 and Outlook 2016. Emerging issue and product team is already notified about this. They are working on the same to fix it. Issue does not happens with OL 2013. and searching works when unchecking the download shared folders and searching the public folder in online mode. "

    But nothing since. The idea of O365 Business Premium was constant updates and features. Yet this important and critical feature is either broken or missing in Outlook 2016. 

    The workaround is to use the Search Tools -> Advanced find method or to turn off the PF download option for laggy and slow (but working search).

    Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:44 AM


  • Hi Jason,

    I can't find any Exchange and Outlook 2016 updates involved for your issue currently. Just personal opinion, I suspect if the issue is related to the Exchange-based search feature is used in priority for Outlook 2016.

    Based on my knowledge, Microsoft has improved the reliability and performance of Outlook search by integrating the server-side search engine in Exchange 2016 and Office 365 (Exchange Online) and leveraging this search as the default Outlook search index.

    Additionally, if the Exchange server isn’t available or when working offline, Outlook will automatically fall back to the Windows Search Index to display the Search results.

    Personal suggestion in your scenario, please go to Send/Receive tab, click Work Offline to switch Outlook 2016 in Offline mode. Test with mailbox search and check if the items in cached Public Folder favorites can be searched.

    If you want to choose the local Windows Search Index in priority for Outlook 2016, we can do the following registry key setting:

    Value name: DisableServerAssistedSearch
    Value type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    Important: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.


    Winnie Liang
    TechNet Community Support

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    Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:43 AM