When the Outlook application is configured with Exchange account, then it is seen to limit the Instant Search results to 250. It avoids precise search results while looking for some critical data. Actually, this limit is found in Outlook with Cached Exchange Mode, and it does not list all the search results but gives a message:

‘Showing recent results… (followed by More).’
You can click on the message and see other results also.

The earlier Outlook versions like 2007 and 2010 used to get a message like:

‘Your search returned a large number of results. Narrow your search or click here to view all results.’


The reason behind the limitation is that Outlook provides a fast search result rather than taking time to enlist the entire result.

Increase the Search limit

If you want to see all the search results, then you can change the setting in the Outlook by using the following steps:

  1. Open Outlook, go to File, then click Options.
  2. Open MS Outlook

  3. In the Outlook Options window, go to the Search tab.
  4. Go to the search tab

  5. Here uncheck the option ‘Improve search speed by limiting the number of results shown.’ Click OK.
  6. Improve search speed

  7. Now search and see if the limit of search has increased.

Another method is changing the registry settings. Use the below steps:

  1. Go to the registry key:
    Here 16.0 is a placeholder which denotes the version of Exchange Server.
    DWORD: SearchResultsCap

The SearchResultsCap mentions a number. If it shows 0, then it means that there is no limitation on the search limit. If it shows a number, then it is the limitation of the search limit. For Example, if it is valued as 300, then the Outlook will show 300 items after the result.

Both of the above methods work in the Cached Exchange Mode. The search limitation for OWA is also 250.

Although many users are satisfied with the 250-search limit, there are some benefits you can enjoy if you increase the limit –

  • The search result will be complete in a single list, and the user can immediately get the required information.
  • The user needs to run a different search query if the search result does not bring the necessary information. That’s why increasing the search limit will remove the need to run another search query.
  • Expanding the search limit is suitable for the large-sized mailboxes, where the number of messages is much larger.

After you have increased the limit for a search query in the Outlook, you should get a satisfactory result. But if you are not getting the data in the search result, then it means that either data is not present in the mailbox or your search parameter is not adequate. If you do not find the data even after a correct search query, then it means it is deleted, and you cannot search it.

Final Words

Here, comes a unique tool to your rescue. It is OST recovery tool to recover Outlook mailbox from an OST file. It can access the offline OST files, scan them, and bring the deleted data back to you. You can easily recognize the deleted item as it is shown in red color. The OST Recovery tool also maintains the integrity of the mailbox and places the recovered items at the same place there were saved. You can use the tool to repair OST file of any version of Outlook configured with any version of Exchange Server.

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