Applies to: Exchange Online, Exchange Server 2016

This cmdlet is available in on-premises Exchange Server 2016 and in the cloud-based service. Some parameters and settings may be exclusive to one environment or the other.

Use the Start-MailboxSearch cmdlet to restart or resume a mailbox search that's been stopped.

For information about the parameter sets in the Syntax section below, see Exchange cmdlet syntax.

Start-MailboxSearch -Identity <EwsStoreObjectIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-Force <SwitchParameter>] [-Resume <SwitchParameter>] [-StatisticsStartIndex <Int32>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

This example starts the mailbox search ProjectContoso.

Start-MailboxSearch -Identity "ProjectContoso"

You can use In-Place eDiscovery to search one or more specified mailboxes or all mailboxes across the Exchange organization. A search is created by using the Exchange admin center (EAC) or the New-MailboxSearch cmdlet.

When restarting a search, any previous results returned by the same search and copied to a Discovery mailbox are removed. To preserve previous search results and resume the search from the point it was stopped, use the Resume switch.

In Exchange 2013 or later, mailbox searches are also used for In-Place Hold. However, you can't start or stop In-Place Hold using the Start-MailboxSearch and Stop-MailboxSearch cmdlets.

For more details, see In-Place Hold and Litigation Hold in Exchange 2016 and In-Place eDiscovery in Exchange 2016.

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 "In-Place eDiscovery" entry in the Messaging policy and compliance permissions topic.


Parameter Required Type Description




The Identity parameter specifies the name of the search. The name is referenced when starting, stopping, or removing the search.




The Confirm switch specifies whether to show or hide the confirmation prompt. How this switch affects the cmdlet depends on if the cmdlet requires confirmation before proceeding.

  • Destructive cmdlets (for example, Remove-* cmdlets) have a built-in pause that forces you to acknowledge the command before proceeding. For these cmdlets, you can skip the confirmation prompt by using this exact syntax: -Confirm:$false.

  • Most other cmdlets (for example, New-* and Set-* cmdlets) don't have a built-in pause. For these cmdlets, specifying the Confirm switch without a value introduces a pause that forces you acknowledge the command before proceeding.




This parameter is available only in on-premises Exchange 2016.

The DomainController parameter specifies the domain controller that's used by this cmdlet to read data from or write data to Active Directory. You identify the domain controller by its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For example,




The Force switch specifies whether to suppress warning or confirmation messages. You can use this switch to run tasks programmatically where prompting for administrative input is inappropriate. You don't need to specify a value with this switch.




The Resume switch resumes a stopped, failed, or partially succeeded search from the point it stopped. You don't need to specify a value with this switch.

If you use this switch to resume a search, previous search results aren't removed from the target mailbox.




The StatisticsStartIndex parameter is used by the EAC to retrieve keyword statistics in a paged operation.




The WhatIf switch simulates the actions of the command. You can use this switch to view the changes that would occur without actually applying those changes. You don't need to specify a value with this 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.