Solution: Can’t Paste in to Outlook Search Box

Solution: Can’t Paste in to Outlook Search Box

UPDATE: June 2020

Please note that if you can paste in to the search bar using the shortcut CTRL + V and not right click, the chances are you are simply on the newer version of Outlook and at present this is expected behavior from Microsoft.  The fix below was written for a different issue where some users could not paste at all (by any means) rather than the new issue introduced by MIcrosoft where they have disabled right-click in the search bar.

Hopefully Microsoft will restore the right click option as many users still seem to rely on it.  If you wish to vote on having the option to restore the old search box, there is a ‘User Voice’ vote of it here:

UPDATE: May 2020

[easyazon_link keywords=”100 Life-Changing Tips Using Microsoft Office” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″ ][/easyazon_link]
An important thing to note is that in the latest versions of Outlook (with the search box at the top), you can no longer right-click so in order to paste, you need to use the keyboard shortcut (CTRL+V), if that solves it for you please comment below so we can see the numbers of people used to using mouse only.

There’s been a big increase in people having this issue recently so I’d like to request people post their version number in and operating system in the comments so we can see if there is an issue with a specific version of Outlook, Windows or combination of the two.  To get your Outlook version, click FILE (on the top menu), then OFFICE ACCOUNT (further down the left hand menu) and then finally click the About Outlook button on the right.  Your office version is displayed on the right, mine is Microsoft Outlook for Microsoft 365 MSO (16.0.12730.20252) 64-bit and copy/paste in to Outlook works fine for me.

To get your Windows version, press the Windows key on your keyboard, type CMD and press enter.  In the black command line box that appears, type systeminfo and press enter, the 2nd and 3rd lines are windows version (for example Windows 10 Pro, 10.0.xxxxx Build 18363).

The Count

Update June 2020: I have stopped taking tally as many people aren’t experiencing the original issue of right-click not working, rather they are using the newer version of the search box where Microsoft have disabled right click.  Until Microsoft restore this functionality, there’s not much to be done other then use CTRL + V to paste.

As people post their versions I will update the table below to see if there is a common factor:

Outlook Versionx32 or X64Count (Paste Broken)Count (Paste Working)


I recently started being unable to paste in to the search box in Outlook using the copy/paste shortcut – a feature I used all the time.  Initially I thought it was just a glitch specific to my machine but then I found it was occuring on all 3 of my machines.

Fortunately after a bit of digging, there is a very simple fix: disable hardware graphics acceleration for Outlook.

To do this, perform the following steps:

Open Outlook

Go to File

Click Options

In the Outlook Options dialog box, click on Advanced in the left hand bar

In the right-hand bar, scroll down to the heading that says Display

In the Display section, tick the box that says Disable hardware graphics acceleration*

*Note in some versions of Outlook it seems this is inverted and its a pre-checked box that says Enable hardware graphics acceleration and you have to untick it.

Restart Outlook

Problem solved!

Outlook Search Box Scope Change

While we’re on the subject, a little known option I always change in Outlook that relates to the search box is the default ‘scope’ of the search feature when you’re looking at your Inbox.  Out-of-the box if you search here, it searches your entire mailbox which I f8ind less useful, you can change this via the sames options screen:

Open Outlook

Go to File

Click Options

In the Outlook Options dialog box, click on Search in the left hand bar

In the right-hand bar, under Results you can choose from:

  • Current folder (my preference)
  • Current folder.  Current mailbox when searching from the inbox (the default)
  • Current mailbox
  • All mailboxes
Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob is a Founder of Seguro Ltd, a full time father and husband, part-time tinkerer-with-wires, coder, Muay Thai practitioner, builder and cook. Big fan of equality, tolerance and co-existence.

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42 comments on «Solution: Can’t Paste in to Outlook Search Box»

  1. Jason Upton says:

    I clicked the little box. But I still cannot paste in the new search bar since they moved it to the top.

    1. Michael says:

      Same Issue, did you find a fix?

  2. Cheryl says:

    I tried it as well, and still can’t in the new search bar at the top.

  3. James Webb says:

    I have the same issue and this solution did not work. The problem arose after an update. I also have a problem in that Search doesn’t work at all. It just says there is a problem and I’m not connected to the network, which I am as I can send and receive.

  4. Brian says:

    Same problem here. No longer able to paste in the search box after the latest update. The search box has moved too. Why can’t “they” just leave things alone. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it !
    – Definition of progress… make simple complicated. Gerrr lol

  5. Jacinda says:

    Same issue here

  6. John Haestad says:

    Same issue – happened after last outlook update

  7. jeremy wilson says:

    Hi i tried your fix and am having the same problem, cant paste into the new Search bar at the top.

    MSO 365 16.0.12730.20144 32 BIT

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Thanks Jeremy, its working for me and I’m one sub version off and running 64bit – if some others post, we may see a correlation.

  8. dave says:

    Sorry Bob but your fix is no fix. Go back to school.

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comment (although I’ve no idea why you felt the need to add an insult?), the fix is working for some and not for others, hence the request for people to post their version numbers so we can work together to find a fix (either applying or removing an update).

  9. Michael Peters says:


    1. Bob McKay says:

      Thanks Michael, 64bit or 32bit? (x32 or x64)

  10. leah says:

    it dos not work!

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Hi Leah, thanks for commenting – as per the update at the top, if you can paste your version number it will help us determine if there is a pattern so we can find a fix for everyone. Also, if you can confirm if its broken for both the mouse menu and the keyboard shortcuts, that would be great.

  11. Carol Ransford says:

    I am on a 64bit machine with 32bit version of office 365 as 64bit does not work with Sage. I have the same problem not able to paste into the search bar since they updated and moved to the top of the screen. Very frustrating.

    tried your fix with no joy.

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Thanks for commenting – as per the update at the top, if you can paste your exact version number it will help us determine if there is a pattern so we can find a fix for everyone. Also, if you can confirm if its broken for both the mouse menu and the keyboard shortcuts, that would be great.

  12. Al Lemire says:

    Hi Bob
    No luck here 🙁

    1. Bob McKay says:

      Thanks for commenting – as per the update at the top, if you can paste your exact version number it will help us determine if there is a pattern so we can find a fix for everyone. Also, if you can confirm if its broken for both the mouse menu and the keyboard shortcuts, that would be great.

  13. Graham Cottrell says:

    I’m 32 bit .20144 version not working tried the graphics fix no luck. Graham

  14. sh says:

    Use Control V

  15. Ajay says:

    Control V works,

  16. Kenneth Richardson says:

    i was having issue with email populating emails in search, tha issue was resovled. I still cannot copy and paste in the search bar.

  17. Kenneth Richardson says:

    Control V works but y so many steps to perform copy and paste

  18. Kenneth Richardson says:

    Thank you Bob

  19. Kevin Dry says:

    Control “V” works but is go’s against the habit of just right clicking paste.

  20. Al says:


    1st of June 2020 – Outlook 64 bit ‘12730.20352’ – not pasting


    1. Bob McKay says:

      Hi Al,
      Thanks – I’ll add it to the table. I take it CTRL+V isn’t working for you either?

      1. Al says:


        CTRL-V is actually working ok – which is what I’m advising clients for now..


  21. TIm says:

    Tried your fix, hardware graphics acceleration was already disabled. Control+V works but Click paste does not.

    MSO 365 16.0.12730.20144 32 BIT

  22. Chris says:

    Ctrl-V solved the issue. it was really making me angry. I search my outlook 10 to 20 times per day. I also preferred the the search bar just above “today” . don’t why MS changed it.

    Version 2004 MS 365

  23. Roger says:

    Hi, Control-V works. Wish right-click/paste worked instead!

  24. Lee says:

    Control V works – I would rather to right click and paste – why do upgrades so often produce downgrades.

  25. barry clarke says:

    Thank you all for your comments and ideas much appraciated. I had the same frustrating problem. Having gleaned some of all of your ideas and came up with a solution. So it worked for me. Right click on the search item you want. Go to search bar and Cntl V in the search bar. It worked !

  26. Jeri Freeman says:

    Fix did not work.
    Outlook version: Microsoft 365 MSO(16.012827.20200)32-bit
    Windows version: Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 10.0.17134 N/A Build 17134

  27. Jim says:

    Same issue. I tried your fix and still have the same problem

    Version: 1910 (Build 12130.20272 Click-to-Run)

  28. Lena Legler says:

    I can’t search in emails or contacts. No right click, no Ctrl-V.
    Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 (16.0.4266.1001).

    But! I have the theme “dark grey”. If I switch to “white”, I can search. But my eyes don’t like that theme…

  29. Paul says:

    I am unable to CUT & PASTE into outlook, im using MS Edge on a Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 Laptop.

    Version: 16005.14326.20970.0

  30. Mike says:

    I can no longer “Paste to match style”. I need this to transfer lists from spreadsheets to text only and eliminate the tables. I have found they say to go to Outlook – File – Options – Advanced… but I have not “File” option in Outlook 365 that I can find. I would much rather be able to right click the mouse to get the menu for paste options. Why did they remove the ability to simply right click?? Please help

    1. Mike says:

      I am using Office 365 on a Mac

  31. Rich says:

    Press WinKey+V to open Clipboard History; select what you want to paste, then press CTRL+V. Works fine.

  32. Weasel says:

    This is going to seem crazy, but in Outlook 2019 version 2403 build 17425.20176 click-to-run, the mouse paste works if I go into File>Options>Advanced and turn off “Use animations when expanding conversations and groups” in the section labeled “Other”. When I toggle that back on, mouse paste stops working again.

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