Microsoft KB Archive/250687

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OLEXP: You Cannot Get Results When You Use an Advanced Search in Outlook Express

Article ID: 250687

Article Last Modified on 11/25/2003


  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0

This article was previously published under Q250687

For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express


When you use Outlook Express to do a complex search through a directory service, such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), you may not be able to produce search results or you may receive an error message.


This problem occurs because some servers do not work well with the Outlook Express search filter.


To resolve this problem, narrow your search to a simple search, or upgrade to Microsoft Outlook Express 5, which uses a simpler search.


To search, use the following steps:

  1. In the Address Book, click the Find People button.


    Click the Start button, point to Find, and then click People.
  2. In the Look in list, click the directory that you want to search in.
  3. On the People tab, type the name or e-mail address of the person that you want to look for, and then click Find Now.


    On the Advanced tab, fill in the top three boxes to define the search criteria that you want, and then click Add. Add all of the search criteria that you want, and then click Find Now.

NOTE: To remove a search criterion that you added, click the item that you want to remove from the Refine Criteria box, and then click the Remove button. To remove all criteria and start over, click the Clear All button.


  • Your search is more efficient if you use "starts with" or "is" as part of your search criteria. Verbs like "contains," "ends with," or "sounds like" can make your search take much longer, possibly so long that the search stops responding. The more exact your search criteria, the faster you get the results.
  • If your search is too broad, the number of matches might exceed the server's limits. Also, your directory service settings may not be set up to handle all of the returned matches. Only your directory service provider can control the server's limits. However, you can change the Outlook Express directory service settings.

To change search settings for a directory service:

  1. In the Address Book, click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.
  2. Click the Directory Service tab.
  3. In the Directory Service list, double-click the directory service, and then click the Advanced tab.
  4. Change the information in the Search box.

For example, if the search connection stops responding before you get any results, increase the Search timeout value by dragging the bar to the right, and then decrease the value in the Maximum number of matches to return box.

Keywords: kbprb KB250687