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Incomplete Search Results in Outlook with Exchange 2007

Because of some changes made to the search capabilities in Exchange 2007, users might notice that the search results in Outlook’s “Advanced Find” and “Instant Search” features are incomplete. In Exchange 2007, Microsoft introduced Exchange Search, an index-based search engine that operates using whole words as search terms. The performance is dramatically better than that in previous versions of Exchange, which used the older Store Search, but there’s a significant drawback: It can’t find substrings within words. For example, if you had an email that contained the word “paragraph” and you searched for the word “graph,” the old Store Search would find it, but the new Exchange Search would not. The results seem to be unpredictable when words are separated by non-alphanumeric characters. For instance, if you had three emails containing the phrase “technical/engineering information” and you searched for “engineering,” Exchange Search might only find two of the three instances. There doesn’t seem to be much logic to which of them it would return in the search results. Fortunately, it is possible to disable Exchange Search to get the substring search capability back. From Exchange Management Shell, run the command “Get-MailboxDatabase | Set-MailboxDatabase –IndexEnabled $False” to disable the index-based search on all mailbox databases. This will cause Exchange 2007 to use the old Store Search instead, making the functionality like that of previous versions of Exchange. The downside to this is that the Find feature in OWA will not work any longer, so make sure this is not a requirement for you before proceeding.