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Using the Message Tracking Center

Message tracking allows support professionals to view, sort, and filter the information collected by each server or the messages sent, received, and delivered by the server.

The Message Tracking Center windows can trace a message (that is found in the search windows from the previous steps) through its path. It executes searches on all the message logs of the Exchange servers that handled it. This includes from the point it originated on an Exchange server (or entered the network through a connector or gateway) to the point it was delivered (or left the network). Each entry in the tracking log contains the date and time a message was sent, information about the sender, the sender's IP address and hostname, the number of recipients, and their addresses. The log also includes information about the message—for instance, the message ID, the message subject, the message priority, and even whether the message was encrypted.

The following shows how you can use the message-tracking tools from the Exchange System Manager console to search for a specific address:

  1. From the Exchange System Manager console, navigate to Tools, right-click Message Tracking Center, and then click Track Message. The Message Tracking Center opens.

  2. From the Server(s) field, click Browse and navigate to the server that you want to perform the message tracking on. The Select Servers page appears. Click Add and then click OK. Preferably, connect to a server with either the sender or the recipient of the message that you want to track in its address list.

  3. Click the Date and Time tab and select the required search dates.

  4. If you want to search for messages on a particular Exchange server, click Find Now from the General tab.

  5. If you want to track messages sent by a specific sender, from the Form field, click Browse, and then navigate to and select the sender address that you want to perform the message tracking on.

  6. From the General tab, click Find Now.

  7. If you want to track all messages coming to a specific recipient, from the Send To field, click Browse, and then navigate to and select the distant recipient address that you want to perform the message tracking on.

  8. From the General tab, click Find Now.

  9. If the recipients that you need are not listed in the address book, or if you already have a message ID to use for tracking, click Cancel and then click the Advanced tab.


    A message ID can be found in various Exchange logs, message queues, and also the Exchange client.

  10. In the Message ID field, type in the message ID (or paste it in, if you've copied the message ID from a log file) and click Find Now.

  11. Select a found message from the list and click Details to view additional property details. Click Close to return to the Select Message to Track dialog box when you are done viewing the message's details.

  12. To track a specific message after finding it, click Message History; this performs a complete rundown of the message flow and all the processes that have taken place to deliver this message. It also includes actions performed and the Exchange server involved. A message-tracking history is the sequence of steps taken to reach a destination. You can see the message's sender, subject, recipients, message ID, priority, encryption, bytes, and the message history.

  13. If you would like to save this information, click Save.

  14. Click Details to get more information about that message route, such as Event Type, From, Time, Transferred To, Size, and Recipients List and their SMTP addresses; click Close when you're finished.

To search for an Exchange server component such as Public Folders or messages transferred into this site, when performing a sender or a recipient search, you can browse through the entire directory, select any component available, and make a search based on that query. This helps you to find messages originating from core Exchange components.

After finding the message that meets your criteria, click Track Now from the Message Tracking Center dialog box. If you activated all the necessary tracking check boxes, the display window shows you the path of the selected message from the first instant it entered the Exchange organization to when it was delivered (or when it left the organization through a connector or gateway).

You can view details about the message route by clicking and expanding the message view in the display window.

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