How Do I Set the Default Search Folder in Outlook 2013?

“Welcome to Office 365 and the Land of Search-Your-Entire-Mailbox!”

That’s how it felt when the upgrade to Outlook 2013 took effect. At first I tried to deal with it, but the search kept returning everything, from all folders (including Deleted Items)  – which for me was too many results. I try to keep an organized approach to email and strive for inbox zero. Along those lines, it’s important that I keep my search results clean, too.

Outlook 2013 Default Search

As I mentioned, by default, Outlook 2013 sets your search to All Mailboxes.

outlook 2013 search default all mailboxes

I tried to deal with this fact and just click the down chevron and select Current Folder each time I wanted to conduct a search for an email. This is certainly an option for people who don’t conduct searches very often, but since I search for email quite frequently, it didn’t take long for that to get old and inefficient. So I dug into Outlook 2013’s settings and found where to change the default search settings.

How to Change Outlook 2013 to Default to Current Folder

Step 1: With Outlook 2013 open, click on the File menu

outlook 2013 file menu

Step 2: Then click on Options

outlook 2013 file options

Step 3: In the Outlook Options window click on Search

outlook 2013 options search

In Results, you will see that “Current folder. Current mailbox when searching from the inbox” is selected by default in the Include results only from: section.

outlook 2013 search options defaults

Step 4: Select the radio button for “Current folder

outlook 2013 search options current folder

Step 5: Click OK to apply the change

Now your default search location will be your Current Folder.

outlook 2013 search default current folder

Happy Emailing!