The Search Ribbon may be missing after a Windows or Office update. This is a known issue that unfortunately is more common after updates for Outlook 2019 and Office 365.
Below you see an example where the Search ribbon is no longer present.
In this article, you can read the step by step solution on how to get the Search Ribbon back
Good to know before you follow the How-To Guide
If you’ve landed on this page because your Outlook search bar is missing, please note that Microsoft often releases updates that can slightly change the layout or functionality.
Pressing CTRL+E or F3 in Outlook will take you to the Search bar immediately. It opens the search ribbon (if needed) and puts an active cursor in the search bar. You can use this shortcut key everywhere in Outlook, even when the search bar is missing.
Previously you could find the search bar IN a folder of your mailbox. Since Outlook 2004 (released in May 2020), the search bar is in the Outlook title bar at the very top. Here you can directly enter a search term and press ENTER. You can expand the advanced search options by clicking on the arrow on the right side of the input field.
How to add the missing Search ribbon in Outlook
This step by step howto guides you to add the Search Ribbon in Outlook
Step 1: Open the Options window
In Outlook, click File -> Options
Step 2: Go to Customize Ribbon and select Tool Tabs and Main Tabs
In the Outlook Options window, locate and click on Customize Ribbon in the left bar.
Under Choose commands from, select Tools Tabs.
Under Customize the Classic Ribbon, select Main Tab.
Step 3: Add Search Tools to Main Tabs
Left-click Search to select it (so it will be blue highlighted).
Then click the Add >> button. Search (Custom) will now appear under the Main Tabs.
Step 4: Click OK
At the bottom of the Outlook Options window, click OK to save the changes and to close the window
Step 5: Use the Search ribbon to refine your search
Back in Outlooks’ main window, click the Search ribbon
Select any icon in the Refine section to search for specific emails. In my example, I select From to find emails from a specific sender
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