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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How to do a Proximity Search Using In-Place eDiscovery (NEAR) Operator in Exchange 2013

Discovery Search was introduced in Exchange 2010 but it doesn’t support NEAR operator

It was supporting AND,OR operators

So happy that Exchange 2013 does support NEAR operator .

Lets see how to use it efficiently

Let say I want to Search a Mail Content has below in my Whole Organization

“One day Alan was asleep in his bed dreaming”

How to Search Efficiently to acquire better results ?

If am going to search for a name “Alan” in my Whole Org its going to return a plenty of results

Lets Say , You remember just about Alan and Bed alone.

Approximately where Alan and Bed have 4 words in-between, You can Increase the numbers as per your wish and depends on your criteria.

This example is just for your better understanding – Please Customize it as per your wish

Search Criteria would be – Where Alan and Bed Could be Near 6 words

Criteria Would be – (Alan NEAR(6) Bed)

How to Do it ?

Step 1:

Login to Exchange Administration Center (EAC) in Exchange 2013

Step 2:

Compliance Management – Choose New


Step 3:

Type a Friendly name for your search – And Description if required


Step 4:

You can choose the mailboxes to search or you can search all the mailboxes


Step 5:

Now my Criteria is

Criteria –

(Alan NEAR(6) Bed)

Explanation – Alan and Bed – both are within 6 words

Specify a Date if you wish to narrow down your search more


Also you can make a Search like – (Note – use can use also OR,AND operators)

Criteria – (Alan NEAR(6) Bed) OR (Alan NEAR(8) Dream*)

Explanation –

Alan and Bed – both are within 6 words


Alan and Dream(Wildcard –Anything starts with Dream) – both are within 8 words


Step 6:

Choose Finish


Step 7:

Now your Search will be saved – Choose  Close


Step 7:

Now you can see Estimate partially Succeeded and number of items Returned


Step 8:

You can Preview your Search results- where viewing the results is more convenient in exchange 2013


Preview Results


Step 8:

To Copy the Results


Choose Copy Results – You can copy Search results to a Discovery mailbox


To View the Content in a mailbox – Choose Open in Right side of the Results


Now you can see all the Results in the Discovery Mailbox


Step 9:

If you want to Extract the Content to a PST

Create a Share –


Add Mailbox Import Export Permission –

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role "Mailbox Import Export" –User Administrator


Close and Reopen Shell-

New-MailboxExportRequest –Mailbox DiscoverySearch* –FilePath "\\ServerName\ShareName\SearchResults.pst"


You can add the PST File to an Outlook and use the Search Results

Hope it helped you for better understanding !!

Satheshwaran Manoharan
Satheshwaran Manoharanhttps://www.azure365pro.com
Award-winning Technology Leader with a wealth of experience running large teams and diversified industry exposure in cloud computing. From shipping lines to rolling stocks.In-depth expertise in driving cloud adoption strategies and modernizing systems to cloud native. Specialized in Microsoft Cloud, DevOps, and Microsoft 365 Stack and conducted numerous successful projects worldwide. Also, Acting as a Technical Advisor for various start-ups.

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  1. Hey Sateesh,

    All the articles are really awesome, You are doing a great job. you are Gems 🙂

    Amit Raj Singh

  2. Why search status is showing “Estimate partially succeeded” instead of “Estimate succeeded”? what is the difference between them?


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