How to Fix Exchange Error Content Index State Failed and Suspended

Sunil Sharma
Sunil Sharma

Updated On - October 19, 2022

While using the Exchange Server, many users encounter an error “The content index state is failed and suspended.” Although it doesn’t impact the accessibility of the Exchange Server, it can impact users trying to connect to Exchange via Outlook Web Access (OWA). Users connected to Exchange via OWA won’t be able to search their mailboxes. Thus, it’s essential to fix such errors in order to avoid any data loss.

Exchange Server is extensively utilized by organizations to manage their day-to-day operations, internal communications, and other daily activities. With many activities going on within one server often increases the load on the server, which results in complex errors. “Content index state is failed and suspended” is one of those errors that can affect the users accessing Exchange via OWA.

However, it also impacts the functionality of Database Availability Group (DAG) in Exchange Server infrastructure. If users report an error that they cannot search on their mailboxes, it is crucial to identify the issue by checking the mailbox database copy status. You can use Exchange PowerShell cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) to determine the issue.

Open EMS and run the below cmdlet to check the content index state:

Get-MailboxDatabase Database Name | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus |
Select Name,*index*

You’ll get accurate results for the content index on running the command, whether it’s failed or suspended. You can run the cmdlet for more than one content index. As an administrator, you can use the Exchange Management Shell to bring the content index in a healthy state again.

In this article, we will take you through various commands that you can use in the EMS to fix the “The content index state is failed and suspended” error.

Methods to Fix the Content Index Failed Error

There are two circumstances in which you can use the PowerShell cmdlets to fix or repair the failed database content index state. Below, we have defined both scenarios in detail.

Scenario 1: When Exchange is not a part of Database Availability Group (DAG)

When Exchange is a member of DAG, it has multiple database copies that can be affected or not affected with corrupt content index state. To resolve the error in this situation, follow the below steps:

  1. To analyze which content indexes are affected and display the failed or suspended status, run the following command in EMS:
  2. Get-MailboxDatabase Database Name | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus |Select Name,*index*
  3. Fix the corrupt catalog of the affected database with the below command:
  4. Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy Database\Server1 -sourceserver Server Name – catalogonly

    Enter the database name in the format Database\Server and the source server name. The update will be completed based on the size of the database.

  5. To check if the command worked in repairing the files or not, run the below command and check the status:
Get-MailboxDatabase Database Name | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index*

If it displays a healthy state, the error has been fixed and you can search the mailboxes in Exchange Server.

Scenario 2: When Exchange is not a part of DAG

In this scenario, a single database copy includes the failed or corrupt database content index state. You can make this database healthy again by using the following commands one-by-one.

First of all, stop the Exchange services running in the background – Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller by executing the below cmdlets:

  • For Microsoft Exchanges Search service:
  • Stop-Service MSExchangeFastSearch
  • For Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller Service:
  • Stop-Service HostControllerService

Now, move the exchange database folder saving location to the same system. Please search for the long string GUID folder, and delete it entirely with the containing sub-folders, which contain the content index of the database.

  • Now, start the above services again by running the simple commands one after another:
  • Start-Service MSExchangeFastSearchStop-Service HostControllerService
  • After running the command, it will take some time to create the new database content index within the new long string folder.
  • Now, check for the content index state of the Exchange database with the below command:
  • Get-MailboxDatabase | Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus | Select Name,*index*

The content index will be fixed after the above solution, and you’ll be able to use Exchange services and functions without any content-related issues. However, if you’re still incapable of fixing the error, it is recommended to use an alternative solution.

Recoveryfix for Exchange Server Recovery is a comprehensive solution that allows you to repair corrupt EDB files and move them to PST, live Exchange, and Office 365 destinations. It is integrated with a simple UI and easy-to-use navigation that helps conduct a smooth recovery from severely corrupt EDB files and retrieves all the data in the best condition. It supports EDB to Office 365 migrations and also helps you recover lost and deleted public folders from Exchange EDB files.

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Moreover, the tool supports all versions of the Exchange Server, including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and 2000. It even supports recovery of corrupt OST & PST files that you can migrate to the Exchange Server whenever necessary.

Final Words

‘The content index state is failed and suspended’ is a common Exchange error that can occur anytime while accessing it via Outlook Web Access. Though it doesn’t affect any data or make the Exchange server inaccessible, it is crucial to fix the error to search the mailboxes. In this article, we discussed how to fix the “Content index state is failed and suspended’ error with two practical solutions. And we have recommended an alternate solution Recoveryfix for Exchange Server, to fix corrupt EDB files.

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