How to Find Related Messages With Outlook

Find an email you never opened fast

Occasionally, an email exchange gets out of control. You may take a few days to answer, someone else may answer late, and another person may refer to a previous email that you didn't read. At times like this, use Outlook to search for the original message and all the related messages so that you won't be out of the loop.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

How to Find Related Messages With Outlook

Outlook provides a built-in tool that quickly finds all related messages based on either the conversation or the sender.

  1. Open Outlook and find a message related to the one you are looking for.

  2. Right-click the message in the message list.

    Screenshot of right-click menu on related message
  3. Select Find Related > Messages in this Conversation. To see results from one person, select Find Related > Messages from Sender.

    Screenshot of Find Related menu
  4. Review the search window that contains all the related messages that Outlook found.

  5. If the email you need is included in the search results, select it to open it.

Find Related Messages Not Working

If your search does not turn up related messages that you know exist, troubleshoot to resolve the issue.

Outlook may not be able to find the message because it needs to be updated. Update Microsoft Outlook and try again. Performing updates is often all that is needed to fix the issue.

Performing an update from within any Office application, such as Outlook or MS Word, ensures that all Microsoft Office programs on your computer are up-to-date.

If updating Outlook does not work, disable add-ins. Some add-ins may interfere with the search process. To disable add-ins:

  1. Go to File.

  2. Select Manage COM Add-ins for any slow or disabled add-ins that are affecting Outlook's behavior. Make sure they are disabled and close the window.

    Screenshot of Manage COM Add-ins
  3. Select Options in the left pane to open the Outlook Options dialog box.

    Screenshot of Outlook Options
  4. Select Add-ins.

    Screenshot of Outlook Options Add-ins tab
  5. Select Go to open the Com Add-ins dialog box.

  6. Clear all the check boxes, then select OK.

    Screenshot of COM Add-ins
  7. Select OK to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

  8. Restart Outlook and try to use the related message search again. If it functions properly, go back and enable each add-in one at a time. Then, perform a related message search after each one is enabled to determine which one was interfering with the search.

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