Disable or Enable Exchange Search: Exchange Server 2013

Tej Pratap Shukla | Published: July 23, 2016 | Exchange Server 2013, General Info | 3 Minutes Reading

Hello guys in this article we are going to discuss about disable or enable exchange search in exchange server 2013 using PowerShell commands. As you might know that eDiscovery search is automatically enabled for all mailboxes present in Exchange Database. But Exchange 2013 provide facility to disable and re-enable the eDiscovery search functionality using PowerShell commands. It can be done only for any particular mailbox or all mailboxes. But this can be done by admin account only.

Command to Disable or Enable Exchange Search for a Single Mailbox

See below written command for disabling search for single mailbox of Exchange Database. After execution of below command it will just disable the indexing for selected mailbox which is why search is not possible in disabled index mailbox.
Set-MailboxDatabase "Mailbox Database (abcdef)" -IndexEnabled $false
Now I am going to write the command to re-enable the Indexing facility to search within an exchange mailbox.
Set-MailboxDatabase "Mailbox Database (abcdef)" -IndexEnabled $true

Disable or Enable search for all mailboxes of exchange server using Shell commands

Generally search service is disabled in an emergency case or when you come to know that the exchange server has been hacked. Because with the help of search facility hacker or intruder can quickly navigate to many mailboxes. But this is not the only reason for disabling it, there may be some other reasons too.
Run below written command for stopping search service for all exchange mailboxes.
Command 1: Stop-Service MSExchangeFastSearch
Command 2: Set-Service MSExchangeFastSearch -StartupType Disabled
Run following command for starting the search services for all exchange server mailboxes.
Command 1: Set-Service MSExchangeFastSearch -StartupType Automatic
Command 2: Start-Service MSExchangeFastSearch

Disable or Enable Search Services using Service Console

Exchange server search services can also disabled or enabled using Service Console. Just follow below steps:

  1. Navigate to Administrative Tools through start menu and then select Services.
  2. In details panel right click on Microsoft Exchange Search and select Properties.
  3. Now in General tab in Startup type list, click on Disabled for disabling search service, you can also select Automatic to start service automatically.
  4. Here you can also click on Stop to stop the service manually or click on Start to start the service manually.
  5. Hit OK button for saving the changes.


In this article we have discussed about how to Disable or Enable Exchange Search service. We learnt the shell commands to disable and enable search service for single as well as multiple mailboxes. This write up is completely related to Exchange server 2013. I have also written the method to enable and disable search for all mailbox using Service Console. But if you want to disable or enable search for a single mailbox using Service Console then it is not possible. You have to go with Shell commands for single user mailbox.
Reference: Technet Microsoft