Exchange 2013 – Is Office 2010 Filter Pack Required?

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The short answer is NO and let’s find out why that is the case.

Every exchange admin is familiar with the Office Filter packs, which is installed as a prerequisite in Exchange 2007 & 2010 to index and search Office files. The story is different in Exchange 2013?

We don’t need to install Office 2010 Filter pack or SP1 for the 2010 filter pack for installing Exchange 2013. The reason for not requiring the filter pack is that Exchange 2013 includes the Microsoft Search Foundation (the new search mechanism), which is used to index and search Office files in 2013 products like Exchange & SharePoint. I have seen many prominent bloggers mentioning that the filter pack is a “requirement”.

The search foundation also indexes pdf files and hence the Adobe iFilter is not required as well in 2013. TechNet documentation is not yet updated and still mentions about installing filter pack as a step.

Office 2010 filter pack is not a requirement in Exchange 2013

An important point to note is that the search foundation will not index OneNote and Publisher files and hence if your company uses those products heavily, you need to install Office 2010 Filter Pack 2.0 and the SP1 for Office 2010 Filter Pack 2.0. After the installation, a few registry keys have to be set before Exchange will start indexing those file types. Brian Reid has explained the process in detail & has even uploaded a script which will set all the registry values. Follow his article if you want OneNote and Publisher files to be indexed in Exchange 2013.

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8 comments… add one

  1. Point Noted…!

    1. Thanks Charles

  2. There’s conflicting information on the Microsoft website and Microsoft hasn’t figured it out yet (as of Feb 6th) so as soon as Microsoft has solved this internally it will be published on their website.

    1. Hi Jaap,

      Being an MVP, I know that you will have more info, but Scott Schnoll from MS has stated this publicly, that you don’t need Office Filter packs if you only want to index Office and PDF files.

  3. Ivan Morrison

    I found I needed Unified Communications 4.0 bits to install, but was only warned about the Filter Packs.

    1. Hi Ivan,

      UCMA is a requirement.

  4. Scott’s statement has been wrong many times.

    1. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil

      That’s a bit rude Prabhat ;)

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