Apple Mail Search Option Not Working

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Pixelmage, May 18, 2014.

  1. Pixelmage macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I can't seem to get the search function in the Apple Mail to work properly. When I search any mailbox using the search field in the upper right corner of the window, there are no results. I used all kinds of search terms and selecting the "From, To, Subject, Mailbox, Attachment, and Entire Message" options and nothing appears. I can't identify the setting to correct this.
  2. Patrickprett macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2014
    Please delete your Envelope Indexes. For this, first you need to quit Mail, then delete any Envelope Indexes in your user Library/Mail/V2/MailData. Deleting the Envelope Indexes will force Mail to rebuild its database, and then hopefully it will search properly again. (Mail will ask you to "import" your messages," but it's just rebuilding its database.)
  3. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    Are you sure?

    Perhaps he should add his hdd to spotlight privacy and remove it after a while.
  4. rdav macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2007
    Mail fail - Search Not Working.

    Anyone try this? Does it work Ok with x10.9 - and does it generate any other problems? Thanks.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I can't guarantee this will fix the OP's problem, but deleting those envelope files will reindex Mail and won't hurt anything else. You can read about it here.

    I have done it in Mavs.
  6. Rickspicks macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2006
  7. lrall macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2014
    For what it's worth, I was experiencing this same issue, and rebuilding the mail database or deleting envelopes did not help-- but I did find a solution. (Using Yosemite 10.10)

    I went to System Preferences > Spotlight | Search Results and made sure # 12, "Mail and messages" was clicked, and then went to the "Privacy" tab and made sure that Spotlight was able to search my mail folders. I had a broad sweeping rule in there that disallowed it from indexing pretty much everything.

  8. NobbyNoMates macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2014
    Same here: I had no search results (within Mac Mail rather than Spotlight) at all.

    Checked my Spotlight / privacy settings and realised that ~Library was excluded (it must have been me that did it!). I unchecked it and ta-da! results reappearing in Mac Mail ... so if you have been as dim as I then this is a quicker solution rather than rebuilding the indexes mentioned above.

    (makes sense since I imagine the indexes are sitting within the ~Library folder hierarchy)
  9. markusmake macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2015

    The deleting of envelopes was easy and worked perfectly for me. Did copy the envelopes just in case.

    There was over 25000 mail that were indexed according to the relaunch and it took maybe one hour to finish both the indexing and importing of the mail folders and accounts.

    Thank you guys!
  10. Chris MacPhail macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2016
    Deleting the 3 envelope files worked for me also. In my case, Spotlight Search worked fine, but searching within Apple Mail retrieved only 10% of the correct messages (excluded messages appx 1-18 months old). Browsing in Finder, I was not able to find the ~/Library/Mail/V4/MailData folder where the 3 envelope files reside. But typing that path into Finder....Go...Go to Folder brought me right there.

    I am running MacOS Sierra 10.12.1. Judging from the date range of the unsearchable messages, I wonder if possibly the problem arose because I had upgraded from 10.8 to 10.11 skipping the intermediate OS X versions.
  11. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    Or you could also delete the mbox files.

    Or better:
    Copy them to desktop and remove them from the V3 folder.
  12. hansuit macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2016
    at my side deleting the 3 envelope files is not working. i'm using sierra 10.12.2
    also searching in spotlight gives no result
    Any other solution?
  13. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
  14. hansuit macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2016
    No only the envelope files
    --- Post Merged, Dec 30, 2016 ---
    No only the envelope files

Share This Page