Whee! Working now.
After removing the Envelope Index file, I tried searching soon after mail restarted (but maybe too soon?). Then started reindexing spotlight according to other threads (it's still not finished with that). Whichever it was, now it's working.
My symtoms more precisely were that some things worked fine, mainly people. For others, I didn't get the pop-under options ("people", "subject", etc), only something like "search all messages", and the search word never went into a little bubble like it does when type is selected.
Anyhow, the combination of dumping the Envelope Index and reindexing spotlight have fixed it.
Yes. Well. Most people don't have this problem, I assume. I certainly have no such problems.
What happens when you use spotlight to search for buy.com?
What could be less helpful that this? What does it matter if "most people" don't have a problem if some do, and those some have expressed themselves in this forum.
As a computer user since 1982 I can attest that there is rarely a bug that affects all or most users; it usually affects a subset of users.
File a bug report at http://bugreport.apple.com, and include those screen shots if you can.
You need to be a registered Apple Developer to use the bug reporter. You can register (for free) here:
If you want to downgrade, just use AppCleaner (google it) to delete Mail, then install an older version on your computer via apple website.
1) It doesn't take a special app to delete Mail.
2) Older versions of Mail will not run on a newer version of the OS.
3) There is nowhere online that you can legally download Mail, certainly not from the Apple web site.
4) If you were to find a copy of Mail to download, you'd be stupid to do so, since it could be malware and not actually Mail.
Just off the phone after a long stint with Apple support about this.
Spotlight could find the message files. Files that were cached on the POP server (for a month) were searchble, but those stored on the Mac were not.
The tenacioius (A+) Apple support tech traced the problem to the file User > Library > Mail > V2 > MailData > Envelope Index. He had me close Mail, drag Envelope Index to the desktop, and restart Mail, which acted as though it were being opened for the first time. I clicked Continue (I think it said) and Mail restored all of the messages and settings (whew!). When it was done I closed Mail and reopened. Again I had to click through as if it were the first time, and then the messages appeared. It took several minutes for Mail to reindex the messages, which it does independently from Spotlight. It now appears to search properly.
This trick did not work for me.
1. I can't see the Library file in my home directory; I had to use terminal to find it.
I moved it to my desktop (mv "Envelope Index" ~/DeskTop; quotes needed to access filenames with spaces in Unix).
2. After restarting, mail reindexed (and made a new Envelop Index file). But this did not fix the search issues. :-(
I'm sure you waited awhile before searching your Mail.
You can start by doing what the Apple tech did with me. Try to figure out if there is a particular date before which the messages can't be located. Check to see if that date is before or after when you have chosen to "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message." in Prefs > Accounts. Mine is set to "after one month" and that was exactly the date before which messages were not findable. That's how we determined that the messages on the server cache were still searchable.