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Google Desktop Search 2.0 Beta - Email Search Tool

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Google Desktop Search

Google Desktop Search

Heinz Tschabitscher

The Bottom Line

Google Desktop Search finds emails and instant messaging conversations with precision, speed, threading and in near-real time. The main gripe with this useful tool is its support for just a few email clients and instant messaging applications, though plug-ins can teach Google Desktop Search to find content in more places.
Google Desktop Search is no longer available.


  • Google Desktop Search is lean, fast and virally useful
  • Search Gmail, email and instant messaging in addition to files, plug-ins extend capabilities
  • Google Desktop Search integrates well with Google, Outlook and Windows, and is easy to use


  • Google Desktop Search does not integrate IMAP accounts
  • More search operators for even more precise email search might be nice
  • Google Desktop Search could profit from more configuration options, too


  • Google Desktop Search lets you search local email, Gmail, IM conversations and Office documents.
  • Mail in Outlook Express, Outlook, Thunderbird and NS Mail is indexed as it is received or sent.
  • Plug-ins allow Google Desktop Search to find more file types and email or IM in more applications.
  • Google Desktop Search blends into and integrates with Google.com web search.
  • Email results are threaded and can be sorted by date or relevancy.
  • Google Desktop Search provides direct links to replying, forwarding and opening messages.
  • Individual messages and chats can be removed from the Google Desktop Search index easily.
  • The Google Desktop Search index can be protected with encryption.
  • A Google Desktop Search Sidebar includes an RSS feed reader and Gmail notifier.
  • Google Desktop Search supports Windows 2000/3/XP/Vista.

Guide Review - Google Desktop Search 2.0 Beta - Email Search Tool

As both the usefulness and ubiquity of web search and the size and use of hard drives have skyrocketed, it has become an adage to say how ironic it is that you can find any document on the net in seconds while searching your own disk takes minutes with often mediocre results. People have started putting stuff on their web sites so that they could find them. With Google Desktop Search, this is no longer necessary, and even emails can be found in seconds.

After an initial indexing process that usually goes surprisingly smooth, Google Desktop Search searches your emails, instant messaging conversations, the sites you visit on the web and Office documents with amazing speed, relevancy and up-to-dateness. Using a few keyword operators, you can restrict your search to sender or subject, for example. Out of the box, Google Desktop Search is still a bit picky about what it does index.

Only a handful of email clients are supported, but plug-ins allow any application to make data available in Google Desktop Search. If your type of email or instant messaging is supported, Google Desktop Search displays a lot of usefulness in the standard and easy to use Google interface.

In Outlook, a Google Desktop Search toolbar provides instant results, and a Desktop Sidebar offers everything from RSS feeds to new mail notification. Email messages are sorted in Gmail-style conversations and equipped with handy shortcuts to your email program. Operators for more precise email and IM search might come in handy.

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