I'm searching for a way to integrate a full-text search into Outlook 2010. I know there are the advanced search option, but it isn't what I would call an accessible solution.

One of our Users does a lot of searching in his mailbox and wants to use partial strings for it; for instance

There is an email with the title "example" and if you search for exa you find the email. If you search for ample you don't find it. Instant search finds only strings that start with the keyword.

I cannot deactivate instant search / indexing because his outlook runs in a terminal server environment.

How can I implement a full-text search for outlook?

  • What? Every search in outlook searches for strings. Would you mind clarifying? – Raystafarian Aug 1 '13 at 8:25
  • See my edit: hope it's more clear now what I want. – robin.koch Aug 1 '13 at 12:20
  • Software/application recommendations are off topic. To avoid this question being closed, edit your question. Avoid asking for an add-in. Rather, simply explain what you are trying to do, then ask something like "How can I accomplish this?" Additionally, please include what you've already researched/tried. – CharlieRB Aug 1 '13 at 13:26
  • This isn't an add-in but FileLocator Pro can search Outlook PST/OST files and supports partial and regex searches. – snowdude Aug 9 '13 at 10:11

You can also use a hidden feature of Outlook for more power searches. Query Builder has been part of outlook for many versions and by default it's not visible.

The query builder allows building of advanced queries, using a graphical tree representation of the query. It is extremely powerful. At it's most simplistic use you can use "contains" clause for full text search that you need.

It gets better. The underlying SQL for your query is then also visible in a newly visible SQL tab.

NOTE: The SQL tab is visible when creating or modifying custom views but isn't visible when just doing an "Advanced Find". I prefer to use custom views as a starting point for most advanced searches. Why... because I can create the SQL using the graphical tree and it does all the work of writing the code and makes no spelling mistakes. Then I save the SQL by copy paste into a text file. At any time in the future, I can just go back directly to the SQL tab and paste the saved SQL and not have to recreate it. Example SQL looks like this..

(NOT("urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" IS NULL)
 AND "urn:schemas:httpmail:textdescription" LIKE '%Outlook%'
 AND "urn:schemas:httpmail:displayto" LIKE '%Singh%')

You can enable it by a simple registry key, "per user", with these steps. No reboot is required

  1. In regedit, navigate to registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\

  2. Now navigate to the subtree for your Office version number, e.g. 14.0 for 2010.

  3. Under that key find Outlook, so it looks like..

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook

  4. At the "Outlook" key level add a new child key called QueryBuilder.

  5. Exit regedit. This enables the Query Builder functionality for Outlook.

Once enabled, it appears as a new tab next to the "Advanced" tab.

Official MS Link

Site where I originally found it

  • Canadian Luke, as you suggested, I modified the answer. Thanks. – LMSingh Jan 15 '14 at 17:30

Use search partial string as wildcards are not supported.

You can add advanced find to your quick access toolbar as well. Click the down-arrow and go to All Commands and select Advanced Find... on the right and click Add and then close.

You can also access advanced find with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl Shft F

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