Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next 105 Replies Latest reply: Mar 12, 2016 3:45 AM by Berend de Meyer Go to original post
  • TDinMV Level 1 Level 1

    Just upgraded to Lion from Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, and was having this Mail Search issue.  (Interesting the upgrade was not an issue on my iMac).  I rebuilt the index file as described above by Glenn, and now it's working fine (at least so far, so good).  Thank you!!!

  • marc1071 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks, Glenn! It worked!

  • Lois Cooper Level 1 Level 1

    YIKES!  I can't find how to delete this post!  Sorry! 

  • Grant Robbo Level 1 Level 1

    Geday Glenn,


    Thanks for all your posts. I tried your method of either moving the 'envelope index files' to my desktop and also sent them to the trash. The files did appear to be deleted.

    Then I re opened Mail, selected 'continue' and once all the messages were loaded I tried to 'search' again but was unsuccessful.

    I repeated the process and when I re opened the 'MailData' folder, the 'Envelope Index Files' had re appeared !!


    It seems these badboy Files don't want to be deleted. Any further suggestions ??


    Many thanks,



  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    Those file get recreated when you start Mail. The purpose of deleting is to replace them in case they are corrupt.


    If this didn't work for you, then maybe try forcing spotlight to reindex the hard drive. This can be done by opening Spotlight preferences, adding the hard drive to the privacy list, then removing it from the privacy list. You should then see spotlight reindexing the drive.


    If that doesn't work, then post a new topic and add all the things you have tried. Someone else may have the answer.

  • chiappa Level 1 Level 1

    phew.. this was an annoying bug. i could just search for new mails and older ones we're lost into oblivion. i tired the spotlight index rebuilding and mailbox rebuild solutions, didn't do a thing. imac_07 saved my *** with such a luckily easy fix but another word that comes to mind is, ridiculous...

  • EdithW Level 1 Level 1

    Just piling on, hopefully Apple will notice this.  I am running 10.6.8 on a MacBook Pro, and spotlight works but Mail Search does not.  Very frustrating, I will try re-indexing.

  • qsource Level 1 Level 1

    When I try to do this, (add/remove the startup drive from spotlight prefs), I get "The item couldn't be added or removed because of an unknown error."

    Seems like my spotlight may be messed up in a different way...

    Any suggestions?


  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    Try using disk utility and repair permissions. Also test the startup drive for errors. If that doesn't work, you might try downloading the latest combo update from the apple site and install over the existing system.


    If that doesn't work, post a topic specifically on your spotlight problem. Other might be able to give specific input to your problem.

  • saigonedit Level 1 Level 1

    Glenn, I'm not sure this is the right thread but here goes.  I've noticed some strange 'symptoms' occuring on my MBP Pro running Lion 10.7.4 since performing two of the procedures in this thread.


    A few days I re-indexed, according to your above-mentioned instructions. (You guys on this discussion board are awesome!)  And it seems that Spotlight now works much better.  I also trashed the index files in Mail.  I have an enormous number of emails.  I cannot know for sure, but it seems like Mail is searching much better.  But now for the two strange symptoms.


    1) A co-worker informed me that he received an email from me shortly after I rebuilt the index in Mail.  That email was a dupe from one a  few years ago.  I asked him to send it back to me.  I recognized the email.  But do not see in my SENT items from a few nights ago.


    2) An email on my (Earthlink)  web server has a Subject line that reads something like:  "REMINDER: We'd would like your opinion on case 123456"  Its not spam.  Its a follow up from a T/S call.  If I type reminder, or the case number, or the domain, or anything referring to that email in the search bar in Mail, I get a prompt.  Mail know that email with that subject.  But when I select it, nothing i displayed.  I tried it will ALL and INBOX selected.  Mail sees it somewhere but can't display the email. 


    3) My sister in law sent me an email this morning.  A reply from an email she received from my .me address.  Its an internet employment site.  The header shows it was sent from me, but it was not.  Wow, is this stuff ever upsetting.


    Are any of these things related?  Can any of them be better understood or even solved?


    Thank you.

  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    Well I'm not a technical guru to know the ins and outs of exactly what happens. The index files keeps track of message counts, what's read, downloaded, etc. These files can become very large and can get corrupted. If you noticed the file sizes before and after deleting and rebuilding, you will note that the new ones are a great deal smaller. Reindexing deletes any old info from the index files on that device that is no longer needed and creates new info from the messages stored or on the server.

    I can't see any ill effects happening by creating new index files nor the fact that it could cause emails to be sent afterwards.


    I have seen where emails get lost on the servers and reindexing the files might make them visible to the computer. Maybe the one in the first example might have been a draft message lost on the server or in the computer and got put back to the computer as never being sent, and sent after that. I don't really know.


    For the email in example 2, does that message really exist on the computer or on the server? When you are typing in the search field in Mail, you will notice all messages appearing in the list. The more you type to narrow down a search, less messages will appear in the list. When you type into the search field, are you selecting the message in the message list?


    For example 3, that sounds like your email address was spammed. Happens often. If they used your name and sent it to people in your AB such as your sister, then they may have hijacked your .me account. You can look at the email and see what IP address it was sent from and compare it to your internet IP address if you want to be sure it didn't come from your computer. If it was sent from your .me account, it would be in your sent messages if you have it set to store them on the server. You might want to change your Apple ID password if you think your .me address and password was highjacked.

  • saigonedit Level 1 Level 1

    When you type into the search field, are you selecting the message in the message list?


    Yes, of course. There are two emails from that source that have the word "opinion" in the subject line.  When I select either of them, nothing happens.  They still live on earthlink server.  I'll investigate further.  Mail seems to have some weird bugs, but that's just my hunch.


    Screen Shot 2012-10-31 at 2.29.19 PM.png


    Example 1.  I'm limited in my data to whoever replied to me with curiousity. I don't know if there a few emails or hundreds.  If I learn more, I will update you.


    Example 3.  I'll look into the headers,  but why not change my password on the slightest hunch?  Great suggestion, which I had not even thought of.  Thanks Friend!





  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    I see what you are saying about in the message search list, but look at the actual message list containing the actual emails. The ones showing in the search list could be from old spotlight data index files. The actual emails might not be in the actual message list.


    Yes, it never hurts to change a password. Apple did have a break in of the Apple IDs not long ago where they got email addresses and passwords if I remember correctly. People have gotten into my Yahoo account so many times that I just change my passwords anytime my address is used for spam. Chances are that they didn't actually get into your computer and the IP address will not match your Internet WAN address. But it doesn't mean they can't spoof your address or actually send from your account if they have your password from a different location.

  • SoupcanStubbyHolders Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Guys, I have this problem and I have found the best solution is the reidexing of spotlight.


    my assumption is that the people that have this problem have a heap of files and emails. This then gets corrupted in some way and so spotlight and then also mail cannot search properly. I ran the reindex last night and this morning its all good!!

  • justcallmekath Level 1 Level 1

    wow, i think this actually may have worked for me! i did what glenn had suggested but was surprised when that didnt seem to work.


    thanks for all your input, everyone!

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