Troubleshooting Exchange Search Issues to Diagnose Problems

Shini Mohan | Published: January 13, 2017 | Uncategorized | 4 Minutes Reading

How to Diagnose Exchange Search Issues


Solving Exchange search is a long and hectic job. Moreover in the case when you are receiving a lot of emails there might be a possibility that Exchange search not working. This issue generally arises in following cases:

  • ¬†User receiving large amount of emails on a daily basis
  • Uneven result when search is done.
  • Upgrade your exchange version.
  • Transfer data from one Exchange account to other

These are some common scenarios which people face with their exchange search engines. Solving these issues can be done easily with a manual method to fix exchange search problem when Exchange search not working.


Method to Diagnose Exchange Search Issues

Note: Before performing this task to troubleshoot exchange 2010 search index issue makes sure you provide following permissions to recipients.

Prerequisites to Diagnose Exchange Search Issues:

Providing Recipient permissions

These permissions are highly necessary before performing this task. If you are admin and want to see which permission is assigned to you. You can refer Run “Get-ManagementRoleAssignment” cmdlet to see all the permissions assigned to you. These permissions are as follows.

1. Permisssion to Mailbox server
2. Permisssion of Calander and sharing
3. Permisssion to configure resource mailbox configuration
4. Permisssion to Mailbox database
5. Permission to recipient provisions
6. Permission to move and migrate mails mails

Steps to Diagnose Exchange Search Issues

Following are the steps through which you can resolve Exchange Search Index Issues & fix Exchange search not working problem:

1. Check the status Microsoft exchange search.

  • Go to Start > Administrative tools > services.
  • In Services section, check whether the Microsoft Exchange service is started. If yes, move to step 2. Else, start the service.

2. Check the configuration of the database.

  • Check whether the index enabled parameter is set to true.
  • If not then go to Microsoft Exchange PowerShell and run the command given below:


3. Check crawl state of a mailbox database.

  • Go to MSExchange Search Indexes and check crawler:/mailboxes counter.
  • Now, go to Console > Monitoring Tools and click on performance monitor.
  • Click on ADD or click on green color plus sign.
  • Go to Add Counters section and select counters from computer list. Then Select server where you want your mailbox location.
  • Now, you will find an unlabeled box. From Computer list select the counters. Then select, MSExchange Search Indexes.
  • Select instance from mailbox database. Click Add and then OK
  • Check the counter. If the value is 1 then emails still crawling but if a value is 0 then emails crawl is complete.

4. Check Indexing Health of Database

To Diagnose Exchange Search Issues first, check indexing health of database copy run the following command in Microsoft Exchange Power Shell.

5. Test-ExchangeSearch for Specific Mailbox
If the mailbox is crawled, Then run Test-ExchangeSearch cmdlet in Microsoft Exchange Power shell. This command give you details of specific mailboxes.

6. Check for Event Log

In above command, result checks for event log and search related error messages when Exchange search not working. Check status result related to MSExchangeFastSearch and MSExchangeS.

7. MSExchange Search Restart Procedure

  • Now, Go to Start > Administrative tools > Services.
  • Right Click on Microsoft Exchange Search & Stop this service. Then start it again if Exchange search not working.

8. Reseeding the Index Catalog

To reseed the index catalog following commands need to be performed.

9. Check catalog corrupt issues

  • If search Catalog is Corrupt then follow the following procedure. Run this PowerShell command to know that Status of Reseeding.


  • Now, If the Property is crawling and value is not healthy then run then catalog is corrupt.

10. Reseed Index content

This is a procedure to reseed the index catalog. If you have a copy of database this command will reseed the index content and create a copy of it.


11. Reseed specific source index content

If there is a specific source you want to access then write the shell command given below:


12. Creating another copy of database

  • If there is only one copy of mailbox in database then follow the following procedure:
  • Stop the service by running the command given below in Power Shell.



  • Rename the folder with a name.


  • Start the services again to Diagnose Exchange Search Issues.



  • Wait for some time until the database is creating a copy. Check the status of catalog again.


Note: If the value changed into healthy then your search issue has been resolved.


Above article describes that how you can Diagnose Exchange Search Issues when Exchange search not working. This issue arose due to large no of Emails. We saw how to use Shell command to repair MS search engine. Using various command line for PowerShell given above, we can repair Microsoft search results. Also, search engine errors and faults can be found using the same commands.