Advanced Find doesn't work on archived PST files

I have been using Outlook for many (!) years at work. Consequently I am forced (by Microsoft and our IT staff) to archive my email from time to time when my mailbox gets too large.

My problem is that in Outlook 2010 'Advanced Find' totally fails to locate emails in these PST files. I can open an archive, display a message and search for words I can plainly see in both subject and message body and draw a null result, Furthermore, the nul result is displayed so rapidly it is clear that no searching was done at all. I suspect this has something to do with 'indexing' but I have no idea how to fix it. The PST files are usually not 'active' in Outlook but are opened as I need them.

This vexing problem is making life difficult!
Andrew SmithAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Keep the archive files locally in the Users folder.

Then go to Indexing Options in Control Panel and set Locations to included Users AND Outlook. Then rebuild the index (takes a while) and now test. It works for me.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, when doing a find, make sure you select ALL Mailboxes. It is a option as part of Advanced Find in Outlook 2013 and may be in your search options in Outlook. Just make sure you include ALL mailboxes.
Andrew SmithAuthor Commented:
Hi John,

thanks for your fast responses. First off, I am reluctant to bring my (large) PST files off the server and into the 'user' directory on my PC as I have noticed there are size limitations on this area. In any case, when I look at the indexing options I find that opened PST files are included in the list. For instance, see the attachment which shows the archives I am using and searching in.

In Outlook 2010 I don't see an option to "include all mailboxes" in Advanced Find, just the sub-dircetories.


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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
PST files should not be accessed on a server. Additionally that is probably why Advanced Find does not work.

With respect to Outlook, it does contain the option in the Search tab for All items (mailboxes.  See below:


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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
the indexer on your computer cannot index network locations. This leaves you with 2 choices.. (a) move the pst files to a local drive or (b) always have them open when outlook is loaded so they can be indexed
Andrew SmithAuthor Commented:
Hi John and David,

I just repeated the same search I tried this morning, having had the PST file open in Outlook all this time. Now it works! This was using the PST file on the server and not using the "all mail items" option.... it apparently just took time for the indexer to have done its job.

Thanks for your advice.... I have learnt something today!


JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@zacsmith  - Thanks for the update.
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