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How to Search and Archive Messages Using Barracuda Archive Search for Outlook

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This article refers to the Barracuda Message Archiver firmware 5.2 or higher, and Barracuda Archive Search for Outlook version 5.2 or higher. Barracuda Archive Search for Outlook supports Outlook versions 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021, and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

Note the following are not supported by Archive Search for Outlook:

Verify the Archive Search for Outlook version (available for download on the USERS > Client Downloads page in the Barracuda Message Archiver web interface) is the same major revision as the Barracuda Message Archiver firmware for proper functionality.

See also:

Watch this video for a short walkthrough of Archive Search for Outlook:

The Archive Search for Outlook default search results count is 1,000 messages. For best results, refine your search criteria.

If you are performing large or complex search queries, or a search for the purpose of litigation, Barracuda Networks recommends using the Advanced Search option from the BASIC > Search page in the Barracuda Message Archiver web interface. For additional guidance, see the following articles:

Search Archived Items

To search archived items, click the Search Archive (magnifying_glass.jpg) icon to open the Barracuda Message Archiver Search dialog box:

  • Look for drop-down menu – Select the type of item you wish to search for; select Any type of ItemAppointmentsContacts, MessagesNotesSocial Media, or Tasks
  • In drop-down list – Select the search location:
    • All data – Search everywhere in the selected item type
    • Specific folders – Click Specific folders, or click Browse to select one or more folders across all of your Archive stores in which to search; click OK to save your selections
  • Search for – Enter the search criteria; use logic operators and keyword search to further refine your search
  • In drop-down list – Select the search location:
    • Entire message
    • Subject or body
    • Subject only
    • Body only
    • Keyword expression

The administrator can associate an LDAP user or group to a role and list of email addresses in the USERS > LDAP User Add/Update page. If addresses are excluded, and a configured user runs a search through Archive Search for Outlook, the following rules apply:

  • If an address is excluded (blocked), the address does not display unless the mail includes the user performing the search to assure that a user can always see their own mail.
  • The exclusion rules always take precedence; addresses that are allowed are searchable only if the exclusion rules do not block the mail.
  • If a user is not configured and is a member of a group, then the allow and block rules assigned to that group apply to that user.
  • If a user is assigned to a group, when the user logs in via Archive Search for Outlook, only that user’s mail displays. For example, if an LDAP user has the Auditor role, mail available to the Auditor role does not display.

Logic Operators

Build search queries using AND, OR, NOT, and -term.

When including more than one logic operator in a query, the order in which these terms are placed is important. For example,

  1. Add the first term "A", and then add term "and B"; the query searches as: (A AND B)
  2. Add a term "OR C"; the query searches as: ((A AND B) OR C)
  3. Add a term "AND D"; the query searches as: (((A AND B) OR C) AND D)
  4. Add a term "NOT E", the query searches as: ((((A AND B) OR C) AND D) NOT E)

Typically, you first build a population of results by using "OR" or "NOT", and then subtract items from that population by using "AND".

To force a different order of operations, place parentheses yourself using Keyword expression.

Keyword Expressions

When you enter a logic operator or a keyword expression in the Search for field, the rest of your search criteria is AND'd with the query. For example, if you enter "A AND -B" you can still specify a recipient in the Sent To field.

Table 1. Commonly Used search_field Keyword Expression Values.

TermDescriptionSearch Type
toSearch is limited to the To and Cc fields of each messageText
fromSearch is limited to the From field of each messageText
domainSearch is limited to the domain names in the From, To, and Cc fields of each messageDomain
subjectSearch is limited to the Subject line of each messageText
bodySearches are performed in the Body of each message as well as in the contents of any message attachmentsText
attachmentSearch is limited to the contents of message attachmentsText
allSearches all fields and all data contained in each messageText
stored_sizeThe actual message size on diskInteger number
sizeThe raw size of the messageInteger number
header_dateThe date header from the mail Text
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_pretty_nameThe envelope recipient's pretty name Text
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_user The envelope recipient Text
header_bccThe Bcc: headerText
header_to The To: header Text
header_in_reply_to The In reply to: header Text
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_domainThe domain of the envelope recipient Text
header_from The From: header Text
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_message_mode Inbound / Outbound / InternalText
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_addrEmail address of envelope recipient Text
header_subjectSubject of the email Text
header_message_idThe message ID header Text
object_typeType of entry (calendar, mail, etc.) Text
body_excerpt The body of the email Text
attachment_nameThe attachment name Text
attachment_mimetypeThe attachment MIME typeText
attachment_extensionThe attachment's extension Text

You may specify other search_field values as long as the correct name for the field is used. Consult Barracuda Networks Technical Support if you are unsure of the exact syntax.

The phrase can only contain a single item. However, that one item can be any one of the items described in Table 2.

Table 2. Phrase Values.

Single ItemDescriptionExample
Text-based stringA single string or phrase of text, to be matched exactly as entered. Valid formats are: a single word (with no whitespace) or a single double-quoted sequence of words (separated by spaces).
  • Sales matches sales guide but not salesmen
  • "Reviews due now" matches performance reviews due now but does not match reviews for all employees are due now
Integer number-based string

A single integer string in bytes to be matched exactly to an index attribute as entered. Valid formats are: a single number (with no whitespace). To find a range, use a Compound Search String.

  • stored_size:100 matches all emails with an actual message size on disk of 100 bytes

Single Wildcarded string

Wildcards are characters in search strings that can match arbitrary characters in a search. They can only be used as part of a single word, and are not allowed as the first character of a search word. They are also not allowed in any double-quoted string containing multiple words (that is, spaces). Wildcards are not allowed as part of a phrase, or any search string that is comprised of more than one word, regardless of the use of double quotes.
  • nation* matches this nation and nationality
  • luck? matches lucky but not luck
  • J???son matches Johnson but not Jason because the number of question marks denotes the exact number of characters to be matched
Domain-based string (for to and from search_field only)

The domain part, or everything after the at-sign (@), of an email.

  • matches but does not match
Compound search strings

 A combination of two or more strings in any of the above formats (Text-based, Multi-Text, Wildcard, or Domain as applicable to the fields being searched) or with other Compound search strings, each separated by the keywords AND, OR or NOT. Surround logical groupings with parentheses as needed to determine order of operations. You can also use the Google syntax -term to exclude content.


When creating compound search strings, the keywords 'AND', 'OR', and 'NOT' must be capitalized.

  • body:(Version AND (1.1* OR 1.2*)) matches items whose body contains, in any order, BOTH the word "version" and a word that starts with either "1.1" or "1.2"

  • (from:( OR AND body:datasheets) matches all items that were sent from any user in either the "" or "" domains that ALSO contain the word "datasheets" omewhere in the body of the item

  • (from:( NOT AND (Archiver AND -archives) matches all items that were sent from any user in the "" domains that ALSO contain the word "Archiver" somewhere in the body of the item

Table 3. Sample Keyword Expressions.

to:chrisleeAll messages that have "chrislee" in the To or Cc fields.
to:patbrown@mycompany.comAll messages containing "" anywhere in the To field.
subject:"Barracuda Message Archiver"All messages that contain the exact phrase "Barracuda Message Archiver" anywhere in the Subject line.
domain:( OR messages that were sent to or from any user in either the "" or "" domain.
header_barracuda_envelope_rcpt_domain:sub.mycompany.comAll messages sent to any user in the domain.


Table 4. Sample Proximity Syntax.

For the keyword proximity syntax form, each keyword must be in a single Text-based string. Enter the keyword proximity syntax as search_field:"keyword keyword"~NumericValue, where search_field is the part of the email to search through.

subject:"release Barracuda"~4 All messages containing "release" and "Barracuda" in the Subject field within four words of each other.
to:"Zac Britt"~4 All messages containing "Zac" and "Britt" anywhere in the To field within four words of each other.


Table 5. Sample Fuzzy Search Syntax.

Fuzzy search allows you to find words that are similar to a specified search term. For the fuzzy search syntax, enter a single keyword followed by the tilde (~). For the fuzzy search syntax form, the keyword must be in a single Text-based string.

roam~ All messages containing words similar to roam, for example, foam, roams.
Search Criteria

The available search criteria differs based on the selected searched item type.

Table 6. Search Criteria.

Search Item TypeCriteriaDescription

Any Type of Item






Search forList of keywords on which to search. If multiple keywords are entered, only items with all of the specified keywords are returned. If keywords are enclosed in double quotes (" "), then only items that contain all of the keywords exactly as specified appear in search results.
InThe part of the item in which to search for the specified keywords. Options vary based on the selected item.


Organized ByAppointment creator. Only those items organized by the specified user(s) are searched. Enter user names or email addresses, or click From to select users from an address book.


Appointment recipient(s). Only those items that were sent to the specified user(s) are searched. Enter user names or email addresses, or click From to select users from an address book.
DateDate restrictions on the item. Search through only those appointments that were scheduled after and/or before the specified date(s).


EmailMessage recipient(s). Only those messages sent to or copied to the specified user(s) are searched. Enter user names or email addresses, or click Email to select users from an address book.


FromMessage sender(s). Only those messages that were sent from the specified user(s) are searched. You can enter user names or email addresses, or click From to select users from an address book.
Sent ToMessage recipient(s). Only those messages that were sent to or copied to the specified user(s) are searched. Enter user names or email addresses, or click Sent To to select users from an address book.
DateDate restrictions on the item. Only those messages that were sent for after and/or before the specified date(s) are included in the search.


StatusOnly tasks matching the selected status are searched for the specified text.
DueDate restrictions on the tasks. Only those tasks due after and/or before the specified date(s) are included in the search.

You must specify at least one search criteria to complete a search; if you specify multiple criteria, only messages that meet all criteria are returned.

Keywords must be alpha-numeric characters, and are not case sensitive. Additionally, you can use wildcards to represent one or more other characters.

Table 7. Wildcards.

Wildcard SymbolRepresents
? (single question mark)Specifies a single alphanumeric character. Question marks can be appended to search for a specific number of characters, for example, a???a returns five letter words that starts and ends with "a" or "A".

* (asterisk)

Specifies zero or more alphanumeric characters. For example, pl* returns "plane", "planning", etc.

The first character of a keyword cannot be a wildcard, and wildcards cannot be used when searching for a quote phrase.

Advanced Search Criteria

Click the Advanced tab in the Barracuda Message Archiver Search dialog box to specify additional search criteria based on attachments and tags, and save your search criteria.

Any search criteria specified in the Advanced tab is used in conjunction with the criteria specified in the selected search item type search tab. Keywords in the Advanced tab must be alpha-numeric characters, and are not case sensitive. You can include wildcards in the Attachment Name field (refer to Table 3 below for more information).

Table 8. Advanced Search Criteria.

AttachmentsNumber of attachments required in the messages in which to search. Options are Any, One or more, or None.
Attachment NameName of the attachment for which to search. Only messages containing an attachment with the specified name are returned.

Tag(s) on which to search. Wildcards are NOT accepted in this field.

Tags are defined and set on messages in the Barracuda Message Archiver web interface. If tags are defined and set on messages, you can use these tags in this field to quickly locate the messages. Options are Any or Specific tags. Contact your system administrator for more information.

Saved Searches

Run a search based on a previously saved search.

  • Create a Saved Search – Enter your search criteria, and click Save. Enter a name to represent the search, and click OK:
  • Run a Saved Search – Select the desired search from the Saved Searches drop-down menu.
  • Manage Saved Searches – Select Manage from the Saved Searches drop-down menu. You can select to delete or rename the saved search in the dialog that displays.

Message Results

All messages that match the specified criteria are returned in the search window. Double-click an item to open it in Outlook, or right-click to select an action to perform on the selected item, as described in Table 9.

Table 9. Available Actions.

OpenOpen the selected item in the standard Outlook view; double-click an item to perform the same action. Once an item is opened, it can be treated as any other non-archived item, including replying to and forwarding.
Reply to All
Creates a Reply or Reply All to the selected item in the exact same manner as Outlook.



Creates a Forward of the selected item in the exact same manner as Outlook.
Forward as AttachmentCreates a Forward as an attachment of the selected item in the exact same manner as Outlook.
Save AsSave the item to your local system as a .eml file.
Copy to Folder

Opens the Select Folder dialog box in Outlook from which you can select a folder to which to copy the selected item(s). Use Ctrl- or Shift-click to select and copy multiple messages in the returned search window to a folder. Select from your existing folders, or create a new folder for the selected item(s).

If the Outlook window is hidden or in the background, you may need to click on the Windows taskbar and bring Outlook to the foreground to complete this action.

Archive Messages

Items archived or stubbed using the Archive Search for Outlook buttons have a 300MB size limit.

Archive Search for Outlook includes an option to immediately archive a selected item(s) to the Barracuda Message Archiver. Additionally, if the Automatically stub attachments when archiving option is turned on, and you click the Archive Attachments (ArchiveIcon.png) icon:

  • A copy of the complete selected item(s) is stored on the Barracuda Message Archiver
  • On your mail server, any message attachments that are in the body of an original message(s) are replaced with references to the archived attachment on the Barracuda Message Archiver

This process is known as "attachment stubbing" and helps to reduce the size of both your personal inbox and mail server storage.

To archive a message,

  1. Select the desired item(s) in Outlook, and click the Archive Attachments (ArchiveIcon.png) icon; a progress window displays while the item(s) are archived.
  2. Once the item(s) are successfully archived, any message attachments display as hyperlinks in the Outlook message preview. Click on a hyperlink to view the attachment.
  3. Double-click the archived message to open it in the message view; attachments display with icons as they normally would in Outlook.
  4. When you click the attachment hyperlink or double-click the archived message, the attachment is retrieved form the Barracuda Message Archiver, allowing you to view or save it in the same manner as an attachment in any other message.

  • Using this feature immediately sends the message for archiving; however, if the Barracuda Message Archiver is currently in the midst of archiving other messages, it may be a matter of minutes or even hours before the archived attachments are available. Once archived, the message appears in Archive Search for Outlook search results.
  • Forwarding an archived message automatically includes any attachments in that message as part of the forwarded message. However, a reply to such a message does not automatically include attachments, and the original archived message remains stubbed.

Apply a Category to Archived Items

If enabled by your administrator, a category is applied to all mail archived from the Archive Search for Outlook. For example, before archival, an item displays similar to:

After the item is stubbed with a category, in this example Archived, it appears similar to:

Restore Stubbed Content to Microsoft Exchange

To restore stubbed content to your Microsoft Exchange Server, click the Restore (Restore.png) icon in the Outlook toolbar. When clicked, the selected stub content is restored to the Exchange Server and persists on the Server until the next stubbing job runs.

Installation and Configuration

For attachment and whole-message stubbing options, refer to Installing and Configuring Barracuda Archive Search for Outlook.