Lookoutsoft Lookout desktop search for Outlook

Looking for Lookout? Want to make it work with Outlook 2007? My thanks to Frank Taylor over at vmware for raising my awareness of this fix.

Lookoutsoft created Lookout – a lean mean search machine -years ago. Then, back in the summer of 2004 Microsoft made creators Mike Belshe and Eric Hahn an offer they did not refuse and bought Lookout into the Microsoft machine. On the day it was downloadable with Microsoft credentials, I personally mailed over 3500 people working for corporate clients to tell them to download it. Previously I had restricted advocacy of this to individuals and small businesses where freeware was not seen as an issue.

People loved Lookout’s lean purposefulness. Over time Microsoft fattened it up as they incorporated it into  their stable. Many people (especially tech savvy ones) stuck with the original.

So, if you loved it but since got hold of a new laptop and lost Lookout, or migrated to Outlook 2007 and found it did not work, here’s how to get hold of this lean, light and lightening fast search tool.

First: If you have Outlook 2003 you should be OK with a standard install; if you have Outlook 2007 check out this link to see what you have to do to make it work properly. Do scroll down to the end of the comments area to check recent developments. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/13l9Xt

Second: you can hit this Google search http://bit.ly/LtaB6 and select a download site that grabs you. My suggestion is Major Geeks @ http://bit.ly/d6xE8

Of course, there is always the current crop to choose from:-

Copernic  http://www.copernic.com/  is probably the lightest and nearest to Lookout

Xonbi (inbox backwards) http://www.xobni.com/ is more feature rich and displays additional info that can be useful but it is a little heavier in resource.

Both the above – in my opinion – are preferable to Google Desktop and Windows search


  1. Richard Maybury February 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    You can restrict your search criteria through the Options menu. I suggest that we do not index web for search.

  2. rogerT February 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    @Richard: Thanks for the recommendation of Copernic.I’m giving it a trial run and am very impressed by its speed.

    Can’t say I like the view pane showing web searches – I just want my local files/emails indexed and searched. Perhaps I’ll find a way to keep the preview pane and disable web searching.

  3. Richard Maybury February 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Roger, Lookout is much lamented!
    Most of the people I speak with about search do find Copernic to be up there in terms of performance and lightness. It is my preference. I like what Xobni can do but sometimes felt that it caused my system to be a little sluggish so I ditched it for Copernic.

  4. rogerT February 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    This is coming in sort of late and I apologize.

    I’ve managed to keep lookout working on all of my systems (XP, 2003) running Outlook -2003. Now that I’ve upgraded to Outlook 2010 I’d dearly love to have a capable search engine again.

    My understanding is that Lookout was based on the Lucene (Apache) engine. This is probably the best OSS implementation that exists. I don’t know what M$ did to hobble the Lookout product but they have made their desktop/email search facility a total blodgeware.

    I’ve looked at a couple of commercial alternatives (Lookeen and Xobni) but am unimpressed by their business “model”. A long time ago I tried Copernic (seemed unfinished); and I’d rather not have Mr. Goggle sticking his fingers into places that he isn’t already…

    I would be pleased to work with anybody that has some of the knowledge about Outlook APIs, perhaps the Lookout implementation, and some ideas on search techniques. I do have some .NET and other SW skills. My preferences would be to make an open-source version that could read a lot of data store types (Puggles, Lucene.Net, …) and interface with Outlook in the same manner Lookout did. Ideally it could also be used for non-Outlook, non-Windows environments.

  5. Arthur June 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Richard, thank you. I tried Copernic but it did not work well for me. Cumbersome and used a lot of resourses. I suppose that I used Lookout 20 times a day so in effect i changed the way i stored my work as i could always find items in nano seconds without having to create loads of files and move items to it. So when it is no longer available i am stuck. Please let me know if anything good and simple turns up or indeed a fix for Office 2010 which if it is lighter in the same way as Norton 2009 became lighter after so many compalints might work better. I understand that as the Lookout team no longer exist MS will never spend time keeping it up to date. Maybe a personal email to Bill Gates to reinvent it?

  6. Richard Maybury June 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Hi Arthur, you are far from being alon in your regard for the stripped down simple efficiency of Lookout. The only resource for 2007 that people have pointed me to is the one in this post: Majorgeeks. We have not yet produced our final thoughts on our Working Smart approach to Outlook 2010 but I can tell you that we probably will not be looking into third party search tools as part of this exercise. on a personal basis, my team prefer Copernic but we keep a lookout (no pun intended) for other tools and functionalities as a matter of course.

  7. Arthur June 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

    i have used Lookout for ages. Simply the best and fastest. In fact one changes the way files are kept because Lookout is so good. However when i upgraded to Office 2007 from 2003 on my secondary PC i could never get it to work and Office disables it all the time dispite a fix from Majorgeeks. I now have Office 2010 Professioanal Plus but am loathed to install it as i will loose Lookout. On my main PC i have XP Plus and Office 2003 still which needs updating as it is getting old and tired. Two questions: 1] can anyone point me to a safe install of Lookout to Office 2007, i have failed to get it right with the instructions on line 2] will anyone have a fix to install with 2010? I am told that 2010 is lighter on resources than 2007 so maybe it will work better. As always could MS produce an improved version of Lookout not the hopeless search engine they have?

  8. Richard Maybury March 8, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Hi Gethin, thanks for your comments. I have looked at Lookeen quite a while ago and dismissed it.
    Yes, it is increasingly difficult to find reliable boutique software that can be used alongside the ‘Corporate’ stuff. The reality for many of my readers – I suspect – is that they are using Microsoft products as their main programmes, so integration with MS is vital for them.

    I get so many emails and blog comments pointing me to new software packages that I just can’t look into because they do not integrate well with MS and do not add anything significant to the productivity mix.
    You have a great looking site, by the way, http://www.ediblemedia.com.au

  9. Gethin John Coles March 8, 2010 at 3:10 am

    THe sales people at lookeen have spammed every site I have found that references lookout. I’ve tried it and it is unintuitive and ultimately less flexible than lookout. Microsoft’s acquisition is just another example of the inexorable march of execrable software. They also bought and obliterated a great little deign tool called expression. THere are very vew reliable *little* programs that do what they do extremely well. I wish someone would at least use lookout as a template and give us some of its functionality (looking ahead here to office 2010 on window7 – my lookout with 2003, is far flakier than it was with XP).

  10. Eth July 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I find Copernic is a good tool too, but I prefer Lookeen, even because it is cheaper and can the same copernic can do! I also like that it is no second application like Copernic is! Its within Outlook and you don´t have to switch between them! But thats just my opinion! 🙂

  11. Laura July 20, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Thanks Richard, I loved Lookout and migrated to Copernic when my laptop was replaced and all TP software was erased! I’m sure you will get a few of our techies taking advantage of this!

  12. Richard Maybury July 19, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    HI Eth, thanks for your input. There are a few good, purposeful search tools out there and I have seen Lookeen before. I am often asked about Lookout by former fans of that app. This article is mainly for them.

    My beef with Google and Microsoft searches is the overhead more than anything else. My current search tool if Copernic.

  13. Eth July 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Nice article, but I think you missed one really good , reliable and extremly fast tool LOOKEEN: http://www.lookeen.net
    In my opinion it is sensless to work with LookOut further, because its an old tool, which isn´t developed anymore…there are many other good products which can keep up with LookOut…but I wouldn´t work with google desktop search, because I don´t trust google, but thats just my opinion!
    Lookeen is a tiny, fast and easy e-mail help! Another reason I work with Lookeen is that you don´t support a big company like Microsoft, because Microsoft has enough money!

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