Outlook 2007, Vista, Spam Protection and Lightning Fast Search

Apparently they have nothing in common. Vista is a bloat. Office 2007 is just a funny menu showcase. Outlook’s spam filtering is pathetic and Live! Search sucks and takes forever. And… you get to use them on a daily basis. Your email piles up in the inbox, spam flourishes and you have no clue where in the 8 GB of archived messages is the one you’re looking for.

Plugins to the rescue: SpamBayes and Lookout. Don’t get fooled by their venerable age: these oldies still rock.

DISCLAIMER: These are not officially supported. You might render your Vista inoperable and have to install Windows XP instead. Wait, that’s not nearly half that bad!

Get rid of spam!

SpamBayes is the daddy of all spam stoppers. It’s small, fast, eager to learn and serve you better, and a true spam killer (assassin was already taken). To quote:

The SpamBayes project is working on developing a statistical (commonly, although a little inaccurately, referred to as Bayesian) anti-spam filter, initially based on the work of Paul Graham. The major difference between this and other, similar projects is the emphasis on testing newer approaches to scoring messages. While most anti-spam projects are still working with the original graham algorithm, we found that a number of alternate methods yielded a more useful response.

And it’s got some nasty little icons to scare spammers away.

To get it up and running:

  • Download and install the latest version (1.1a4 for some time now).
  • Setup which folders you want monitored, where to store the spam and spam suspects.
  • Let it train (if you already have spam and good email sorted, let it learn off those).
  • Correct it’s classifications (use the ugly smileys).
  • Enjoy (mostly) spam-free inbox (I like to archive my junk/spam mails in a separate Outlook file – this way I can use it to retrain SpamBayes if I need to reinstall)!

A few hundred messages down the road (that’s a couple of days tops) you’ll be wondering how you kept your sanity without it.

Fast-Forward Your Searching

Live Search? No way! Before Microsoft brought Mike Belshe and Eric Hahn to the Live Search dev team, they used to do something cool: Lookout. It’s a small plugin that indexes your Outlook files (and any other files you might like) and searches through them really, really fast. Really! Joel likes it too.

Unfortunately this doesn’t work with Outlook 2007. And it doesn’t work with Vista either. Well, actually it does! But it takes a while to make it work:

  • Download Lookout 1.2.0. Although 1.3.0 was the last official release, it hasn’t been subdued to work on Vista. Yet.
  • Make sure you have uninstalled any other version of Lookout (if you previously fiddled with it).
  • Close Outlook.
  • Install Lookout. Version 1.2.0, remember?
  • Download these patched DLLs: lookout.dll and Inventures_old.dll. Unzip the latter and use them to overwrite what Lookout already installed. Leon Zandman‘s been writing more on these.
  • Not needed, previous step covers this too (see Leon’s comment). Revert to Office 10 PIAs. That means opening a command prompt and running these commands (see more info on Mike Belshe’s blog):
    cd  %SYSTEMROOT%\assembly\GAC
    rename Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OLD
  • Create a file named AppUpdate.log in Lookout’s installation folder.
  • Start Outlook. Repeatedly, if necessary.
  • If you get any error notifications just ignore them, they’ll go away.

If you were lucky Lookout should be working by now. You just need to set it up and let it rip:

  • Select which files you want indexed.
  • Disable logging (not required but recommended).
  • Index your emails. This might take some time, especially if you have a few gigabytes of emails.
  • Enjoy FAST searching.

That’s it, hope you managed not to crash your Vista. If you crashed it – more of a reason to switch back to XP – be grateful not hateful!

32 thoughts on “Outlook 2007, Vista, Spam Protection and Lightning Fast Search

  1. If you like SpamBayes, you might want to check out SpamBully too. It’s a bit more feature right. Runs on Outlook as well as OE and Vista Mail

  2. Hi Vlad,

    The patch I created for Lookout should work in combination with the latest Lookout V1.3.0 only. Yet, you recommend people to install V1.2.0. You also recommend people to mess with the Office PIAs. The whole reason I wrote the patch was to prevent people from touching their Office PIAs. So I’m a little confused about your strategy here…

  3. Leon, you’re right about the PIAs – your patch solves that (I’ve had the impression fixing the version check wasn’t enough but it seems it is). I’ll update the steps.

    As for using v1.2.0, this is the only one that I managed to run on Vista without crashing on indexing. And your patch holds on this version too.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Can anyone help me restore lookout? I run Outlook 2003/XP Pro in a big corporate environment. Recently, IT reloaded Office 2003 SP3 and now everytime Lookout 3.0 tries to access the mail folder on the server to index it I get:
    Failed: QueryInterface for interface Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook._NameSpace failed.

  5. If you are running with UAC enabled, Lookout will only load if you are running Outlook as an administrator.

    To fix this, run regedit as an administrator and export the following registry key


    Then run regedit as yourself and import these entries.

    The Lookout toolbar will then appear :-)

    Don’t yet know if will successfully index everything for me, as I’ve loads of email and it’s still running.

  6. I loved Lookout. But since I use Outlook 2007 I had to find something else – in my company i was not allowed to patch software.

    Gladly I found http://www.lookeen.net.
    Its like Lookout reborn including a couple of nice features..

    My boss paid the $30 and I am a very happy person again!


  7. Vlad,
    I’d like to thank you for this post
    after checking all the other solutions posted on the web this one is really working on vista/office 2007


  8. I loved Lookout. Then we moved on to Windows 7 (while still using Outlook 2003 – just hate those ribbons).

    Tried out every possible Version of Lookeen, up to the latest. Never successfully indexed, always crashes one time or another.

    My boss definitely would pay the 30$ if it would work – but in my case it definitely does NOT.

    So I’ll try to have Lookout working again, even if that’ll make me miss indexing Office .???x and pdf contents.

  9. Thanx Vlad & Leon, just applied your worked like a charm for with Lookout 1.20 in Outlook 2007 on all my XP/Vista/Win7 machines. Keep up the good work

  10. It works: Outlook 2007, Win 7, Lookout 1.2. GREAT!
    I’ve tried several other ways mentioned on other sites:
    1.3 with renaming, 1.3 with other dll, 1.2 with some replaced dll. All waste of time.
    I’m happy having found this page!

  11. Windows 7 64 bit / Outlook 2010 / Lookout 1.3.0

    After standard 1.3.0 install:
    I only replaced Inventures_old.dll NOT lookout.dll and things seem to be working fine.
    Created AppUpdate.log in the Lookout installation folder.

    After the initial “outlook” stopped messages restarted Outlook several times.
    The key seems to have been unchecking the “Deleted Items” folder in each archive.
    I am able to index with several multi GB pst files from scratch and have bumped up the indexing aggressiveness to one off from the most aggressive setting.

    Is there functionality or fix that I am “missing” that was included in the patched lookout.dll that I have not replaced?

    Thanks for keeping this working .. Can’t live without it.

  12. Has anyone been able to get Lookout running on Win7, 64bit, Outlook 2013? I’ve tried Larry’s instructions above, but no luck so far. The add-ins tab never appears and when I check the add-ins options, Lookout is listed under the Inactive add-ins. I’ve tried using both the new and the old lookout.dll, but no change. Suggestions?

  13. i got the same problem as mark described, with similar environment
    Lookout is listed under the Inactive add-ins.

  14. Syni,

    as same as you I’m looking also for the Inventures_old.dll patch because the download link is not working any more. :-(
    Can someone upload it somewhere that we can download it?
    Thx in advance!

  15. i’ll host those files (& lookout 1.2 / 1.3), and related literature, for the time being.


    my (sad) history is that i had it all working outlook 2007 / win7-64, lookout 1.3 for more than a year. then suddenly indexing started crashing, and i’ve now spent a few hours trying to get it to work again. all automatic updates are disabled in my system, and i don’t know that i would’ve changed anything, so i don’t really understand what might be going on now.

  16. zdoe,

    Thank you very much for this, been looking around for these files since they went down. Much appreciated!

  17. @zdoe

    Thanks a million. These files seem pretty hard to find these days. Highly appreciated.

  18. @zdoe I tried a fresh install of Lookout after disabling anti virus (MSE) and it worked for me.

  19. All,

    I have Lookout 1.3 working with Windows 8.1 (64-bit) and Outlook 2010. I only replaced Inventures_old.dll (not lookout.dll). So far so good. Basically I followed Larry’s instructions with one potentially important caveat. My copy of Outlook 2010 runs as administrator. This step was required to get certain PST files to open. However, it may have some impact on Lookout as well.

  20. @Hi Zdoe, All,
    Could you please share the “Inventures_old.dll” link once again? I am not able to download it.
    Your support getting these files would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  21. Zdoe, thanks. I changed the browser and it worked. I am now enjoying the fast fast … searching. ;-)

  22. one more comment, especially relevant for fast hardware: it seems the faster the pc the lower the indexer aggressiveness should be. with the default settings outlook crashes instantly upon building the index on a hexa core system with SSD, with lowered aggressiveness it works like a charm though.

  23. thanks horst – now i suspect that i could get lookout back by lowering the aggression…

  24. Can someone share Inventures_old.dll again please? Seems like the links above don’t work. Thanks

  25. Thanks. My issue was that I was using a proxy server. Without the proxy the download works. Thanks again!

  26. One more question. For some reason, Lookout plugin does not seem to appear on outlook startup. Any ideas? I have followed all the steps above. I am using Win 7, Outlook 2010.

  27. Thanks a million for this! – However, two links in your post are dead by now and here are updates…

    Inventures_Old.dll: This should read Inventures_Olk.dll and the new link is https://www.dropbox.com/s/1p8e7yo5c7krh40/inventures_olk.zip

    Leon Zandman’s blog has moved to http://leonzandman.com/2008/01/22/search-e-mail-at-lightspeed-using-lookout-with-outlook-2007/comment-page-1/

    You can also download Inventures_Olk.dll from there (it is his job, after all) and he also has the actual link to Pete Wilson’s site which details the solution to the problem with lookout.dll and offers a download link for the fixed lookout.dll file.

  28. still not yet found any solution to install lookout on a 64bit office 2013. any luck with this?

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