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Fred Davenport Level 1 (0 points)

I thought Apple Mail searching for emails was suppused to be easier, so far it is worse!


I may be missing something and hope I am, but when I type a name of a person "Smith"....


...I cannot find/sort by sent?


...I cannot find/sort by Name


...I cannot find/sort by Subject


On occasion I see a blue highlighted: sort by Name, but that is about it.


It is really bad and worse than Office 2011 and worse than SL's Apple Mail.


Thx much for any help you can provide.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Teela Brown Level 1 (5 points)

    Just pause a second after putting in your search term. A pulldown appears with appropriate suggestions, and then a little blue box appears to your entry with "to from ... " to narrow it down further.


    A little fancier and hidden than necessary, but it works.

  • Coiske Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same problem as the original poster.  I tried waiting a few seconds for the appropriate suggestions, as Teela suggested.  But it only seems to suggest people you've SENT a message to using this particular copy of Apple Mail.   (Which I presume are stored in some internal "past recipients" list.)  If someone has sent you hundreds of messages, or even if you've sent them hundreds of messages, it won't suggest their name (unless you've also sent them a message using this copy of Apple Mail).   This is very annoying.   It's like it's disregarding the message headers entirely when it searches.

  • Fred Davenport Level 1 (0 points)

    Thx Coiske, glad it is not just me.


    Been going crazy looking for an email I know I sent and could not find it. Apple Mail search is very weak.


    Went back to Outlook 2011, and there is was!!!


    I also cannot seem find and use conversations either.


    Something is not right with Apple Mail

  • fenderstratocaster Level 1 (0 points)

    i have the same issue, can't seem to search for anything i need, no results. Previous version search was much better.

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,813 points)

    Fred, you deserve a medal. No matter how much trouble Apple Mail gives you, you won't give up trying to use it!


    All I can suggest is rebuilding your mailboxes. For me, Apple Mail instantly finds anything in any message I've sent since 1997.

  • deggie Level 9 (52,719 points)

    1997? All I can say is WOW!

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,813 points)

    I used Sheepshaver and fired up good old Cyberdog and exported all the old ones.

  • deggie Level 9 (52,719 points)

    Due to my background I dump email frequently. Plausible deniability. But I am impressed with the timeline and the searching ability.

  • Steve Werner Level 2 (325 points)

    I totally agree on the speed and accuracy of search in Mail in Lion (as well as Snow Leopard). I have email going back to 2002. I had no problem finding subject almost instantly and I have maybe 50,000 messages in Mail.

  • Coiske Level 1 (0 points)

    Just tried rebuilding.  Didn't fix the problem.


    Not sure about the original poster, but I have an IMAP account with "Keep copies of messages for offline viewing" disabled.  (For security reasons.)  I also did a clean install of Lion, so Mail's "previous recipients" list is presumably empty.   Not sure if doing any of these three things differently would solve the problem.   ButI have good reasons for my current setup.  So I guess I'll be dropping Apple Mail too, if this doesn't get solved.


    Under Snow Leopard, I could search info in the mail headers (sender, recipient, subject), but not stuff in the message body (since, unlike the headers, the full messages weren't on my hard drive).   I'm pretty sure I could search for recipients, even if I hadn't ever sent them a message using Apple Mail. Under Lion, the same functionality seems to be present.  But I can only access it after I've sent a message to somebody once using my current Apple Mail installation.   After that, their name shows up as a suggestion when I start to search for it, and when I select it, I can see all of the messages they've ever sent me.   But until I send them a message for the first time using this copy of Apple Mail, their name will never be suggested,and my search will turn up blank, even if I can see several messages from themin the first screen of my inbox.  Weird.  Seems like the "name suggestions" feature of search relies on Apple Mail's internal list of previous recipients.   (Sort of like the "name suggestion" feature when you were typing in a recipient's e-mail address always did.)  This is unfortunate, as it's now the gatekeeper to header-based searches.  (Or at least for searching the "sender" field. Doesn't seem to be any way for me to search the "subject" or "recipients" fields anymore.)


    If this problem is in fact limited to people who have "keep messages for offline viewing" disabled, then I suspect this may be another case of Apple not really caring about people who do things differently than the way Steve Jobs intended.

  • Fred Davenport Level 1 (0 points)

    Thx ET,


    Yes, I would like to go back to Apple Mail :-) I must say the the constant "quitting" I got with Mail in Snow Leopard, no longer quits all the time and my attachments all seem to be getting to those I send to without any isues on OS X Lion Apple Mail :-)


    Now it does appear to me and others, that searching is not as good as it was in SL and also as good as it is in Office/Outlook 2011.


    I had to go back to outlook 2011 to find some emails, that I could not find in Apple Mail (Lion). Hopefully this will be an easy fix.

  • Fred Davenport Level 1 (0 points)

    Just type a message/email and saved it. I think a saved message is supposed to go to the "Drafts" folder. Just put in the name/subject of the email and got where to be found.


    Also send it to myself the very same email and type in the name to the "subject" field and again got NOTHING...


    Did the same thing on Outlook 2011 and both the "draft" and "sent" email were very easy to find.


    Weird and hopefully this is on my end or maybe Apple needs to add feature #251, "Make Apple Mail Search Really Work" :-)

  • Fred Davenport Level 1 (0 points)

    Just did the same thing for a flight itinerary I could not find on Apple Mail, and YES went back to Outlook 2011 and found it.


    NOT GOOD Apple, please fix the lamb and make it the lion it is suppose to be.

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,813 points)

    You are talking about two different things. The Previous Recipients list is stored elsewhere. If you did a standard migration of your old Mail data, you should still have everything.

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