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Exchange 2010

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2012-11-15

Use the Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments cmdlet to retrieve a list of documents for a mailbox, mailbox database, or Mailbox server that couldn't be indexed by Exchange Search.

Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments -Identity <MailboxIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments -Server <ServerIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments -MailboxDatabase <DatabaseIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

The Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments cmdlet returns a list of documents that couldn't be indexed. The most common reason is that there was no filter available for that document type or there was an attachment within the document. For example, the PDF filter isn't available by default. If an e-mail message contains a PDF document, because there is no PDF filter, the document is marked as failed content indexing.

After a new filter is installed, only new messages with attachments of the type for which the filter is installed are indexed. If you want to index older messages for the document type, the mailbox has to be moved.

The cmdlet output provides details about items in a mailbox that couldn't be indexed, including an error code and the reason for failure.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can run this cmdlet. Although all parameters for this cmdlet are listed in this topic, you may not have access to some parameters if they're not included in the permissions assigned to you. To see what permissions you need, see the "Get unsearchable items" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.


Parameter Required Type Description




The Identity parameter specifies the mailbox. You can use one of the following values:

  • GUID
  • Distinguished name (DN)
  • Domain\Account
  • User principal name (UPN)
  • LegacyExchangeDN
  • SmtpAddress
  • Alias




The MailboxDatabase parameter specifies the database from which to get the mailbox. You can use the following values:

  • GUID of the database
  • Database name
  • Distinguished name (DN)




The Server parameter specifies a Mailbox server. You can use the following values:

  • Name
  • GUID
  • DN




The Confirm switch causes the command to pause processing and requires you to acknowledge what the command will do before processing continues. You don't have to specify a value with the Confirm switch.




The DomainController parameter specifies the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain controller that retrieves data from Active Directory.




The WhatIf switch instructs the command to simulate the actions that it would take on the object. By using the WhatIf switch, you can view what changes would occur without having to apply any of those changes. You don't have to specify a value with the WhatIf switch.

To see the input types that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Input Type field for a cmdlet is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t accept input data.

To see the return types, which are also known as output types, that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Output Type field is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t return data.

This example retrieves a list of items that couldn't be indexed by Exchange Search from the mailbox of user Terry Adams.

Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments -Identity "Terry Adams"

This example retrieves a list of items that couldn't be indexed by Exchange Search from the mailbox database Mailbox Database MDB2.

Get-FailedContentIndexDocuments -MailboxDatabase "Mailbox Database MDB2"
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