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How to search multiple Microsoft Outlook subfolders simultaneously

Learn how to search multiple Microsoft Outlook subfolders simultaneously using the Advanced Find feature.

Is there any way to search for content in Microsoft Outlook subfolders using Advanced Find? The subfolders are...

a great resource, but only being able to search one Microsoft Outlook folder at a time is tedious. We are using Exchange 2000 Server. Are there any third-party Exchange Server plug-ins?

When you're in Microsoft Outlook's Advanced Find dialog box, select Browse and check the "Search Subfolders" checkbox in the bottom left of the dialog box.

MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:

If you have delegate access to folders, subfolders are not enabled and only one folder can be selected to search at a time. Is there a workaround for this?
—Kitty A.

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No, search of subfolders is not possible when logging into another mailbox as a delegate. This is by design, since delegation is done at a folder level.
—David Sengupta, Server Administration expert

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Users can search subfolders simultaneously by using a desktop search engine (such as Lookout for Outlook) which can index Microsoft Outlook items as well.
—Mike K.

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Is there a way to have the Search Subfolders checkbox, in Advanced Find, checked by default?
—Mark A.

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Sorry, I'm not aware of a way to keep the Search Subfolders box checked by default.

That said, I've been running Microsoft Outlook 2007 on Windows Vista for a bit now and, while I came into it as a skeptic (having been attached at the hip to Lookout for Outlook), I have really been impressed by Windows Desktop Search on Vista, both for mailbox and multi-PST searches. (I tried getting this to work with Microsoft Outlook 2007 with Windows XP and never got the results I was looking for).

If you have an opportunity to upgrade I'd strongly recommend it. Your search experience will be improved dramatically once you get over the learning curve associated with Vista. And you won't need to worry about any 'search subfolders' checkbox.
—David Sengupta, Server Administration expert

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This was last published in November 2006

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