Here is an interesting problem I cannot seem to find an answer to. I have a client that has several files from email message exports that do not have a file extension (e.g. PDF, DOC). These files, when clicked, open in IE. Essentially, these are text files, but the email client does not attach any file extension.

The library shows the file as does DataView web parts. In both cases I can click the file and it opens in IE no problem.

My problem is with searching/crawling the content. It is almost like the crawl ignores the files since it does not have a file extension. Is this a crawl rule or file type issue? Anyone know how to resolve?

Environment: SharePoint Foundation 2010 with Search Server Express

  • 1
    (e.g. PDF, DOC) What? Why are there PDFs/DOCs without a file extension? See XY Problem
    – tnw
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


This will be exactly because there is no file extension. The search crawler (or gatherer) relies on the file extension to know which piece of software (IFilter) to load to open the file and index it. No way around it, this is just how Search in SharePoint works.


SharePoint 2010 uses file extension to detect the file type and pass the file to the registered iFilter for the extension. That changed in SharePoint 2013 with the introduction of format handlers. In 2013 file types are detected based on content. I just tested this in 2013 by creating a TXT file and a DOCX file then removed thier extensions. I placed them on a Network Share as SharePoint would not let me upload them. I crawled the files and not only were they full text indexed but they were correctly identified. So it appears that the format handlers in 2013 may be able to do what you want. Note, not all file types are indexed with format handlers, if there is no handler it is passed to the iFilter. OOB format handlers include: .docx, text, .xml, .gif, .jpg, .pptx and .pdf. Email is not included in the list, but that does not mean it is not detected, so I would test it with your files.

In 2010 the only way to resolve this is to rename the files with the appropriate file extension.

  • SP2010 we're able to crawl EML and MSG files
    – tnw
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49
  • Sorry for the confusion, I meant there is not an OOB format handler for EML and MSG, 2013 still uses iFilters for those types. Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 21:32
  • tnw- while these are eml files, Groupwise did not export with a file extension.
    – JuanTrev
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 20:12
  • OK, but you could run a PowerShell command to rename them and simply add a file extension, right? Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 21:16

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