Can't Search Mac Mail ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DEXTERITY, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #1
    Greetings,

    I would greatly appreciate any help as for the first time I've been sincerely disappointed in Apple tech support. Three reps, 2 hours later and no one had any idea how to help me. I remember when you could ask a simple question of the top of your head and tech support would be able to answer it without putting you on hold. Not anymore. I've always received great tech support. Nevertheless, my problem is as follows:

    I am using OS X 10.5.8.

    I used to be able to search the messages of my emails within Mac Mail (and I even think spotlight). If I had an email that had Bob Marley in the message of the email, I would be able to search the entire message and the email containing those words would appear in the search results (mail search results and I think spotlight search results).

    I'm not sure what changed, but as of the past few weeks I can't search anything but subject headings. I don't care so much about spotlight, but I definitely need the ability to search within mail. Searching anything other then the message of the email does me no good:)

    I hope someone can help me:) Thanks in advance!

    I've trashed the envelope file located under the mail library folder. I've re-indexed the computer, rebuilt various mail folders, used disk repair and I've had no success with tech support. Does anyone know how to fix this?
     
  2. Lamboom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #2
    I have the exact same problem ..

    Did you ever find out how to fix it? ... This happened to me when upgrading to OS 10.5.8 ... I also transfered all files to a new 27 inch imac using Snow Leopard .. and the same thing now happens with the mail on the new computer! ... ought to be a clue....
     
  3. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #3
    There are different ways of searching in mail. What method are you using?
     
  4. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #4
    Unfortunately, I have not found out how to fix it. I was originally told that re-installing the OS would possibly fix it. I waited until I upgraded to Snow. Upgrading to snow did not fix the problem.

    Speaking to mac tech support didn't help either. They escalated my issue. The last word I received is that my issue was forwarded to the engineers. The engineers responded they are aware of the problem, have been receiving complaints about the problem but currently do not have a fix.

    I was told I wouldn't be informed if a fix was found and to install any updates and see if a future update happens to fix the issue.

    It kind of sucks because being able to search my messages is a big deal to me and was a plus when it came to switching over to mac mail.

    I wonder if upgrading to 10.5.8 broke the ability for me to search as well. I haven't been able to tie it into anything I did.

    I was also informed that even a clean install may not fix the problem so I am not going to waist my time with a clean install. that would require me re-installing way too many third party apps.

    My only suggestion would be to call mac tech support and register the problem so you are on record as one more customer having the same issue. Hopefully, a mac mail specialist (ask to speak with one) can simply forward your information to the engineers and not have you go through the trouble shooting procedures which most likely aren't going to work but will waist two hours of your day.

    They even sent me a program to install on my computer that would gather information for the engineers. Unfortunately, that didn't help them find a fix either. I have to imagine they can fix the issue if they wanted to.

    If you purchased a new computer and don't have many third party apps to install maybe you can attempt a clean install of the OS and see if that fixes mail? However, don't drag your mail files over before trying to see if that fixes the issue.

    It would be great to know if a clean install fixes it. My only worry is if the old problem will happen again once dragging over saved mail files. Nevertheless, it would at least narrow down the issue that a clean install fixes it and the problem lies within the mail messages.I could forward your findings over to the mac mail specialist who helped me.

    I really hope this situation gets resolved sooner than later.
     
  5. Lamboom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #5
    Just the mail search ... search does work in the From, To & Subject .. but not entire message
     
  6. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #6
    Type this in terminal
    Code:
    sudo mdutil -E -i on /
    Erases the OS X spotlight metadata and rebuilds it. I believe mail search refers to the central metadata store.
     
  7. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #7
    thanks, I will see if that works for me. For some reason I remember doing something similar to that. Should I see the following message:

    Indexing enabled.
     
  8. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #8
    You will see that message, but it's the erasing and starting again that's the important bit.
     
  9. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 14, 2004
    #9
    WOW, all I have to say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU!!!!!

    How (not sure if you can reveal that) did you know that would work and why does it work (just curious)?

    I can actually search my emails now.While, I don't think the search is as once accurate as it used to be (brings up more random emails), it does work now. I get even better results if specify the mail box I want to search through. I can actually email myself an email with the word fruit punch in the body of the email and find it instantly! I'm back in business!!!!

    Thanks so much. This really makes me wonder why this was never suggested as a solution by the mac mail specialists (nor the engineers they forwarded the issue to)I've spoken to via mac tech support.

    You saved the day!

    Is this a command that should be used from time to time? Should I simply see the message previously mentioned and not any type of indexing. I assume the command simply works in the background to fix (or re-index) whatever is wrong. I only ask for my own personal knowledge, not to question you:)
     
  10. Lamboom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #10
    Problem for me is ... I'm not familiar with entering something thru "terminal" (just don't know what that is. I'll research it ... Thanks

    Thanks for the info .. which looks like the solution ... it certainly was for Dexterity ... after a long and painful attempt to find the answer.

    I have seen the phrase "enter in terminal .. make sure you are logged in as administrator .. an such ... " At the moment, I just don't know what that means ... will investigate ... thanks again :)
     
  11. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #11
    You can find terminal where your applications are listed. It will be under the Utility folder. Applications > utility > Terminal

    You can also search for terminal via spotlight which is located in the upper right hand side of your screen. The terminal icon is black.

    Simply copy and paste that code within terminal. It will ask you for a password. The password is the same one you assigned to your computer. After that you will see the same message I questioned about earlier. Hopefully that resolves the issue for you as well :)
     
  12. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #12
    No problem at all, glad it's sorted. :) Funnily enough, I only came across it in passing in the last week while researching something in another thread that caught my interest.

    The system has a load of scheduled tasks that it does: some daily, some weekly and some monthly. I think it's during the weekly that the computer rebuilds the central store where it keeps all of the metadata. Metadata is simply data about data, telling the system what the file's actually about. Sometimes it can go wrong and when it does, best thing is to scrub it and let it try again! But it's something that the system looks after itself by and large, so if something's not obviously wrong, don't worry about it!

    You'll hardly ever need to log in as administrator as such and in general it's best to avoid it as it's amazing how much damage you can do with a misplaced * with the sudo rm -rf in the terminal (believe me, I've done it). Generally, if we put sudo at the start of a command, which means 'super user do', and then type our password. That way we only do administrator things that we really want to do.

    I was about to say that you can find Terminal by just typing Terminal into spotlight, but given the subject of the thread perhaps I shouldn't take that for granted, so go to Macintosh HD>Applications>Utilities where you'll find an application called terminal. Terminal gives you access to the Unix backend that OS X is built on. Once you've got there, you can just use that command I said and type in your password at the prompt in the window.

    If you're interested in getting to grips with what the system does behind the scenes, you're best off looking up a few simple commands to start with like these

    cd change directory
    ls list contents of directory
    mv move file (doubles as rename)

    Those'll give you a chance to get a feel or it, there's lots to know and for most things you'll never need to know if you don't want to.

    If you ever come across a command you want to know more about though, googling 'os x man page for command' generally takes you straight to the heart of it.

    Other things that can be useful to know are POSIX permissions, ACL permissions, although I'd hesitate about experimenting with them until you're comfortable with the idea and for anything outside your user folder it's best to leave well alone most of the time. Beyond that, it's amazing what you can pick up reading about other people's problems! ;)
     
  13. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #13
    Thanks so much. I've definitely learned a few things when reading about other peoples problems :) I learned even more today from your help and explanation about terminal.

    Glad you came across the information and shared it. Appreciate your time in helping with this matter.
     
  14. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #14
    Sorry, I see you replied while I was writing that diatribe. :)

    My pleasure.

    Did it again!:confused:

    lol
     
  15. Lamboom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #15
    Giving it a try


    Dropped the phrase: sudo mdutil -E -i on / into Terminal, provided password .. a phrase came up: indexing enabled Terminals icon is now next to the Spotlight icon at the top right of the screen ... and, the little dot in the Spotlight icon is pulsing ... standing by :)
     
  16. Lamboom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #16
    Awesome... all works well .. Thanks so much .. You're a wonderful person ... don't ever change!!
     
  17. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

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    Feb 5, 2008
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    Gironde, France
    #17
    My pleasure!
     
  18. sososowhat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #18
    Same problem here, fix didn't work

    I have the same problem -- search within mail works fine, except that "All" is disabled.

    I just ran the sudo command (found it in /usr/bin/sudu) and got the "indexing enabled" message.

    However: it didn't fix the problem. Any other ideas? Help!

    btw, it's also broken for other users on the same machine. Till yesterday things had been running just fine. I'm running 10.6.2, fully up to date.
     
  19. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Gironde, France
    #19
    Sorry, can you elaborate on what you mean by 'all' is disabled? Also, did you have to type /usr/bin/sudo mdutil -E -i on / instead of starting just sudo? Sounds like your path is buggered if so apart from anything else.
     
  20. jufjo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    #20
    I have the same problem, can't search "entire messages" in the mail search option.
    When I type sudo mdutil -E -i on /
    I am told that indexing is disabled. :confused:
     
  21. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #21
    I had that happen recently because mac mail stopped working again. Seeing it say disabled through me off as well as I don't remember seeing that the first time I did it (a while ago). However, you should find that your computer is indexing at this time (top right hand corner of your screen under spotlight). After its done indexing you will or at least should be able to search your mac mail.
     
  22. jufjo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    #22
    How can I tell my computer is indexing?
    Under spotlight I see nothing special, it does seem to search trough some emails when I use spotlight, but it still doesn't work in mail itself.
     

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