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Smart mailboxes are empty in Mavericks mail

9458 Views 55 Replies Latest reply: Feb 19, 2014 8:19 PM by gixxermacguy RSS
  • PaulSG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 6:40 AM (in response to Robert Wünsch)

    I wonder if mine problem is related in any way!


    Since I installed OS X Mavericks I am losing content of email messages. I can open received email messages from the basic INBOX but - ONCE I HAVE MOVED THEM FROM MY INBOX TO A SEPERATE MAILBOX for filing purposes - all I am left with is the title eg,


    As shown in INBOX:


    Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 14.32.16.png open it and could see whole content



    ..then after move to File Mailbox:


    Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 14.33.29.png open it and everything, apart from title and date = gone and irrecoverable.


    Even moving it back to INBOX = content lost.


    I've tried all the restoration from Time Machine etc with no joy.


    If this is not related perhaps someone could re-direct me.

  • MstrE Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2013 3:22 PM (in response to Robert Wünsch)

    Whenever I select the two smart mailboxes that are not working, which are the two with the most complicated rules, this type of error is thrown in  Good catch.  I wish I knew what to do about it.


    I don't think there's anything to be gained by rebuilding Spotlight if some of your mailboxes work and the big ones don't.  It's a bug, and no amount of indexing is going to make those queries work.

  • iKotare Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2014 10:00 AM (in response to Doc411)



    I have had the same problem for a while too and it was solved by Adam Blainey's reply.  I have tried most of the sugestions posted and this is the only thing that has sucsessfully fixed both the smart mailbox issue and the flagged message count. 


    OnyX can be downloaded here from


    Go to the "Maintinence" tab and selcet the "Rebuild" page.  Uncheck all of the boxes except "Spotlight index" and click "Execute". 


    As soon as OnyX has finished Spotlight will start indexing again.  Make sure you don't have any exclusions in the Spolight settings that could prevent acess to mail folders and make sure "Mail & Messages" is ticked on the "Search Results" page. 


    If this fixes your problem it would be helpful for other users is you mark this or Adam's answer as Solved or Helpful. 

  • Osmiridium Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2014 9:24 AM (in response to iKotare)

    Nothing else in this thread or the other threads on this topic worked, but Onyx worked like a charm. Thanks to Adam Blainey, iKotare, and Onyx (which I had forgotten about over the years) for solving the Smart Mailbox problem with Mavericks. Shame on Apple for leaving us to work this out on our own.

    MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)
  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2014 9:28 AM (in response to Osmiridium)

    Osmiridium wrote:


    Shame on Apple for leaving us to work this out on our own.

    The article describing how to reindex Spotlight has been there for quite some time:

    If you are having problems with search results in OS X, that is the first thing you should try.

  • Osmiridium Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2014 11:30 AM (in response to Barney-15E)

    Thanks, but as I said... for whatever reason this and the other things mentioned in this thread and in related threads - which I have been monitoring for months and carefully tried several times on several different computers - did not work, but Onyx did.

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2014 2:14 PM (in response to Osmiridium)

    It doesn't matter how you reindex, you just have to do it.

    But that has nothing to do with Apple "leaving us on our own." If your spotlight index is corrupt, you need to fix it.

  • hopeisnotastrategy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2014 2:27 PM (in response to Doc411)

    I have reindexed my spotlight along with other suggestions and nothing has resolved the problem I am having with smart mailboxes. 


    I booked an appointment with the Genius bar at my local Apple store and they were mystified by the issue.  Nothing they tried had any effect.  They supposedly reported it up the chain to Apple corporate.


    No updates to Mail or OS X have resolved the issue.

  • MstrE Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you check for errors as was reported earlier in the thread?  There appears to be a real issue / bug with Smart Mailboxes with non-simple instructions (i.e. if the query is too long, the smart mailbox crashes and shows nothing).

  • iKotare Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)



    I have found re-indexing as per the kb article linked below rarely works.  You need to use OnyX to actually delete the current spotlight index. 



    MstrE is allso correct that there are uther issues with smart folders relating to massivley long qureys, although i have found that anything below 5 linse is usually ok. 


    The OnyX fix is mainly for the unread counts being incorrect in smart mailboxes and the flagged folder. 

  • gixxermacguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2014 8:19 PM (in response to Doc411)

    After migrating my info from my other computer to the new macbook pro with mavericks, my mail was working fine except I noticed that none of my smart mailboxes were populated. I chose to rebuild my mailbox....(mailbox>rebuild) from the menu. Then once again all were populated. Seems all too simple I know but maybe this will help someone.

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