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mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
And yes, I've tried most all of the suggested fix I could find.

Who else has this problem (anything and everything I search for now comes up with zero results), and has anyone managed to fix it?
 

MacNewsOverload

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2016
13
9
Critical feature for sure. Glad my old 2012 Air can't be upgraded - it is working perfectly on Catalina. And BTW, is it 2007 again with these icons?
 
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LeeTom

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,572
277
It's working great for me... when you search it searches whatever folder you're in first unless you select All Mailboxes on the upper left of the main Mail window. If you keep your Inbox super cleaned out it wouldn't give any results. Are you sure this isn't what's going on?
 

mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
It's working great for me... when you search it searches whatever folder you're in first unless you select All Mailboxes on the upper left of the main Mail window. If you keep your Inbox super cleaned out it wouldn't give any results. Are you sure this isn't what's going on?
100% sure.
- My inboxed are, for better or worse, decidedly not “clean.” Far from it.
- Nothing has changed from from my Catalina mail setup (which worked just fine) other than the OS and the mail app.
- This ain’t my first rodeo. I do know to check where a search is searching, especially when it comes up unexpectedly empty. This isn’t the problem here.

But, genuinely, thanks for responding.
 

chabig

macrumors G3
Sep 6, 2002
8,564
5,764
This isn’t the problem here.
Are you sure? Big Sur's mail search exhibits a different behavior than Catalina's. LeeTom explained it well. I was confused like you earlier today before I realized the behavior is different.
 

MacNewsOverload

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2016
13
9
FIXED - HOW TO: Type something in the mail search field. On the left column a new selection appears at the top under Search, for "All Mailboxes." Click it, and Shazam!

Thanks for all the leads on this issue. It is not an obvious behavior change but glad it's not broken!
 

mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
Thanks for the responses, and for the generous presumption that since you were doing something wrong, that my continued experience with non-functional Mail search must also be because I couldn’t be bothered to check where Mail was attempting to search.

No, wait, your presumption was ridiculous and wrong. Please go post “Fixed” and “Shazam” in a request for help that you started; because Mail search is still, most definitely, not working for me. Unlike you, I am not the type to get stumped when diagnosing a search issue before I actually check to see where it is searching.
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
425
206
Sorry about that. I can understand how those well-intentioned responses would be very frustrating.

I have not had that problem in Mail. I've had a search problem in Messages. I was getting nothing from any searches (even when searching for words that I could clearly see in recent messages). Only after waiting overnight did search start working. Have you given it plenty of time since adding your mail accounts?
 
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MauricioMarques

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
1
0
The same issue here. Mail search comes and goes with Big Sur for the last days. Tried re-installing Big Sur and re-indexing it with Spotlight, and it worked for the weekend. Now, back to the same problem: Mail simply doesn't get any search results.
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
425
206
Hey @mcdawg, do you find your mails if you just search for them with Spotlight directly (command-space)? I include emails in my spotlight searches and I find them when I use command-space.
 

mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
Hey @mcdawg, do you find your mails if you just search for them with Spotlight directly (command-space)? I include emails in my spotlight searches and I find them when I use command-space.
Thank you - good, clarifying question, but the answer is:

Nope.
Not at all.
Zero results for Mail appear at all, no matter what is searched on, when using Spotlight.
(And yes, to all you “Shazam”ers, I do indeed have “Mail & Messages” enabled in spotlight.)
 

Honey_crisp

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
14
15
1. Save your work and close all of your apps
2. Close Mail app
3. Hold the Shift key and open the Mail app
4. Close the Mail app (don't search or perform any other actions)
5. Hold the Shift key and open the Mail app (repeat of Step 3)
6. Close the Mail app (repeat of Step 4)
7. Restart your Mac
8. Open Mail app like you normally would
9. Try searching your mail

Let us know if this works
 

mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
1. Save your work and close all of your apps
2. Close Mail app
3. Hold the Shift key and open the Mail app
4. Close the Mail app (don't search or perform any other actions)
5. Hold the Shift key and open the Mail app (repeat of Step 3)
6. Close the Mail app (repeat of Step 4)
7. Restart your Mac
8. Open Mail app like you normally would
9. Try searching your mail

Let us know if this works
That seems to have to have done the trick!

Thank you very much!

And was process, exactly, did these steps initiate? Is there a knowledge base article that describes what/why you just had me do?

Thanks again!

Fixed (for now, at least... but it’s promising)

And Shazam!
 

svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
425
206
I'm also very interested to hear what holding the shift does. I did see that solution on techradar and they describe it as starting Mail in safe mode.
 
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Honey_crisp

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
14
15
No idea, guys. I had this issue in Catalina last year and found this somewhere on the internet. Ran into the same problem with Big Sur on my M1 MBA today, tried the same trick and it worked.
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
425
206
Fingers crossed for Mcdawg.

Perhaps safe mode turned off some extension that was installed which might have been causing problems. If so, then the problem could come back. I did find this which describes a problem relating to a broken Spotlight plugin. Just something to keep in mind for the future.

On the other hand, I'm sure you're going to be lucky and we can chalk it up to the usual magic involving arcane finger patterns.
 

fullana

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2020
1
0
I had the same problem, this morning the fuse blown (unrelated to this, of course) and after switching on the computer the search function in mail worked again great.
 

Goldfinger

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2006
316
52
Belgium
It does seem to work in a "different" way than before. My search function in Mail kinda works (7 mailboxes, 5 gmail/google apps and 2 zoho mails) off and on.
I can't find anything properly that's been archived (or it shows only partial results). You used to be able to select the "Archive" to search through and it would really search through everything. "All mailboxes" definitely doesn't search everything. It's next to unworkable in this state. I need to use the gmail/apps web version to find stuff now.
 

am2am

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
221
102
Same problem here. It works at the beginning after mac restart. Then suddenly stops working. The only painful workaround I have found so far is to logout and login again. This helps at the beginning but eventually you have to log-out-in again.
Hope apple will fix it soon - annoying.
 

mcdawg

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2015
133
353
Same problem here. It works at the beginning after mac restart. Then suddenly stops working. The only painful workaround I have found so far is to logout and login again. This helps at the beginning but eventually you have to log-out-in again.
Hope apple will fix it soon - annoying.
Yup. Same thing here, too.
The fixed fixed it, until it didn’t.
Im now back to the same status quo ante, until I, apparently, apply the same fix again.

Fix this for real, Apple.
 

scott6459

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2020
1
1
NYC
Not sure if I should start a new topic/thread on this - but shouldn't my search in 'all mailboxes' show where the search resulting emails are located (in which mailboxes)? Perhaps I am not doing the search correctly or not looking in the correct place? Thanks for any help!
 
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daza4

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2020
2
5
Hi all, I had exactly the same problem and tried all the methods mentioned above and none of them worked – so I had an online chat with Apple and I think it's now resolved it...

Basically, in System Preferences > Spotlight if Mail & Messages are ticked, untick them and close Preferences. Reopen and recheck the box – this then allows Spotlight to reindex the mailbox, although it could take up to an hour to complete, so just leave it for a while and come back see if it works – it has for me, so fingers crossed for you guys. Let me know how you get on... 🤞🏻
 

daza4

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2020
2
5
And yes, I've tried most all of the suggested fix I could find.

Who else has this problem (anything and everything I search for now comes up with zero results), and has anyone managed to fix it?
Hi, see if my post helps you out – I too was beginning to pull my hair out...
 

ian6969

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2019
44
26
My installation (fresh from a wiped disk and iCloud synced) wouldn’t give search results for about a week, then started working perfectly. Seems like it took a very long time to index, as nothing else changed.
 
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