Enable native Outlook search experience

With this feature, the Microsoft Outlook offline folder file (*.ost) and the search database specific to the user are roamed along with the user profile.

To use this feature, you must enable the Microsoft Windows Search Service. By default, the service is enabled on Windows desktops. To enable the Microsoft Windows Search Service on Windows servers, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Server Manager from the Start menu.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the interface, click Manage and then select Add Roles and Features.
  3. In the Add Roles and Features Wizard window, on the Before You Begin page, click Next.
  4. On the Installation Type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation and then click Next.
  5. On the Server Selection page, select the server on which the service is installed and then click Next. If you have only one server, the server is automatically selected.
  6. On the Server Roles page, click Next.
  7. On the Features page, select Windows Search Service and then click Next.
  8. On the Confirmation page, click Install. It might take a few minutes to install the Windows Search Service.
  9. After the installation completes, on the Results page, click Close.
  10. Click Search from the Start menu, type “services” in the search box, and then press Enter on the keyboard.
  11. In the Services window, double-click Windows Search, set the startup type to “Automatic,” click Apply, and then click OK.
  12. Close the Services and the Server Manager windows.

After enabling the Microsoft Windows Search Service, follow the steps below to enable search index roaming for Outlook.

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Editor.
  2. Under Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX files) > Citrix Components > Profile Management > Advanced settings, double-click the Enable search index roaming for Outlook policy.
  3. Select Enabled. Click OK.

If search index roaming is not configured in Group Policy objects, the value from the .ini file is used. If this setting is not configured anywhere, it is enabled by default.

For your changes to take effect, run the gpupdate /force command from the command prompt. You must log off all sessions and then log on again. For details, see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490983.aspx.

VHDX files

The VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk) is a disk file format that is used to provision virtual and logical disk storage space to virtual machines. The Enable search index roaming for Outlook feature relies on VHDX files to work. VHDX files are created for each user that uses the feature. VHDX files store user-specific profile on a separate virtual disk that is dedicated to that user’s profile. Profile Management mounts VHDX files on logon and unmounts them on logoff. There are two VHDX files:

  • OutlookOST.vhdx file, containing Microsoft Outlook offline folder file (.ost)
  • OutlookSearchIndex.vhdx file, containing search index database for the offline folder file stored in the OutlookOST.vhdx file


Profile Management mounts VHDX files only when users log on. It does not remount the VHDX files after logon, even if the VHDX files are unmounted.

Quick creation of VHDX files

As an enhancement to the Enable search index roaming for Outlook feature, Profile Management accelerates the creation of user-specific VHDX files. It does so by generating user-specific VHDX files as copies of the template VHDX file (UpmParentVhd.vhdx) that is created automatically when the first user logs on.

For example, if the Enable search index roaming for Outlook feature is enabled, you can see that the following VHDX folder files are available after logon:

  • A folder UpmVhd in the user store. This folder is located in the root folder of the user store. For example, if the user store is configured as \\Fileshare\UpmStore$\%USERNAME%.%USERDOMAIN%\!CTX_OSNAME!_!CTX_OSBITNESS!, the UpmVhd folder will be created at \\Fileshare\UpmStore$\.
  • A file UpmParentVhd.vhdx in the UpmVhd folder.

When other users log on, Profile Management generates the VHDX files specific to those users’ profiles as copies of the template VHDX file.

Automatic backup and restore of Outlook search index database

Profile Management can automatically save a backup of the last known good copy of the search index database and revert to the copy in case of corruption. To achieve this, enable search index roaming for Outlook and then enable the Outlook search index database – backup and restore policy. For more information, see Automatic backup and restore of Outlook search index database.


Software requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 1709 or later
  • Windows Server 2016 or later
  • Microsoft Outlook 2016 (32-bit or 64-bit) or Microsoft Office 365

The following versions of Microsoft Windows Search Service (SearchIndexer.exe) have been tested and are supported:

  • 7.0.17134.376

  • 7.0.17134.285

  • 7.0.17134.228

  • 7.0.17134.1

  • 7.0.16299.402

  • 7.0.16299.248

  • 7.0.16299.15

  • 7.0.15063.413

  • 7.0.14393.2457

  • 7.0.14393.2430

  • 7.0.14393.2368

  • 7.0.14393.2312

  • 7.0.14393.2273

  • 7.0.14393.2248

  • 7.0.14393.1884

  • 7.0.10240.17443

  • 7.0.9600.18722

  • 7.0.1493.1593

  • 7.0.1393.2125

  • 7.0.1393.1884

  • 7.0.1393.1770


  • Concurrent sessions on multiple machines are not supported.
  • This feature is expected to support the future versions of the Microsoft Windows Search Service. If you find that the feature does not work with specific future versions of the Service, contact Citrix Technical Support.