Mail.app search is semi-broken

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I was looking for an e-mail receipt for a cell phone I'd just ordered. I typed part of the model name into Mail's search. Nothing came up. Typed the word "phone"... a bunch of things came up, but nothing recent enough to be the right thing.



So, I just started manually looking around for the message. I found it quickly enough, and while I realized the model name never would have matched, "phone" was right there in the subject of the e-mail. I tried the search again, targetted right inside the very same mail box I was looking at. "phone" still didn't match that one e-mail, although it did match two other messages. I tried both "Entire Message" and "Subject" as search options. Neither helped.



I tried the "Rebuild" option for the mailbox, and still nothing.



I think somehow searching has gotten screwed up, like a corrupted search index or something like that. Earlier today I was looking for a flight itinerary and couldn't get a match on that either.



Anyone else run into this? Anyone know how to get Mail to fix the problem?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    If Rebuild doesn't work, then you might have to export and re-import.



    You have the "Keep all messages and their attachments" checked, right?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lundy


    If Rebuild doesn't work, then you might have to export and re-import.



    You have the "Keep all messages and their attachments" checked, right?



    The "Keep all messages..." option does not apply to POP e-mail, and the message I can't find via search comes from a POP mail account. (Only my .Mac e-mail has that option.)



    As for exporting... well, the only export option I see exports a single message at a time -- not incredibly practical when you have thousands of saved e-mails. I have more separate mail boxes than I'd want to export one at a time even if I could do that! The only export trick that would be acceptable is something to export all of my mail and mailboxes in a single operation, in such a way it could all be sucked back in and reconstructed just as it is -- minus the bad search indexing, of course.



    I can think of some tricks to try -- backing up my mail, zapping all old mail and mail prefs, trying to import the old mail -- things like that. But I'd rather wait for some better suggestions first.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    othelloothello Posts: 1,053member
    i had this problem last week.



    try searching for 'phone' in spotlight and see if it finds the message from within mail



    mail.app searching has been mentioned on AI before -- it is flaky to say the least



    i could find a message in spotlight, but not in mail.app. so i went into spotlight prefs and moved mail.app into the 'private' list, then moved it back out again. this forces spotlight to rebuild for mail.app (works the same for any app). it seemed to solve the problem.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    vox barbaravox barbara Posts: 2,021member
    Quote:

    I have more separate mail boxes than I'd want to export one at a time even if I could do that!







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shetline


    I ...

    I tried both "Entire Message" and "Subject" as search options. Neither helped.

    ...



    Are you sure you have chosen "Entire Message" in all Mailboxes?

    If not you are just searching within the default Mailbox.

    Just an idea...
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