When using Outlook (2010 or 2013) in online mode with Exchange 2013, using the instant search field returns very odd search results. Searching in OWA returns correct results. Using an advanced search in Outlook also returns correct results.


Using OWA, typing from:john will return every message received from John, correctly highlighted as expected.

Using Outlook 2010 or 2013 in online mode, typing from:john will return some messages in which John was a sender, recipient, or mentioned.

We have a single Exchange 2013 server, and I've already run through all the steps in this TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123701(v=exchg.150).aspx

Might anyone know of something else I can check to why Outlook clients are returning bad results searching in online mode, while OWA search results are fine?


We recently performed an Exchange 2010 -> 2013 migration, and our users called the helpdesk and complained that no matter what they searched for in Outlook 2010 (online mode), they would only get results dating back to the point where we started the migration.

Our solution was to totally rebuild the Search Index.

  1. Stop the Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller services
  2. Navigate to your mail database folder, and rename the GUID folder that ends with .simple to .simple.bak
  3. Start the two services again
  4. Check the rebuild status with Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus -Server SERVERNAME | FL Name,*Index*


This process is extremely resource intensive. One of our exchange servers with 4 cores and 12GB of RAM churned away for about 14 hours just to re-index one of our databases (about 240 mailboxes, 200GB size). I strongly recommend that you perform this off-hours! Also note that search for non-cached mode clients will completely stop while this rebuilds.

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  • The date-range issue does not seem to be affecting us, but we have not rebuilt the index since migrating a few months ago. We'll certainly give this a try after-hours tonight. – Sean Jun 18 '14 at 18:09
  • Renaming the folder and rebuilding the search index did not correct the problem, unfortunately. – Sean Jun 19 '14 at 19:37
  • @Sean I'm sorry to hear that, and I'm all out of ideas. Maybe you should open a support case with Microsoft? – pauska Jun 19 '14 at 21:03
  • That is the next step. Thanks for your answer, though! – Sean Jun 20 '14 at 20:45

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