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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 10:05 PM   #1
krs
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Problems searching in Apple mail folders

I have a strange problem when I try to search in an Apple Mail folder, say the inbox or also all other folders.
When I select to search for the search term under 'subject' or 'from' or 'to', everything works as expected and I get a list of valid results, but when I then try to search under "message" it seems as if the search doesn't work at all.
There is no spinning circle like for the other searches and I don't get any results.
If I then go back to say searching the subject, everything comes up fine again.

It almost seems as if the Mac says - too much to search in the message fields - I just won't do it.

Any idea what is happening?
I'm on 10.4.11 with the latest security update.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 07:20 AM   #2
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How many messages would you say you have total in Mail?
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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Counting all the folders I have created to store messages I need to keep?
How would I ever determine that? I assume it's in the 25 000 message range.

The current inbox after deleting everything I don't need is just over 6000 messages for 2008 and 2009.
I usually move all these messages I want to keep into a separate folder at the end of each year.
Sent message box has about 5000 messages in it, also from the last two years only.

I checked my total stored mail a while back when there was a discussion about Outlook Express and how mail there gets all messed up and lost at the 2 GB mark, but at the time I wasn't anywhere near that.
I remember that MacDoc's mail folder was about twice as big as mine so I didn't worry about it.
Not that I ever read anywhere that there iwill be a problem with Apple Mail when the mail folder gets too big.

I have maxed out the RAM at 2 GB and I have 50 GB free space on the hard drive.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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I'm wondering if rebuilding the mailbox might help clean things up and restore your search.

Another consideration: Can you find the messages that the Mail search tool overlooks using Spotlight? I have an inkling that the Mail search tool uses the Spotlight index and if neither Spotlight nor Mail can find a message, it could be because indexing of the mail folders is turned off. This happens when a location is excluded in the Spotlight system preference, under Privacy.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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I did a little more digging and found this post on the Apple support forms. It might be a solution.

Read the OP and you'll see it's a similar problem to what you're facing.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitddog View Post
Read the OP and you'll see it's a similar problem to what you're facing.
Thanks Digiddog - that describes my problem exactly.

I'm a bit nervous using terminal - one would think there is another way to delete all the spotlight indexing and thn create it again.
But if not, I'll do a complete backup and then try my hand at the terminal commands.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #7
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This Apple knowledge base posting seems to describe the easy way to get your mail reindexed. No terminal.app required. Hope it works/helps.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #8
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Worth a try.
I'm not sure going through the "preference>spotlight" routine actually deletes the existing index which is required per the earlier link you posted, but it's certainly worth a try.

This all will take a few days because I need to clean up the existing hard drive a bit, then do a back up and then re-index.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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Consider a little Mail.app maintenance... namely, vacuum the Envelop Index - the database that keeps track of all your mail.
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