Is there a way to only search Outlook attachments?

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Can you find text only within email attachments?

A standard Outlook search will include text in attachments automatically, just type in the word or phrase and Outlook will go hunting for you.

A reader asks if you can limit the search to just the attachments and not the message text?

Click on ‘Has Attachments’ from the Search ribbon to limit the search to Outlook items that have attachments. The search will then return any matches from the message text or attachment.

Any attachment type that can be indexed by Windows will be searched by Outlook. That includes ‘old Office files (doc, xls etc) and the new types introduced with Office 2007 (docx, xlsx etc). PDF’s can be searched if Adobe PDF iFilter is installed and the PDF has searchable text.

We can’t find any way to limit the search to just attachments only i.e. the message text of the Outlook item is always included in the search.

If you go to Advanced Search, there’s no option to search the attachment. The attachment contents seem to be bundled into the Message field.

The only way we can think of is to export all the attachments from relevant messages to a single folder, then search the files in Windows. But that’s clumsy and slow.

If anyone can find a way to do it within Outlook we’d love to hear from you.

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