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About mailbox searching in Outlook 2003/2007 [with Exchange]

A quick tip for anyone who is experiencing issues searching their mailbox on Outlook 2003 (with or without Windows Search) and Outlook 2007 (preferably with Windows Search enabled on non-Vista/7 machines). If the mailbox mode is in Online mode, that is, it is not in Cached Exchange Mode, you might want/have to enable Cached Exchange Mode for Outlook 2003 in order for your searches to work properly.

Now I have found that for Outlook 2007 search to work (though I have to admit, I have only verified these findings when Windows Search was installed), you need to also enable Cached Exchange Mode. I can only guess that the reasoning behind this is that the indexer can index your mailbox locally and thus provide you with the search results you need (in a fast responsive manner) when your mailbox is stored on your hard drive as an OST file. Now (and this is only speculation since I haven’t bothered to look this up) it is very possible that if the Exchange Server is being indexed and you are running Exchange 2007 and Windows Server 2008 or Windows Search on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Search on your workstation that Outlook 2007 will provide you with search results without having to enable Cached Exchange Mode by passing the search request to the indexer on the server running Microsoft Exchange, similar to how Windows Search retrieves file search results across the network.

However, the whole point of this post is that it is worth a try enabling Cached Exchange Mode if you have a search related issue on an Outlook client that connects to an Exchange Server and everything else you’ve tried isn’t working, like rebuilding the index, or reinstalling Windows Search, etc.

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