Can't spend any more time on this - life is too short. May 18, Same here MacBook Air I also tried spotlight Jun 4, Jun 8, 9: I have exactly the same problem on a MacBook Pro Retina, inch, Mid , tried all suggested solutions without success and also just made a clean install of High Sierra Jun 28, 7: Yesterday, for me at least, I found the cause as well as the solution.
OS X: Solving Mail Searching Problems
It's not pretty, but it works! Hopefully this works for you as well. For me the issue appeared to point to the local folders beneath my "On my Mac" section of Mail. Emails stored in those folders were simply not being discovered when performing Mail searches. This led me down a path that ultimately gave me the idea to test something drastic. Exporting those folders as if I were moving everything to a new computer , and then Re-importing them again.
I first tested this with one small folder under "On my Mac" since it would take less time to test a small folder versus a large one. I tested some searches in Mail for messages I know should show in the results but didn't. Of course I documented all of this so that I could re-test once that folder and messages within it were re-imported. It worked! Mac Mail reindexed those folders and their contents as if they were new when re-imported. My theory here is that when upgrading, or moving to a new computer with a different OS than the one you're moving from i.
Regardless, it works! I have literally tens of thousands of emails and this only took me a couple hours to complete - it's a fairly fast and relatively hands-off process once it gets going.
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Jun 28, 3: It seems to have taken several months but at last something good has happened. Now, I can get simple searches to work fine as well as having functioning smart mail boxes, neither of which was working before. I hope it helps everyone else. It needs for you to check back after each update to see if things have changed. Now, unfortunately my mail is taking up twice as much disk space as I still don't dare delete the Thunderbird mail files as I don't completely trust the continued functioning of Apple Mail any more.
But that is computers for you. Jun 29, 5: I'm happy it resolved your issues, but we likely had somewhat different issues then. I've been running High Sierra It did for me the update did not. Jul 2, 1: I tried all possible solutions I could find, but as nothing did help, I made an upgrade from High Sierra to the Mojave-beta which did actually solve this problem for me, mail search finally did work again! But as I also had some strange freezes of some programs I deleted everything and made a clean install of the Mojave-beta and here we are again - mail search does not work!
So it is exactly the same problem as before, spotlight search does work, but searching in Mail does not.
Today I found an interesting posting here: The second answer - turning on unrestricted spotlight search - sounds promising, but as there is no more"com. Jul 2, 8: As there was no file with the name "com. Sep 7, Solved the problem for me. Mail search not working in Mac mail on high Sierra More Less. Communities Contact Support.
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Ask a question. User profile for user: Mac OS X Speciality level out of ten: Mail search not working in Mac mail on high Sierra Searching in spotlight works and finds emails but when entering ANY criteria in the mail search field there are NO results - all emails disappear as if there are none that match the criteria.
It is as if mac mail has disconnected itself from spotlight More Less. Helpful answers Drop Down menu. Photos for Mac Speciality level out of ten: I just found the culprit. The entire Mail tree on the file system had an extended attribute "com. I hope this can help someone.
View answer in context. Today, opened Mail, and search was still dead. I had also tried this suggested fix , but it made no difference. But doing some random testing today, I discovered a fix! But for whatever reason, only manually moving the messages seems to force a rebuild. Yet, if you use a Spotlight search or 3rd party utilities, the emails are indexed in the Spotlight database? Nice going Apple! But yes, the few messages still sitting on servers had to be copied down to the Mac, then copied back to the IMAP server. Rob, you of course know about the excellent utility MsgFiler, yes?
Seems like this is related. Yea, I used to use MsgFiler, but when I was trying to clean up this issue a while back I purged everything out of Mail, just to see if that helped. I should probably add it back: Thanks, Ed. Is there a place I can go to get more explicit directions on how to do this with Msgfiler? Thanks Robert. The same work around also works for Notes.
A possible fix broken search in macOS Mail | The Robservatory
Search will work again. There is a relationship, at some level, between Notes and Mail. I imagine they must use the same database on the backend. Exchange, Google and iCloud all have Notes as a part of the account; back in the day when we ran our own Dovecot imap server, Notes objects were stored in a specific account folder on the server as ordinary mail messages. When we transitioned to Exchange we had to download the notes and re-add them into the new account. I suspect the same holds for Google and iCloud accounts as well. It worked! Thanks so much for letting us know. I even have to move my Sent mail to a folder and back in order to search that, too.
Seriously, thanks a million!! This is crazy, but dam, it works. Thank you for saving me from losing my mind!! My email is really my management system, frail as it is, its the most convenient way to track all my clients and projects. You saved me! Let them sit for a bit, then move them back. Hi Rob, Just to clarify, when I do this does it force a reindex of only the messages that I move, or does it force a reindex of all messages? Just tried it and I can answer my own question for the benefit of anyone else reading this: It only reindexes what you move.
This is going to be time consuming seeing as I have a ton of sub-mailboxes, but at least this is a hack that works. Thanks a lot! I just ran into this problem and I was desperate.
I cannot use my mail without a reliable search capability. The suggested fix worked. At least this worked for me. Why cannot Apple fix such a really bad bug like this one in one year? I was ready to switch to Outlook, which could have been a big job. I have Office and it works well. The only remaining Apple SW products that I still use on my Mac are Mail and Safari, which I am considering replacing because of its terrible Bookmarks that cannot be sorted and searched.
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