Finding that important but long-lost email chain may soon be a lot easier thanks to some upcoming updates to Microsoft Outlook.
The email provider is introducing a number of tools to help its users track down exactly what they need by improving its search function in several ways.
This includes the ability to return over a thousand results in a single search for the first time, meaning users have a much wider search pool to capture and find the email they want.
Also on the way by September 2023 is an improvement to the search box interface itself, as Microsoft makes it “more prominent and discoverable” by using higher color contrast in the input area, border and font, as well as fine-tuning all themes such as light and dark modes.
Elsewhere, Microsoft has also revealed that Outlook search will soon cover and show results from all mailboxes configured in the application. Although it’s not set for release until July 2024, giving the company plenty of time to develop and test, the feature will also mean searches return a single search “aggregated results from all their mailboxes in the message list,” Microsoft says.
Finally, there is a change in the way results from folders and subfolders are displayed – namely that search results will now show content stored not only in the main folder, but also content stored in all its subfolders.
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It’s unclear why Microsoft has suddenly decided to go all out to improve the search function, but it’s the latest in a number of recent Outlook improvements.
This includes a new Profiles feature to help switch between work and personal profiles on a Mac, making it clear exactly which account is currently active, as well as making it easier to switch between them.
Outlook for Mac users can now create multiple profiles (such as one for work, one for personal use, etc.) and choose one to use at the time. Any account that is not resolved will no longer show or notify you of any notifications, giving you a break from unnecessary distractions.
Whatever the reason, expanding the scope of search is always a useful addition, and Microsoft will hope that users will take advantage when its various updates are released.