"Search In" greyed out for archive, but available for Master PST



I'm running Outlook 2003 w/SP3 under Win XP Professional with SP2. When I
wish to Search for an email I simple add the search text in the "Look for: "
box and select "All Mail Folders" from the "Search In " drop down menu of the
"Find" toolbar. Usually I'm searching for a piece of mail from one or more of
the sub folders under my Inbox, so, although slow, this usually locates the
email that I'm interested in.

My Outlook.PST file was getting a bit large so I archived all emal items
older than 12 months into an Archive.pst file. This also seemed to work
nicely in that the folder structure from the Inbox to my "archived" inbox was
maintained and a spot check of the archive folder seems to show that it
contains emails older than 12 months. Again this is all good. Also, my
Outlook.pst file was nicely reduced in size after I archived off all the
"old" emails.

However, now I want to search for an "old" piece of email that I suspect is
contained somewhere within the file structure of my Archive but the Find
bar's "Search In" box is greyed out for my Archive, and I am unable to
produce a drop down dialog from my "Search in" box for my Archive. That is,
it seems that I can only "search" one Archive folder at a time, rather than
specifiy to search "All Mail Folders" of the Archive. This Archive search
limitation is a big problem. How can I search in "All Mail Folders" of my


I know that I did nothing specific to "index" my archive for "instant
search." I also did no such indexing for my Outlook.pst file. So unless
"indexing" an archive and/or the Outlook.pst file happens pretty much on its
own as a default, then neither file has been indexed. That being said, how
does one properly do this magical indexing thing?


It happens on its own on your default .PST file when you first use Outlook
with instant search enabled.

I am running Outlook 2007 so I'm not sure if the commands are exactly the
same in 2003, but try this:

1) Open your Archive.pst file in Outlook if it's not already open
2) Click Tools | Instant Search | Search Options
3) Make sure the Archive file is checked under "Indexing" and make any other
changes to the settings you want, then click OK

It will take a while for Outlook to index the Archive file but once it does,
you should be able to do the instant search on it. I am not sure if the
index will "keep" if you close the Archive file out of Outlook and reopen it
later...I haven't tried that and I usually keep my Archive file closed (and
haven't indexed it).


Sadly there appears to be no "Instant Search" in Outlook 2003. At least
there is no "Instant Search" selection available when I pull down the Tools
menu. Also, a search for "Instant Search" in Help reveals nothing on that


Are you using Advanced Find, then? The scenario you originally described
sounds like Instant Search...but that wasn't available when I used Outlook
2003. I thought it was now.


No, I'm not. I'm using the "regular" find that can be "revealed" via
Tools>Find>Find (or CTRL-E). With my Outlook.pst file, the "Search In" drop
down is available. After I "Open" my Archive.pst file, the "Search In" drop
down is "greyed out."


I just now tried Advanced Find and (1) the "Search In" drop down box of the
regular "Find" remains grayed out, but (2) I know longer care because the
Advanced Find works wonderfully (although still quite slowly, just like the
regular Find) at locating specific Archived emails that interest me.

Still, I can't help but wonder if the strange behavior of the regular Find
continues in Outlook 2007?

In any case, many thanks for your assistance Jocelyn Fiorello.


I have Instant Search enabled in Outlook 2007 so there is no regular
"Find"...just that and Advanced Find. I am not sure if disabling Instant
Search in Outlook 2007 is an option and/or if that would bring the regular
Find back and I'm too tired to look into it right now :) If you're really
curious you could repost and just ask if the same thing happens to another
Outlook 2003 user when trying to use "Find" against all mail folders in an
archive file (tell them Advanced Find is working for you but you'd rather use
Find for the speed...)

All Archived


Did you ever find a solution to the greyed out "Search In"? "Search In" was
not greyed out in my archived email until just recently when my computer was
fixed by the help desk at my company. I know that Advanced Find will allow
me to search multiple archived folders but I would like to reactivate my
"Search In" fuction. No one seems to know how to do this. Thanks!


I am also interested if you found an answer. I have always been able to view
my archived folders using 'find' and the 'search in' option wasn't grayed out
until my company's help desk worked on my computer. Of course they can't
figure it out either. I could use advanced find, but it's not as conveniant
as the find tool bar.
Please help!!

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