Mail search stopped working

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by booblanco, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. booblanco

    booblanco Active Member

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    For the past two hours, my Mail.app's search function has suddenly stopped working.

    Every time I perform a search on Mail, I get zero search results for even the most basic words. System-wide Spotlight searching still works as usual and even displays Mail search results, but it's the search function within Mail that's messed up.

    I've tried the following fixes to no avail:
    - quitting and relaunching Mail
    - restarting
    - repaired permissions, run maintenance scripts
    - updated prebindings and databases, cleaned caches
    - rebuilt the Spotlight Index twice
    - turning off Spotlight for Mail and turning it on again
    - reinstalled the 10.4.5 Combo updater
    - reinstalled the latest SU 2006-002
    - deleted Mail preferences

    I haven't installed nor updated any software for the past 24 hours before Mail's search broke and I also didn't change any System Preferences.

    Short of an archive and install of Tiger, what else can I do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Help!
     
    #1 booblanco, Mar 21, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  2. vacv27

    vacv27 Member

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    bring it to an apple center or authorized repair center. they'll have to reinstall your software.
     
  3. Kelvin

    Kelvin Active Member

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    Have you tried deleting the preference file of mail? Are you searching for words from the entire message, "From" field, "To" field or the "Subject" field?

    Reinstallation should be your last resort, too much of a hassle for a relatively small problem IMHO.
     
  4. booblanco

    booblanco Active Member

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    @ Kelvin

    Thanks. I can now see search results by clicking on "From," "To," and "Subject" fields. It's just that I can no longer see any searches under the "Entire Message" field unlike before. "Entire Message" now always gives me zero search results and I would have to alternately click on "From" and "To" to see an exchange of emails, say from/to a single sender.

    How can I get the "Entire Message" field to show all "From," "To," and "Subject" searches like it did before?
     
  5. witch_md

    witch_md Active Member

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    Hi Boo,

    Discussion at apple support showed that this is a common mail problem. They suggested turning spotlight off then reboot then turn spotlight on then reboot. But I don't how to turn spotlight off so maybe you can try this linkturn spotlight off
     
  6. booblanco

    booblanco Active Member

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    @ md1122

    Thanks for the tip, but I already turned spotlight off and that didn't work. It seems Spotlight is working and that the problem is Mail.app. It no longer displays searches under the field "Entire Message."
     
  7. booblanco

    booblanco Active Member

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    My Mail.app now searches under "Entire Message." It just came back since midnight for some reason! Strange.
     
  8. elbert

    elbert Active Member

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    We can safely call this the Cinderella Mail Syndrome then. Glad to know it's working.
     
  9. booblanco

    booblanco Active Member

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    It got busted again two days ago, so I removed this MS Daemon Database (or something - it's gone now so I don't remember the exact name) from login startup items. Now it's okay.

    I think the last MS Office update was the culprit. Heads up!
     
  10. super_ed

    super_ed Active Member

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    OMG. My mail spotlight is acting up too. Thanks for this thread. I just love the search function.
     
  11. chinggay

    chinggay Member

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    This happened to me a few months ago too... If you check apple's support pages, they have a lot of solutions (some of them don't work, but I was able to restore my search function after a few tries).
     
  12. elbert

    elbert Active Member

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    Here's a simple way to rebuild your Index (works better than the Mailbox > Rebuid option, which may not always be available).

    1. Quit Mail
    2. Go into your Mail folder in the user Library (~/Library/Mail).
    3. Locate the file named Envelope Index and drag it into your desktop.
    4. Launch Mail and select the Import option when prompted.
    5. When done Importing, delete the file Envelope Index from the desktop.

    If you have a lot of messages, you will recover some HD space (many users claim at least a couple of MBs). You'll notice too that it'll speed up your Mail Spotlight. I'm betting it'll fix any Mail Spotlight problems as well.
     
  13. DON2003

    DON2003 Well-Known Member

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    great tip,
    is there also a way to index the mail?
     

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