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Why is the exact matching not working as expected when using Enhanced Lookup?

Knowledge Article Number 000219992
Description I'm using Enhanced Lookups and the exact matching seems to be behaving inconsistently. For example, when I'm the owner of the record I can click 'Save' by entering the exact match in the lookup field but under other scenarios (e.g. when I'm not the owner) I need to click in the lookup icon and select the record even when the record name is an exact match.

More about the 'exact match': Tips for Using Standard and Enhanced Lookups

Can you clarify why is this happening?
Resolution There are a couple of different things that can affect this functionality that could result on the behavior described above.

Number of records returned in the lookup
When using Enhanced Lookups and trying to use the 'exact match' functionality (i.e. typing the record name and clicking save, without clicking the lookup icon) the lookup search that occurs in the background will return a maximum of 25 records. We cannot guarantee the order of the 25 records that are being fetched if you have more than that.
You have better chances of getting the desired result if you're the owner as the priority on that record would be higher, please continue reading to know more about this.
Note: The number of records returned (25) is a hardcoded value that cannot be modified.

Record Ownership
Please note that there are differences on the search behavior when using Enhanced Lookups and one of the differences is relevant for this scenario. When Enhanced Lookups are enabled the ownership of the record is taken into consideration to determine the order of the results in the lookup search.
This would explain why, when you're the owner, you can find the records directly by using the exact match. The priority of the records you own is higher and they'd be returned before the records that you don't own.

If you happen to encounter this scenario you have two different options:
  • Use the Lookup Search (e.g. click on the lookup icon) instead of using the exact match functionality. With that you'll be able to find the desired record.
  • Disable the Enhanced Lookups functionality for the affected object. Please note this is not recommended as you'd also disable other functionality. More on Enhanced Lookups, here.

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