Out of the box, SharePoint Services 3.0 cannot crawl MSG-files (saved Outlook-Mails). There are several commercial IFilters, but with a little configuration, you can use the IFilter from the Windows Desktop Search.

1. Install Windows Desktop Search
At first, you have to install Windows Desktop Search on your SharePoint Server. You can find Windows Desktop Search in the Microsoft download area. For the Windows Desktop Search we will get an IFilter for MSG-files from Microsoft.

2. Install MSG-IFilter
Microsoft delivers an IFilter for MSG-files. You can find it in the download area on the Microsoft homepage. You have to download and install this package.

3. Changes in the registry
The file extension and the IFilter have to be registered for the SharePoint Search. We need these entries in the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\Filters\.msg]

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\.msg]

4. Restart SharePoint Services Search
To activate the changes in the registry, we need to restart the WSS search service. Open a command window and run


5. Start a full crawl
To crawl already existing MSG-files, a full crawl is needed. Open a command window and run

STSADM -o spsearch -action fullcrawlstart

6. Deactivate Windows Search (optional)
Now, you may deactivate Windows Desktop Search. We just needed this component to install the IFilter. You can deactivate this service via Adminstrative Tools > Services.

Another option, to crawl and find MSG-files is to install Search Server 2008 Express. Search Server depends on SharePoint Services and deploys the search engine of the Office SharePoint Server 2007. With this engine crawling of MSG-files is supported out of the box.

I recommend using Search Server Express, when indexing and searching of msg-files is needed. It’s even better than hacking the registry.