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Searching for exact phrases in Outlook

You may have noticed that the standard search tool in MS Outlook 2010 doesn't allow you to search for exact phrases in the body of email messages. Instead a search for a phrase enclosed in quotes will find all emails that contain any of the listed strings. Mircosoft says that this limitation can be overcome by making a change to the Registry Editor. See this posting by Microsoft Support here.

Follow these steps:

1. In Registry Editor go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Outlook\Search

It may be necessary to create the Search folder. Do so by right clicking on the 'Outlook' folder and selecting New . . . Key. Then rename the folder 'Search'. Note that Outlook 2010 is version 14.0.

2. Next go to the Edit menu and select New . . . DWORD . . . and enter a new value.

3. Input the value name as 'AllowPhraseMatch' and set the value data to 1.

You should now be able to search for exact phrases enclosed in quotes in Outlook 2010.

In Outlook 2016 this problem has been solved, and you can search for an exact phrase without making the change to the registry.

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