Searching Public Contacts in Outlook 2010

Today I spent too much time trying to figure out how to make Outlook 2010 index contacts from a public folder so I could search them. I was getting the error: "instant search encountered a problem while trying to display search results". I was not able to find the complete solution anywhere else so, I have posted it here.

First, locate the folder you want to search in the left-hand treeview. Right-click it, and select "Add to Favorites". This will add it to your public folders favorites section. Second, go to File --> Info --> Account Settings. Under the Email tab, select your exchange account & click the "Change" button. Click the "More Settings" button in the bottom right of the popup. Click the "Advanced" tab. Check "Use Cached Exchange Mode" and "Download Public Folder Favorites". Click "Ok" at the bottom. Click "Next" then "Finish" on the first popup. Close and reopen outlook. You should now be able to search the favorites folder you created.


  1. Your post resolved my problem. Although, I already had everything else configured properly, I didn't have the "Download Public Folder Favorites" checked since it wasn't needed in Outlook 2007.

    I'm currently working on an Exchange 2003 to 2010 migration and Office 2007 to 2010 deployment and Outlook 2010 didn't do this by default.


  2. This is a real "Headache Prevention" post!!
    I could have wandered for days in Microsoft sites before finding anything as clear as your post to solve a problem like this! Thanks a lot!!


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