Revisiting mail search issues... yet again

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Ruahrc, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Ruahrc, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    So recently I was forced to upgrade my MBP to OSX Lion because of the upcoming loss of MobileMe. I did a fresh wipe and install of all my apps, as I normally do.

    I noticed that on my laptop now I have proper searching functionality in OSX Mail, just like I had in SL. However, on my desktop mac mini with lion, OSX Mail search just does not work. I type things into the search window, and nothing comes up. I can sort of hack it to work by specifying tags like "subject:ABC", or "from:bob" etc. but I just don't get the comprehensive results like I did in SL or I do with my fresh install of Lion on my MBP.

    So I'm asking yet again, now that I definitively know that searching OSX Mail on my mac mini is not "working as intended", is there any way to fix this? I heard somewhere that you had to do a full reinstall, but I don't want to have to go through that hassle of reinstalling everything. Nor would I, probably just wait for ML and start over there. Yes, I have tried all the usual suspects. Repair permissions, reindex spotlight, re-download all my email messages, etc. Nothing seems to work.

    Here is an example of what I am seeing. If I type "today" in the mail search box on my desktop mac, I get absolutely nothing. However, doing the same thing on my laptop (which is accessing the exact same IMAP account, and has the exact same mail account and preference settings as my desktop), I get a bunch of search results, all the messages with "today" anywhere in the message, exactly as I expect and want.

    Attached Files:

  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I assume you also rebuilt the mailboxes.

    If you're using IMAP then try recreating the mail accounts from scratch. You said you re-downloaded the messages, but that's not quite the same.

    And can you search the messages themselves outside of Mail? If not, then it isn't necessarily a Mail problem since I believe it relies on spotlight indexing.
  3. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Yes I rebuilt the mailboxes

    By recreating the account from scratch do you mean erasing it and manually putting the info back in? I don't think I have tried that. Erasing the account also erases all mailboxes on the computer too right? So it will blow the messages away and they will get re-downloaded?

    And re: spotlight, yes on my laptop I can get mail results via the spotlight window. On my mini, I do not. Spotlight itself hasn't indexed the messages.
  4. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    So I tried removing and re-adding my email account.

    At first, after downloading all the messages again, it seemed to work... sort of. I could type things in the search bar, and messages would show up on the left, but it would not reflect the exact behavior of my laptop. I would not get a list of message subjects in the search box drop down, only a narrowed list of email messages in the message column.

    I then tried to search my mail messages from the spotlight search bar, but it did not work, still no results. I then tried re-indexing my hard disks to see if it would fix that, but instead of fixing anything it actually ended up "breaking" my mail search (searching using the search bar in OSX Mail) again so that it no longer works.

    It seems to me like something is really ********* up. I guess my only hope is to do it all over in ML when it comes out. Of all the annoyances and bad "design changes" that Apple put in OSX Lion, the parts that simply don't work properly anymore are by far the worst aspects of what is by far the worst version of OSX I have ever used (Since 10.3).

    P.S. FWIW these searching problems seem to extend beyond mail messages. I also cannot search for contacts within the spotlight window. For example if I type my own name in the spotlight window search, my own vCard contact does not come up, nor do any of my email messages, or anything. It all works properly on my laptop though.
  5. tirzah macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2008
    USA, MN
    this helped me...

    Quit Mail if it’s open.

    In ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData, delete any file that begins with “Envelope Index,” such as Envelope Index or Envelope Index-shm.

    Your home Library folder is hidden by default. To display it, choose Finder > “Go to Folder” and then enter “~/Library.”

    Open Mail.

    Mail creates new Envelope Index files. This process may take a few minutes, depending on how many messages Mail is reindexing.

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