Tech Tip: Outlook error “Something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed”

If you’ve been using Microsoft Outlook (2016 / 365 / 2019) and been able to search just fine until recently, this might help you. Saw this issue crop up with a number of clients recently.

When searching in Outlook, they would receive this error: “Something went wrong and your search couldn’t be completed. It looks like there’s a problem with your network connection.

Except your network connection is totally fine.

This Microsoft article provides some workarounds, including the the solution I’ve been using, but makes it sound as though it only happens under specific circumstances. In my experience, Microsoft pushed out a recent update to Office and this has caused issues for non-Microsoft 365, on-prem Exchange Outlook clients as well. They receive this same error and it’s not clear what is their best path forward.

This registry update helped them:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. Launch Regedit
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice16.0OutlookSearch
  4. Add the following DWORD: DisableServerAssistedSearch
  5. Give it a value of 1.
  6. Close Regedit.
  7. Relaunch Outlook and try to search.

You should be able to search again in Outlook.

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