Problem with Search-Mailbox Query

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I want to perform a rather simple task in user's mailboxes: deleting all messages received before a certain date. This is on Ex2010 SP1, and as per documentation, the search string is in Advanced Query Syntax .

Search-Mailbox -Identity " user" -SearchQuery " received:<01/01/2010" -DeleteContent

When I run that command, however, I get an error message as follows:
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: :)) [], ParserException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : 339B33A9

What am I doing wrong here, I don't quite understand? Followed the reference to E-Mail properties here:, and the Search-Mailbox docs here:


Yes, that role is assigned to the account. If I execute the command without the -SearchQuery parameter, it executes just fine. The problem indeed seems to be the AQS string " received:<01/01/2010" , in particular the colon. When I remove the colon, I get an error that the " less then" operator must not be used in conjunction with a keyword. If I remove that operator as well, the command returns no error, but doesn't actually do what I want it to (rather obviously).


Hi Veichtlbauer,

I test it in lab and it works.

First, I test Search-Mailbox -Identity " user" -SearchQuery " received:01/01/2010" -DeleteContent

And the mails received on 01/01/2010 will be deleted.

Then I test Search-Mailbox -Identity " user" -SearchQuery " received:<01/01/2010" -DeleteContent

The mails received before 01/01/2010 will be deleted.

From your description:" If I remove that operator as well, the command returns no error, but doesn't actually do what I want it to"

Do you mean the mails you received on 01/01/2010 has been deleted?

What " Region and Language" do you set?

Frank Wang


Hmm, then something about my setup must be wrong then? I used the exact same syntax as you, and it resulted in the error:

Das Eigenschaftsschl&uuml;sselwort wird nicht unterst&uuml;tzt.
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: :)) [], ParserException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : 3241D4D1

To clarify:

When I use the syntax below, I get no error message, the mailbox gets searched, but no elements are deleted (that ought to be because the search criteria are not very logical...):

Search-Mailbox -Identity g.veichtlbauer -SearchQuery " received 01.01.2010" -DeleteContent

The server is using German (Austria) locale, but it doesn't work even when I use the German date format. Somehow it does not seem to like the colon in the AQS though...


Hi Veichtlbauer,

According to the error message: " Das Eigenschaftsschl&uuml;sselwort wird nicht unterst&uuml;tzt." ->The property keyword isn't supported.

The error will be occur if you enter a wrong(unsupported) property.

Did you try other properties, e.g: From, Subject...

Details: Understanding Exchange Search

My lab is English(US) format. Sorry I haven't a German language Exchange to test.

Frank Wang


Argh! I wasn't aware that the search string is completely localized, even the keywords!

So this one works just fine:

Search-Mailbox -Identity " user" -SearchQuery " empfangen:<01.01.2010" -DeleteContent

Thanks for hinting in the right direction, I am so blind :)
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