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Indexing additional mailboxes in Outlook 2007

I recently came across an issue where an administrative assistant needed to search her boss’s huge mailbox while it was attached in Online mode to her Outlook profile. Normally, Outlook search will work for certain folders (like Calendar and Contacts) because it caches those folders from attached mailboxes so that they can be indexed; however in this case the amount of items in each of those folders was either too large or something else was going on and search just wasn’t working.

After searching online, I was able to find out about the CacheOthersMail registry value which can be set in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Cached Mode and is looked for by Outlook after a post Office 2007 SP1 hot fix (which is included in Office 2007 SP2). This value will instruct Outlook to cache any attached mailboxes in the user’s OST file – this being useful because it increases the access speed of the mailbox significantly and I thought should allow the indexer to index the mailbox. Much to my chagrin, I found that the mailbox was still not indexed after creating this value in the proper registry key (but I could confirm that the mailbox was indeed cached); I had to continue looking.

It was then that I was pointed to the following (excellent) blog post by Mike Lagase: Windows Desktop Search Indexing in Outlook. This blog post detailed an interesting setting (which could be potentially dangerous when used improperly): Enable Indexing of Delegate Mailboxes. This setting, along with other useful Group Policy settings for Windows Desktop Search 4 when a user needs to index mailbox contents are discussed in Mike’s blog post.

Make sure to read the blog post for more details, however my fix was to set the CacheOthersMail  registry value along with enabling the Enable Indexing of Delegate Mailboxes policy. The end result of this was Windows Desktop Search 4 indexing the contents of the already cached attached mailbox.

The administrative assistant is now happy again that she can search her boss’s mail like she was able to in the past.

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