Our exchange GAL contains many group addresses, and it's hard to find a certain group contains for example "ABC".

In the Contacts tab in outlook there is no option to search for a name that contains "ABC", neither from Active Directory itself (Run: rundll32 dsquery.dll,OpenQueryWindow and tried the Advanced Search).

I used "%ABC%" and "*ABC*", but none works... Any friendly way to search Outlook Exchange Global Address List with Wildcards ?

3 Answers 3


If you are doing a search using Active Directory tools, then the * character is the one you would use for a wildcard, not %. This comes from the LDAP directory search syntax.

But it looks to me like the search box available from dsquery.dll only works correctly with a wildcard placed at the end of the string. So if you wanted to find groups with names beginning with "ABC" then you could search for them using:


But searching using the following does not return any results:


This is a limitation of the dsquery.dll user interface (the same as what you get to by using "Active Directory Users and Computers"). The underlying LDAP directory search API allows for a wildcard to be placed on either the beginning or the end.

If you really need this functionality, then you might want to try using PowerShell. It's a full-featured scripting language from Microsoft and can be hard to learn if you've never done any scripting before. But it will give you all the flexibility you need. It is also fairly easy to get started with if you install the PowerGUI tool from Quest.

For any questions on writing and using PowerShell cmdlets or scripts, you would probably want to post a follow-up question on Stack Overflow.


One Outlook addin you might want to check out is Company Contacts for Outlook. It provides a full text searchable global address book. Wild cards, search in specific column, sort and rearrange columns, quick actions, etc.


Just use the advanced search (contacts, search, search Tools - advanced search) or CTRL+SHIFT+F. You will be able to find all contacts you Need.

  • Advanced search does not search the GAL, at least not that I could find.
    – kbolino
    Jan 7, 2019 at 22:04

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