Windows SharePoint Services and crawling .MSG-files

Out of the box, SharePoint Services 3.0 cannot crawl MSG-files (saved Outlook-Mails). There are several commercial IFilters, but with a little configuration, you can use the IFilter from the Windows Desktop Search.

1. Install Windows Desktop Search

At first, you have to install Windows Desktop Search on your SharePoint Server. You can find Windows Desktop Search in the Microsoft download area. For the Windows Desktop Search we will get an IFilter for MSG-files from Microsoft.

2. Install MSG-IFilter

Microsoft delivers an IFilter for MSG-files. You can find it in the download area on the Microsoft homepage. You have to download and install this package.

3. Changes in the registry

The file extension and the IFilter have to be registered for the SharePoint Search. We need the following entries in the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\Filters\.msg]

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\.msg]

4. Restart SharePoint Services Search

To activate the changes in the registry, we need to restart the WSS search service. Open a command window and run


5. Start a full crawl

To crawl already existing MSG-files, a full crawl is needed. Open a command window and run

STSADM -o spsearch -action fullcrawlstop

STSADM -o spsearch -action fullcrawlstart

6. Deactivate Windows Search (optional)
Now, you may deactivate Windows Desktop Search. We just needed this component to install the IFilter. You can deactivate this service via Administrative Tools > Services.