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Search not working properly in mail

49024 Views 94 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2014 6:57 AM by Di\'k RSS
  • Manik-1770 Calculating status...
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    Mar 19, 2013 12:20 AM (in response to Manik-1770)

    unfortunately right when Spotlight finished re-indexing, it is back to not working again as far as search all message.


    I wish there were something that worked.

  • meh666 Calculating status...
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    Mar 25, 2013 2:41 PM (in response to bill96744)

    I had a similar problem. Search was not working properly in mail. I found out this link and am working on it currently. Will let you know if this clears my issues.





  • ChefBren Calculating status...
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    Apr 1, 2013 7:56 PM (in response to PunkNugget)

    I'm having the same exact issue and can't seem to find a fix. It's annoying as all get out. week ago I wasn't able to search anything.  And then today, it started searching back to only 3/26.... but that's it. Nothing prior to.


    Is anyone else having this issue?

  • Hogster86 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 12, 2013 2:02 AM (in response to Glenn Leblanc)

    Thanks for posting the tip about deleting the Envelope files Glenn. I too was having search difficulties in Apple Mail under Mountain Lion after migrating my files from a Snow Leopard laptop to a new Mountain Lion laptop, and this fixed it!


    Many thanks




  • Glenn Leblanc Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)
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    Apr 12, 2013 4:50 AM (in response to Hogster86)

    It's been a while since I've posted on the board, but I'm glad to see that my older posts are still helping someone. Glad that worked for you David.

  • Manik-1770 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 13, 2013 8:25 PM (in response to bill96744)

    4 months in counting - I tried everything in this thread mutliple times - Last try was this morning - Not backing up beforehand was a BAD idea = lost 4 days worth of emails.  I finally tried reinstalling Mountain Lion as one person suggested here (or on another thread) and BOOM = it finally works!

    It's great that Glenn's suggestions have helped others - but if his suggestions didn't work for you, try the reinstall

  • jimmychimp Calculating status...
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    Apr 21, 2013 12:25 AM (in response to Glenn Leblanc)

    Thank you Glen..  Legend indeed!




  • wayneljw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 2, 2013 1:01 AM (in response to Manik-1770)

    Thank you Manik-1770


    Could you let us know when you said "reinstalling Mountain Lion", do you mean you reinstall ML from scratch or is there anyway which allow you to reinstall ML, but still keep all necessary settings ( so that we don't have to reinstall all apps and re-configure all settings)?


    Also, after you reinstall ML, did you restore your machine from the time machine?


    I am trying to fix my Mail problem (tried all suggestions without luck) using your suggestion, but I hesitate to do because I don't really like to reinstall all apps and re-configure all settings.



  • abbylondon Calculating status...
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    May 31, 2013 2:05 PM (in response to bill96744)

    So far I have tried everything listed on here and I am still having problems.  I'm having this problem of not being able to use the search function in mail.  It does not give a drop down.  I'm a tech at a school and it's like this for at least two of my users using Mail in Mountain Lion.  If you type a name the messages show everything that is associated with that person in the mail viewer, CCs, sent, from etc.  On my mahine the drop down is there before I even finish typing the search.  For my users it can take as long as 3 minutes to get the drop down to appear. 

    It seems to be with users with large amounts of e-mail and many folders.  We are using our own e-mail server.  The accounts are IMAP.  They are using mail on an imac, desktop, ipad and an iphone.

  • fuzzyrobi Calculating status...
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    Jul 4, 2013 5:39 AM (in response to bill96744)

    I had the problem that the search function in Mail 6.5 was working fine for fields like "Subject" and "People" but not when searching on the entire messages.. I tried pretty much all of the above proposed solutions but none worked! I then realized that when searching on the body of messages, Mail relies on the spotlight engine, This was confirmed by the fact that I did not get any "Messages" results in Spotlight either, although "Messages & Chats" are checked in my Spotlight preferences...


    The solution to my problem is extremely simple and I cannot believe I overlooked it for the past weeks of frustration!! In my Mail account settings, in the Advanced tab, I was NOT keeping copies of my messages for offline viewing. Meaning no emails were cached on my local drive, therefore Spotlight could not search them since all my emails were only on the server at work. Selecting the option to keep all messages and their attachments for offline viewing solved my problem! :)


    I do hope my solution helps someone here..

  • jximo 07 Calculating status...
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    Jul 17, 2013 10:40 PM (in response to Glenn Leblanc)

    This worked for me. Thank you

  • etarak44 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 19, 2013 8:37 AM (in response to ninjitalia)

    Same thing for me. I've tried everything except one thing which is going to be my last ditch effort. Remove the mail folder from Library to my desktop or somewhere and start over. This will require me to re-setup accounts but at this point I'm willing to try anything. Search in Mail is the key function how I find stuff during work. It has become my memory since my brain can't be held responsible with such things as "did I send that guy a price list yesterday". Without it I have found that I need to re-evaluate my organizational methods so I don't have a single fail point. I appreciate everyone's efforts here, but anyway you look at it this shouldn't be happening. Even Outlook (although terrible in many ways) has no problem maintaining its index and search features regardless of email database size or age.

  • Yule Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Nov 14, 2013 12:39 PM (in response to bill96744)
  • Marabunta20 Calculating status...
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:07 AM (in response to Glenn Leblanc)

    Thankyou so much! Rebuilding was the solution

  • tessaln Calculating status...
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    Nov 30, 2013 10:13 AM (in response to bill96744)

    yes, rebuilding worked for me too.

    my question is, tho, that i am unable to actually empty the trash with the 3 "bad" mail files because the trash is saying the files are in use?? what to do? thanks.

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