I've got exactly the same problem, the only thing which it will allow me to search on is people from my address book and the names of mailboxes.
I can no longer search on subject, senders outside my contacts or the contents of an email.
I have around 15GB of email for business an it's useless without being able to search.
I've tried rebuilding mailboxes but it had no effect.
I've managed to get it working after trying the following:
1. Used Disk Utility to repair permissions on my main drive
2. In Terminal used the comand "sudo mdutil -v -i on /"
That tells spotlight to turn indexing on for that drive.
3. Did a restart
I'd recommend trying the permissions and a restart first and if that doesn't help then try the command line fix.
The first time I ran it without -v so got no feedback on what it was doing. Stopping it and trying to do it again gave me the message "Error: Index is already changing state. Please try again in a moment." After the restart it now says:
Scan base time: 2011-10-19 07:40:10 +0100 (60 seconds ago), reasoning: 'scan not required - avoided catchup scan'
Now mail is back to how it was before the 10.7.2 update, happy days.
Hi. I have got the same problem. Just re indexing Spotlight Database now - 2 hours remaining :-S.
See this: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409
I just dragged the startup disk to the Privacy list (click ok for the warning) and then removed it from the list.
Hope that helps.
thanks for starting this thread brian! i have the same exact problem as you guys and NEED HELP fast as i just can't work without it...
rich, your suggestion sounded easier than tc!s, so i tried doing that first, but just got folllowing error message when dragging my disk to the privacy list: "the item couldn't be added or removed because of an unknown errror"... ARGH...
so now i'm trying the first part of tc!s advice: repairing the permissions on main drive, then restart machine. i really hope this works since you lost me with the command line talk...
So when disabling Spotlight then Apple mail search does not return any results. So Spotlight must be enabled for the mail to do any searches.....NOW that's what I call a LAME mail app. It can't do it's own search within the application. Who was the genius behind that one at APPLE? Oh! I'm sorry I forgot, it was out sourced to China Apple! Along with all the hardware.