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Bought Outlook for Mac... now Finder searches includes Emails

7904 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 8, 2014 10:08 AM by alabanco RSS
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Nicole FS Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 18, 2011 3:41 PM
Hi there -

I have a macbook pro. I often use the Finder's search feature to locate a word document or something on my machine.

BUT since I have installed outlook for a mac it includes searching my emails which is ridiculous. I get a ton of emails for work and even though sometimes they do really point me to an email related to what I am searching this is NOT HELPFUL.

I want to search my computer like word, excel, images, pdfs, etc. Anything but NOT outlook emails. How can I prevent that?

It's so annoying and makes it harder to find what I am looking for.

Much thanks!

macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), I have a macbook pro bought 11/2010 and an iPhone4
  • CMCSK Level 6 Level 6 (10,200 points)
    Why haven't tried using Spotlight to search? You can set it up to search for what you want to search. Or you can download 3rd party search utilities like Find File and EasyFind. Both can be found on Macupdate.
    Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Boombox_TJ Calculating status...

    I am also having the same problem. Extremely cumbersome!

    Using spotlight is not really an option.

    Anyone else having this problem?
  • CMCSK Level 6 Level 6 (10,200 points)
    Boombox_TJ wrote:

    I am also having the same problem. Extremely cumbersome!

    *Using spotlight is not really an option.*

    Anyone else having this problem?

    Try the 3rd party search utilities which I mentioned.
    Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • MeBeMac Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I agree!

    Outlook has plenty of search functions built into it. The problem seems to be the way MS integrated Outlook into the system.

    I liked porting over my old PC based e-mails without a hitch, but it really did ruin my search and find experience.

    I saw the comment about loading yet other third party applications on the system. While not the ones mentioned, I have some other applications.

    I'd prefer to just have my old Finder-styled results back.

    If MS or Apple folks are listening--some kind of integration fix would sure be nice.
    iMac i7 (late 2009-W8948), TC (2T), Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • stan Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
    Hi Nicole FS,
    Welcome to the Apple Discussions.

    Find and Spotlight are two excellent features in the operating system. Each function works a bit differently from the other.

    Let's deal with SpotLight which uses indexing. I takes a bit of time to set up; but, it does that in the background. It will slow your work down as it indexes your files in the beginning, only. Here's how to begin to get the MOST out of SpotLight.

    Open System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.
    The first thing you can do is deselect the mail messages in the list of things to search. While you're there deciding what you want to display for results, you can also click-drag the items into a preferred search order.

    That alone should fix your concern; but, there's more.

    Click System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy.
    The second thing to you can do is decide where Spotlight will work and what volumes you wish to have indexed for FAST and complete searches.

    Note that Spotlight will find instances of type inside PDFs and even in some artwork! That's nothing short of astonishing, IMHO.

    Here's how to AMAZE YOURSELF:

    This Spotlight preferences window shows a list of locations to "Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations:"
    First, Add ALL the items that you WANT to index (using the + button under the window or drag a folder or disk into the list).
    2. Close the System Preferences window.
    3. Reopen System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy.
    4. REMOVE all the items you just added.
    5. Close the System Preferences window to reset the Spotlight database.
    Spotlight will then begin to index the folders and volumes you just removed from the Privacy List.
    (Leave the items in the list that you do NOT want to search.)

    You'll see a small black throbbing dot inside the Spotlight logo as it indexes. It may take some time.
    You may hear the fans go on to keep the heat down from the increased CPU activity.

    When the indexing is finished, you'll be able to find practically anything FASTER than you can type. (I'm a two-hand touch typist and it's faster than I am.)

    I hope this helps. I wasn't crazy about Spotlight until I learned how to use it. Now, I'd be lost without it.
    15 2.33GHz MBP (maxed), Mac OS X (10.6.6), AirPort, 9x12" Wacom tablet, 23" Cinema Display, 0.9TB RAID, more...
  • _roland_ Calculating status...
    Stan, your enthusiasm is very commendable unlike, alas, your proposed solutions.

    You cannot exclude Outlook email results by de-selecting the Mail checkbox in spotlight preferences - this checkbox only disables Apple Mail results.

    You cannot exclude Outlook results using the privacy exclusion feature in spotlight (by excluding, say, the "Microsoft User Data" folder), because this does not only disable spotlight results, but also disables searching inside Outlook itself, and as a result, your will loose your ability to search for emails altogether (the reason is that Outlook's own search feature depends on spotlight).

    The intended result would be not to have email results when searching for files, but still being able to search for emails inside Outlook.

    There is, to the best of my knowledge, no solution today to this problem, except for creating complex search rules with spotlight every time you do a search (which is quite inconvenient).
  • Garish Calculating status...
    I'm disappointed that Microsoft chose to tie their search within Outlook to Spotlight, too. Integration with OS features is usually welcome, but I'm with you, Roland...if I want to find emails, I'll do it in Outlook.

    FWIW, I believe that this change reflects Microsoft changing from a single database for emails to individual files...which is probably a good thing overall. My Entourage database would get corrupted every few months, requiring a time-consuming rebuild. I think that's less likely to be a problem now.

    MacBook Pro (late 2007), Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • kc_jay Calculating status...
    You cannot exclude Outlook email results by de-selecting the Mail checkbox in spotlight preferences - this checkbox only disables Apple Mail results.


    You can easily exclude Outlook items from Spotlight. I had the same problem, but was able to fix it quickly by deselecting "Contacts," "Mail Messages," and "Events & To Do Items" under Spotlight Preferences. This corrected everything for me.


    It does not, however, remove these items from the Finder search (which is frustrating).

  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I agree with the original post - including Mac Outlook Mail files in the Finder search results is a mess. I will continue to google and maybe ask in the Microsoft forums (fora?) for a solution.

  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    In the Finder window, once you've begun a search, you can click plus sign and specify "Kind is Document" which excludes the annoying Outlook email files.

  • lostonroute66 Calculating status...

    I had the same problem.  Here's the solution I came up with.  Actually it's a variation on a solution for a different, but related problem.


  • BillH1184 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for the help, the link on your page to "instructions" isn't actually a link, but I found the following instructions which have worked first time for me,



    1 Shut down Office Apps

    2 Move the "Microsoft User Data" folder out of Documents into ~\Library\Preferences

    3 Carry on



  • lostonroute66 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for catching that Bill.  I was some strange hickup in posterours.  Recreating the link seemed to work.  Your instructions above work just as well.


    I also needed a reminder to hold "option" while clicking on the "Go" menu in Finder to show Library, since it's hidden.



  • grc77 Calculating status...

    The way that I solved this (and it worked for me)...


    • Go to System Preferences > Spotlight
    • Select Privacy Settings
    • Either select the + option or drag Macintosh HD/Users/%username%/Documents/Microsoft User Data


    Granted I am using MfM 2011, this could be different for earlier versions, but it worked like a charm for me...


    Greg C.

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