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Turn off email search in finder search

18652 Views 57 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2014 10:52 AM by Rob Williams RSS
  • marzzzA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 10, 2012 1:06 PM (in response to Philpott)

    Philpott wrote:


    We've all tried that. The problem is that doing this also disables searching within apps that have data stored in the Library folder, like Mail.


    Please note I stated that the Mail folder is the only one I make "private." I did not include the entire Library folder. When I need to search for mail, I just look in the Mail application itself. Given that the initial problem was finding results spammed from the Mail folder, I feel this solves the problem nicely, excluding the mail and the attachments.

  • MattKinNJ Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 23, 2012 7:27 AM (in response to marzzzA)

    Here's a novel idea, APPLE...

    With ctrl-F searches, there is a "+" button that allows you to select "Kind (is)" and it is usually there by default already.  So, how hard would it be to allow a choice for *IS NOT* (i.e., "Kind is not" - make is/is not selectable)?!

    Of course, Apple would have to add "Email" to the types for "Kind (is)"...

    Also, it would be nice if you could search (or filter is/is nor) with "Kind" by a more specific file type (jpg) instead of the generic types (Application, Document, etc. - PDF is there and is a good example).


    Otherwise, just use IMAP and never store any email locally, I guess?!

  • Philpott Calculating status...
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    Jul 25, 2012 1:40 PM (in response to DataChris)

    Just installed Mountain Lion. I don't think they allow you to hide Safari History items or Mail Messages from Finder window search results. (Seriously Apple, when I'm searching for something, I really don't want to have my entire Safari History trawled and dumped in front of me! If you want to find an actual file, you have to manually hide mail messages and Safari history I think...)

  • oxcart Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Jul 26, 2012 12:23 AM (in response to Philpott)

    Apple don't read these posts, use the feedback form at


  • wolfie5099 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 2:16 PM (in response to oxcart)

    For me, this issue is fixed.  Just follow lostonroute66's instructions.  Works perfectly!  Thank you!


    I'm on Lion, MacBook Pro

  • Rob Williams Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 6:21 AM (in response to wolfie5099)

    wolfie5099 - lostonroute66's solution did not work for me. As I understand it the solution works by moving the Microsoft User Data to the user/library folder and then setting up Finder so that a new window defaults to the user main folder, and a search searches the current folder. Great, except that the user main folder still contains the MUD folder, allbeit in a different subdirectory. Result? For me Finder Spotlight still lists all my Outlook emails (olk14_message). I don't understand why it wouldn't continue to find them when using this solution. How come Spotlight in the Finder isn't finding your MUD folder but it is finding mine? I'm on Lion 10.7.4 so my User/Library folder is just as hidden as yours is.

  • wolfie5099 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 7:47 AM (in response to Rob Williams)

    Did you put the microsoft user data in the /library/preferences folder?  This is where I put it on my machine, which is running now running mountain lion.

  • Rob Williams Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 11:14 AM (in response to wolfie5099)

    wolfie5099 something happened after I posted my response - the solution worked after all. For some reason it took a few minutes, and then suddenly all the email messages disappeared from the Spotlight window I had open in the Finder. I tried to edit my post but got a "down for maintenance" message from the community URL.


    Anyway, yes lostonroute66's solution does indeed seem to work. You move the Microsoft User Data folder out of Documents and into the ~user/Library/Preferences folder. Office applications including Outlook still seem to work fine, but Finder can no longer display the emails because the ~user/Library/ folder is hidden. That's all I needed to do actually - the other bits about Finder Preferences don't affect the behaviour in Spotlight.


    So thanks to both of you. A problem that's been bugging me for ages is now solved.

  • wolfie5099 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 15, 2012 11:22 AM (in response to Rob Williams)

    Great news!

  • forbes2000 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 9, 2012 12:56 PM (in response to DataChris)

    Does anyone know how I could exclude mail messages from the Mac Mail program (as opposed to Outlook, which is discussed here)?


    I'd love to clean up my Finder results!

  • oxcart Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Sep 9, 2012 1:29 PM (in response to forbes2000)

    Sure, go to spotlight panel within system preferences and uncheck the Mail check box.  This will stop it returning hits to mail messages but you will still get hits to mail attachment, which is my main complaint.

  • forbes2000 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 9, 2012 1:50 PM (in response to oxcart)

    That doesn't work–it does for Spotlight but not for Finder:


    When I make my initial search in Spotlight, I click "Show all in Finder". When these results are displayed, they include all my mail, web history, and other useless categories. I cannot exlude any category or even move it lower in the list of results–a big nuisance.

  • oxcart Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Sep 9, 2012 2:09 PM (in response to forbes2000)

    Yes, I just tried and you are correct.  I did not realize this because I always start my search in the finder by typing command-F.  It is just as convenient as spotlight so why not try it for a while and see if you get used to it.


    It is inexplicable why the two methods should differ.  I certainly could not live with email messages in my finder search.  The behavior is very strange.  It seems to me that spotlight followed by 'show in finder' is sometimes flooded by email hits and other times not, depending on the search term.  You would have thought that something as fundamental to the OS as this would at least work consistantly, if not sensibly!


    I believe there was a solution somewhere above which involved using a different email client.

  • Rob Williams Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Sep 10, 2012 10:22 AM (in response to oxcart)

    Guys this is interesting to me. I posted on this thread because my Finder searches were flooded with Outlook emails. The solution of moving the Microsoft User folder worked for that. Yet my Finders searches show no Mail results at all. None. I just tested it by searching for a string I could see in the title of an email. No results. Yet Spotlight works brilliantly within Mail itself.


    I'm using Lion 10.7.4 and Mail 5.2 so I'm not sure if that's having an effect, but I've never had the problem you are having.

  • ljksadflkjjsdfljksfdlkjljksd Calculating status...
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    Jan 14, 2013 2:58 PM (in response to DataChris)

    Good news and bad...


    First let me say that not only do I have the same annoying problem of hundreds of mail documents showing up in ordinary Finder search results (Command-F), I have a problem no one else has mentioned: all those hundreds of mail documents do not alphabetize. I could manage to deal with the unwanted VOLUME of results, if only it were easy to navigate them alphabetically. (Yes, I click on the name column; they don't alphabetize.)


    So I called Apple. The guy tried some of the things that you guys have talked about, such as moving the Mail folder into the Privacy section in preferences. The bad news is that he could not find a way to resolve either of the problems... getting rid of mail in the results, or making them show up alphabetically.


    The good news (though I'm not sure how good) is that he said he would write this up as a bug report and send it to the guys who fix bugs in the OS. He sounded hopeful that they'd fix it. We'll see. Hope I'm still alive!


    (Talking about Mountain Lion.)


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